3 weeks of BEOWULF remain

"BEAUTIFUL, POETIC, AND HAUNTING..."
-Theatrius

Photo: Lauren Matley

Photo: Lauren Matley

Think for a minute about what it would be like to have no light, only total darkness.
What a candle would mean to you…

BEOWULF: 
We expect this work to challenge... it is unlike any other We Players' production to date. We invite you to journey into strange new territory and to release expectation of the usual.

Immerse yourself in an abstract realm as we explore the story through a fractured lens and express the energies of the saga through movement and intense soundscape. 

It is a fever-dream of memory and forgetting, a ritual that will both include your participation and leave you suspended in the shadows...

BEOWULF has only 3 weeks left.
Join us before it’s too late!


The journey begins at sunset
at the SF Maritime Museum.
Thursday - Sunday, March 11 - April 16. 

Wrestle with humanity and monstrosity under the stunning expanse of the sky and in the warm embrace of our mead hall. 

On a tight budget?
Join the BEOWULF rush ticket mailing list. 

Flame and shadow

Think for a minute about what it would be like to have no light, total darkness
What the candle would mean to you…

In December I went to Iceland, largely in preparation for building BEOWULF.
And I read sagas and Icelandic lore...
I was struck by how many of the winter seasonal stories include mention of the preciousness of giving and receiving candles as gifts at this time of year.
To have your own candle was a big deal.
To have the power to light your own world.

We all have the power the light the world -  through the company we keep and the stories that we share.

Stories and storytelling can be a powerful light in the darkness, which we particularly need when times are... dark.

Our upcoming production of BEOWULF is a play for our times.
When demagogues are trying to define culture and the dominant story, we need to tell our stories ferociously to keep our truths alive.
We’re excited for the BEOWULF-inspired conversations our audiences will be having about heroes and monsters, kindness and cruelty, chaos and order, self and other, after walking out of the chapel, our mead hall.

We expect this work to challenge...it is unlike any other We Players' production to date. We invite you to journey into strange new territory and to release expectation of the usual. Immerse yourself in an abstract realm as we explore the story through a fractured lens and express the energetics of the saga through movement and intense soundscape. It is a fever-dream of memory and forgetting, a ritual that will both include your participation and leave you suspended in the shadows...

This entirely new work is inspired by the poem Beowulf, but not a direct re-telling. It is a truly multi-disciplinary collaboration built alongside the forces of the Rova saxophone quartet and inkBoat physical theatre and dance. 

The journey begins at the Maritime Museum at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. From there, we move along the northern waterfront, stopping at Black Point Battery - with it’s stunning views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, before summiting the hill and entering the historic military chapel at Fort Mason. Once inside, we break bread and toast to our ancestors. Around our great table, we remember the fallen and recount tales of glory and of loss, of our hopes and our fears. We relive the events of the epic, moving in reverse chronology from the time of Beowulf's death. We open a Pandora's box of questions and leave them hanging in the darkness, for each of us to grapple with...


We hope you’ll join us.

It's Alive!

The monster is awake and the heroes are rising!
BEOWULF has opened!

Photo: Loe Matley

Photo: Loe Matley

Hear what our audiences are saying:

"BEOWULF is sensational. I have never experienced anything like it... We Players know how to offer a play experience like no other. Way beyond play... Beyond anything." -David 

"BEOWULF is stunning. Looking forward to seeing it again!" -Kathleen

"I really felt like we were collectively mourning for our country, mourning for our fallen humanity that has departed from nature, from instinct, from listening. The dynamic shifts that broke the meditative, ritualistic rhythms were like waking up from a dream, but into another dream --almost the nightmare of reality." -Adriana 

"I keep thinking of the ending procession image; the final preparation before facing the unknown." -Sabrina

Take the BEOWULF challenge. Join us!

The journey begins at sunset
at the SF Maritime Museum.
Thursday - Sunday, March 11 - April 16. 

Wrestle with humanity and monstrosity under the stunning expanse of the sky and in the warm embrace of our mead hall. 

On a tight budget?
Join the BEOWULF rush ticket mailing list.

BEOWULF Cast Spotlight: Larry Ochs

A killer saxophonist and all around great guy, Larry is another of Rova's founding members. We love collaborating with him; when you see his answers, we think you'll understand why!

 
 

Have there been any specific challenges or funny/interesting stories working outside and in the chapel for BEOWULF?

Larry:

  • Never have played before with a flagpole sticking to my back and the bay winds whipping around the flag on that pole, which is kind of knocking me to the left or right or backwards as I’m trying to focus on playing the music. 
  • One of the greatest perks of all time; walking in costume down towards the stairs to the bay and enjoying the view west to Golden Gate Bridge just before each show starts
  • Very much enjoying the exchange of sound between the two conch players, as there is what seems to be a long delay between Jon’s conch sound on land and the reply from Albert out in the bay.
  • Also digging the symphony of ambient sounds wafting around us as we perform outside. There is the challenge of hearing our cue at The Battery event to come wailing out of hiding. Ava plays this bell -  slowly- until the time we are to rise up; then quickly; that’s the cue.. But yesterday there was an off-shore bell that sounded exactly like our own, and discerning between the two amongst the recorded music from one direction and the fog horn from another, and the wind… yeah; a challenge but all of it in fun...
  • Except yesterday maybe, when some guy threw a bottle over the wall that i am hiding behind and playing. It smashed a good distance from me, but did make me a bit paranoid as he and his cohorts were just a bit inebriated, and thus seemed capable of sending more projectiles over the wall. Did not happen… all’s well that ends well.
  • The weather!  This we expected to be our big challenge, even renting an entire set of saxophones for the outdoor portion of the piece; obtaining ponchos to cover ourselves and the saxophones; having an entire set of alternate capes created for the outdoor shows in the rain which we could discard upon arrival at the chapel for the longer more intimate and intense  indoor part of the show. But somehow through all that rain in February we never got wet. And now the weather seems turned completely beautiful; spring is here... Knock wood!

Beowulf in four words?

Larry: SEISMOLOGIC VISITATIONS MOURNING MORNING

Share a favorite artistic experience- how did it impact you and affect your life and work afterwards?

Larry: There are so many...

  • Stumbling out of a Fugs’ concert in the East Village in summer 1966, rounding the corner and seeing a sign for John Coltrane at the Village Gate. walking in for the 2nd set and listening with an audience of maybe 2 dozen. Quite likely less. Never had experienced anything that intense in such a small space.
  • Stumbling out of my tent on Monday morning, early, to find with my ears that someone was still playing music, even though the festival- Woodstock- should have ended about midnight; some 7 hours before that. It was Hendrix, whom I had seen live before. But what he was doing that morning, the part I saw, was off the charts.
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago in Berkeley in 1973 or 74. By this time I was committed to the avant garde, and this concert confirmed that the direction I was headed was the right one for me. 
  • Diamanda Galas at Moers Jazz Festival 1981. Her debut in Europe. 5000- as in ‘five thousand’- wet audience members... it had been raining all weekend at this outdoor festival, but more and more people showed up each day anyway. You know: well known avant garde jazz groups played this festival. But on this Saturday afternoon, safe to say that almost no one familiar with Diamanda’s music was out there in the audience. She’s there to sing solo; no support onstage. And she has complicated tech; and it’s 1981, and she can’t explain how it works technically; her normal tech person was not flown in. The festival engineer comes up to me almost crying…”can you help? I don’t know what she wants, but whatever that is,  it’s not working.”
  • Diamanda standing resolutely behind her microphone in a raincoat adamantly shaking her head;  the concert does not start- for about an hour- and by then the audience is yelling at her to start; the engineer is throwing up his hands from the control booth situated out in the audience; and I know she’s about to ‘play’ something quite unlike the normal fare delivered… And yet, when she finally gets what she needs onstage,  she walks offstage, to more boos, and returns without the raincoat and DELIVERS. Solo, no help, for an hour. Completely wins over this hostile, miserably-wet crowd. A tour-de-force of performance power. Taught me some things I’ve never forgotten.
  • Hearing John Cage and David Tudor et al, creating music for the Merce Cunningham Dance Troupe. That first time stands out in a huge crowd of major concerts that set my mind off and helps me solve my own creative problems..

With Liberty and Justice For Some

Our good friend Monica Lundy’s co-curated show “With Liberty and Justice For Some” comes to SF this weekend! You can catch it through April 8th.


SFAC Galleries is excited to announce a new yearlong exhibition and public program series called Sanctuary City. The series delves into topics related to San Francisco’s immigration policies, immigrant and refugee populations, and the history of our Sanctuary City status. 

For this inaugural Sanctuary City presentation, SFAC Galleries is pleased to partner with Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, to bring their exhibition With Liberty and Justice for Some to San Francisco for a limited time. Co-curated by Bay Area artist Monica Lundy and gallerist Walter Maciel, this exhibition features over 125 portraits of immigrants to the United States by 100 artists from Los Angeles and the Bay Area. 

http://www.sfartscommission.org/gallery/2017/sanctuary-city-with-liberty-and-justice-for-some/

BEOWULF Cast Spotlight: Dana Iova-Koga

Dana has been dancing with inkBoat since 2006. She is currently learning a great deal from two masters of improvisation, aka her kids. Dana is honored to be collaborating with the forces of We Players and Rova Saxophone Quartet, who are among her heroes.
 


Have there been any specific challenges or funny/interesting stories working outside and in the chapel?

Dana: It’s been pretty problematic working outside in the Battery because of all of the beauty of the surroundings. I mean, how is one supposed to concentrate on rehearsal with views like that all around? The Golden Gate, the bay speckled with sail boats, the occasional moonrise paired with sunset, the passing hawk. Very distracting!

Why BEOWULF now?

Dana: As a culture we still seem to be interested in many of the major themes of the poem, namely good vs evil, and grappling with our own mortality. Particularly in the last few months many of us have been wrestling with the construct of duality, the notion of “us” against “them”. In Beowulf, the poem, the lines of distinction are very clear. Now, and in our production, the lines are not so clear.

Can you share a funny or memorable moment, anecdote, or quote from your experiences in creating BEOWULF?

Dana: This isn’t really an anecdote, but rather something I’ve really enjoyed about the process. I’ve so enjoyed witnessing how the musicians work. It’s as if they have their own language. Music is of course its own language, but then there is a whole other layer that is particular to these musicians and their collaborative process. They have have their own sign language system. They talk about “blorks”. I partly wish I knew their language and partly love that it’s magical and mysterious!

—-

Check back to learn more about our other collaborators, and catch Dana live in BEOWULF- join us for this sensational world premiere’s Opening Weekend, Saturday March 18 and Sunday March 19! The journey begins at sunset, at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Photos: Lauren Matley and Maria Chenut

BEOWULF Cast Spotlight: Steve Adams

We Players fans may remember Steve of Rova Saxophone Quartet from our 2015 production of HEROMONSTER. He's one of five musicians in our current production and we think he's just great! We caught up with Steve and asked him a few questions about the process. 

Check back to learn more about our other collaborators and see Steve live in our upcoming production of BEOWULF March 18-April 16

Photo: Lauren Matley

Photo: Lauren Matley

Describe your experience of  BEOWULF's collaborative process. How is it similar or different from past projects/ experiences?

Steve: Rova's last experience of being part of a theatrical production was for A.C.T.'s 1992 production of Antigone, directed by Carey Perloff and starring Elizabeth Peña and a young Wendell Pierce. The music was composed by David Lang of Bang on a Can. We were placed in black boxes at the two ends of the balcony, completely out of sight of the audience. So the experience was extremely different from Beowulf, where we are fully participating, onstage members of the production and co-creators of the music. This is a much more gratifying way to be part of the process, having (and receiving) creative input on all aspects of the play.

Share a favorite artistic experience: Why/ how did it impact you, affect your life, your work afterwards?

Steve: When I was in high school, my parents took me to several seasons of varied culture events, which included a production of Samuel Beckett's play Krapp's Last Tape. It was so far outside of my experience of, well, anything, that I think it made me aware of the possibilities of art that goes beyond the boundaries of what has come before, and that has been with me ever since then.

You can catch Steve (plus four other saxophone players!) in BEOWULF
Tickets on sale now! http://www.weplayers.org/beowulf-2017

Photo: Lauren Matley

Call for volunteers - Bring your light to BEOWULF

BEOWULF BACKSTAGE

Photo: Lauren Matley

Photo: Lauren Matley

We Players needs a few more hands in the mead-hall for BEOWULF!

Can you lend your light to our production? Volunteers can help us with food prep, and with audience and community wrangling. A good sense of hospitality is a plus!

BEOWULF takes place on the north end of San Francisco at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, with weekend performances at sunset, Thursday through Sunday.
Shows start with preview performances on March 11 and the run lasts through April 16th. 

Volunteer shifts are just two hours long, and our helpers are welcome to stay and enjoy BEOWULF once a shift is done.

Join us in warming the hall for our guests!
Click here to learn more and sign up when you're ready.

 

 

 

 

Lighting Up The Night

Season Launch Party 2017! making the light brighter, together. 

We all have the power the light the world - through the company we keep and the stories that we share. Thank you Season Launch Party guests for sharing stories, community, art and adventure with We Players!

Today is Giving Tuesday!

Today, people across the nation
are giving to their favorite non-profits.
Please donate today to show your support for We Players!

With YOU as our ally, We Players transforms public spaces into stunning stages for multi-dimensional, full-sensory site-integrated theatre performances.

2016 was a banner year, with our Capulet Ball masquerades and an extended run of Romeo & Juliet in partnership with California State Parks and supported by the prestigious Montalvo Arts Center

Help us continue the momentum in 2017!

The new year starts in February with a special Season Launch Party
followed in March by the world-premiere of BEOWULF
at Aquatic Park and Fort Mason.

Join us this summer for live music concerts, including the
5th annual Canciones del Mar aboard the tall ship Balclutha.

Then, come summer (or fall), we’ll head into the forest together for a novel adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

We look forward to more great art together...
Please give generously today to We Players.

Join together, make great art,
give on Giving Tuesday

Artists of We: Monica Lundy's carborundum and intaglio prints

Once upon a time, long long ago, in the year 2011, We Players launched a gallery in the cell house on Alcatraz - a space still being used for visual art installations today! Monica Lundy's stunning portraits of the first female inmates at San Quentin (when that prison first opened it was co-ed) were featured in our first visual art exhibit in that fledgling gallery. We are so lucky to know Monica - we love her work, which has been shown at many galleries throughout the Bay Area over the years. Recently, Monica was invited to be the first international artist in residence at Stoney Road Press in Dublin, Ireland where she made a suite of prints with them.  Monica writes: "For this series, I decided to commence working on my upcoming, UK based project: portraits of Victorian era psychiatric patients from London based insane asylums."  She has just announced the arrival of a new suite of limited edition, fine art prints from that residency, and we are so excited to help spread the word! 

Monica at work

Monica at work

"I was in Ireland a little over 3 weeks, working every day, sometimes day and night. I worked with two printmaking methods: Carborundum printing and intaglio. The culmination of this process being a suite of 4 different original fine art prints, printed on hand made Indian paper.  The prints were based on photos I found while researching at archives in London last fall.  The portraits are of 19th century insane asylum patients from both West Riding Asylum and Bethlem Royal Hospital (one of the oldest and most infamous hospitals, also known as “Bedlam”). At long last, after months of working on these both in Dublin, followed by corresponding across continents to complete the fine-tuning of colors, the suite of 4 prints is complete. Each of the 4 different prints is in a limited edition of 25."  -  Monica Lundy

“Harriet” Gesso and Carborundum print on handmade Indian paper 54 x 38 in. / 137 x 97 cm. Edition of 25

“Harriet”
Gesso and Carborundum print on handmade Indian paper
54 x 38 in. / 137 x 97 cm.
Edition of 25

“William” Gesso and Carborundum print on handmade Indian paper 54 x 38 in. / 137 x 97 cm. Edition of 25

“William”
Gesso and Carborundum print on handmade Indian paper
54 x 38 in. / 137 x 97 cm.
Edition of 25

“Acute Melancholia” Intaglio print on handmade Indian paper 30 x 22 in. / 76 x 56 cm. Edition of 25

“Acute Melancholia”
Intaglio print on handmade Indian paper
30 x 22 in. / 76 x 56 cm.
Edition of 25

“Consecutive Dementia” Intaglio print on handmade Indian paper 30 x 22 in. / 76 x 56 cm. Edition of 25

“Consecutive Dementia”
Intaglio print on handmade Indian paper
30 x 22 in. / 76 x 56 cm.
Edition of 25

The prints have debuted in New York at IFPDA Print Fair, from there they will travel to fairs in Dublin, Miami, Los Angeles and Portland.

Want to see the work in person? Here's the where and when...

IFPDA Print Fair: New York,  Nov. 3-6, 2016   www.ifpda.org/content/print-fair  
VUE: Dublin, Nov. 3-6, 2016   www.vueartfair.ie

INK Art Fair : Miami, Nov. 30- Dec. 4, 2016   www.inkartfair.com
Portland Fine Print Fair: Portland, OR.  Jan. 27-29, 2017   http://portlandfineprintfair.com/
Los Angeles Fine Print Fair: Los Angeles, Feb.4-5, 2017   http://losangeles-fineprintfair.com/

For pricing or more information, you can contact Stoney Road Press at: 
email:  info@stoneyroadpress.com
website:  www.stoneyroadpress.com

Special for those of us here in the Bay Area - there are limited sets available through Nancy Toomey Fine Art. 
email:  nancy@nancytoomeyfineart.com
website:  www.nancytoomeyfineart.com

 

Congratulations Monica! With love from all of We! xx

"I still will stay with thee"

"Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds!" 
My my, such a long and wild journey we've been on! 

2016 has been a grand experiment in stretching my process and practice. We spent SEVEN months working together - the same ensemble, creative and production team endured THREE tech weeks for essentially THREE very different productions (albeit all interpretations of Romeo & Juliet), built carefully into SIX different sites ranging from the dusty, dry expanse of rugged fields in Petaluma, to a 14th century inspired Italian castle (complete with a moat and a torture chamber), to the sleek lines of a steel and glass modern home, to the lush lawns and gardens of a prestigious villa. 

We ended our journey on Sunday October 16, 2016 with a double header at the Montalvo Arts Center, performing in the pouring rain for the matinee (then occupying virtually every dryer in the Los Gatos laundromat to whisk the costumes back into shape for the evening performance). Many, many hours later - packing and loading and driving and unloading and sorting and sifting and washing and organizing - Romeo & Juliet is settling into slumber and those touched by the experience can begin sifting through our individual and collective memories. Hopefully images and sensations will continue to arise as we move through our own journeys of love and loss and discovery, heart-break and heart-swells. Sounds and scents in the landscape may draw our attention back to the dry alfalfa grasses of Petaluma and the stunning sunsets crowning Juliet's death corral, or perhaps to the ionized air after the torrential rain, when the green earth pounds its vibrancy against the immaculate background of white columns and archways in Juliet's final resting place in the "Temple of Love" at Montalvo. 

Temple of Love, Italianate Garden - Photo by Ava Roy

Temple of Love, Italianate Garden - Photo by Ava Roy

Romeo and Juliet at Petaluma Adobe - Photo by Lauren Matley

Romeo and Juliet at Petaluma Adobe - Photo by Lauren Matley

 

Much of my reflection will be private. I will go to Iceland in December, into the darkness (literally) to absorb the lessons, to reflect on the highs and lows, to detach from both the stresses as well as the successes, to get quiet and clear enough to move forward honestly into the next experiment, the next pushing of the edges of my creative practice. Soon, I'll be shifting into the sagas of Nordic heroes and investigating monsters of the inhospitable realms of untamed earth and psyche. I'll be joining forces with some inimitable collaborators - the searing satirical intellect and humor of Nathaniel Justiniano of Naked Empire Bouffon, the astounding physical precision and improvisational prowess of Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga of inkBoat dance theatre, and the profound sounds of avant-garde saxophone quartet Rova, a team of musicians truly enviable for their deep listening skills developed over nearly four decades of collaboration. Together, along with Charlie Gurke, We Players' resident Music Director and composer, and myself - performing again after a 2016 hiatus from the stage - we'll create something entirely new, as yet unknown to any of us, inspired by the ancient poem Beowulf. 

Soon we'll begin to share the images and visions that will guide our journey into that cave of shadows...

At the moment though, Juliet still swirls in my heart. "Dear Juliet, why are art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe that insubstantial death is amorous, and that the lean abhorred monster keeps thee here in dark to be his paramour? For fear of that I still will stay with thee."

And I will. I'll spill a bit more ink on you yet. And you, yon reader out there on your screen somewhere - if you're interested in this clatter of keys, this tap tap tapping out of memories from this 2016 R&J journey, well, you are most welcome. Perhaps drift off into your own daydream of memories from your year. Fall is a good time for letting go, for letting things fall away. It's good to long a little for what we're letting go of...even as we know this release will open the window into tomorrow. If this is your moment to sign off, thanks for accompanying me this far and see you next time! Those of you sticking around...

Brave actors - thank you so much for sharing the journey with me. For trusting me with the bulk of your year and courageously moving from site to site, integrating with each new environment and letting each space inspire you and dramatically shift your interior landscape. It was stunning to watch the inner life of your characters evolve over time and from location to location. Lady Capulet how you swayed your hips and devoured the vast open space in Petaluma, only to pull inwards towards sharper, cleaner lines and tight fisted control among the refined structures of Montalvo. Oh Tybalt! How you sulked at the adobe as an insulted and belittled boy who just wanted to claim some shred of dignity. In your own words, "Who just wanted to matter and who hated Mercutio for having made him kill her. Who had no choice but to go back and kill Romeo, or die trying. Some of the best acting I've ever done was out in that field, alone, for no one, realizing what he'd just done and where he could go from there...what a thing to look at your dagger and see someone else's blood on it." And then what Montalvo did to you! You didn't plan it, but your communication with the space led you somewhere entirely new. Mean and violent and definitely dignified. Who, instead of battling with himself out on the open field, intentionally creeps back through the forest to kill Romeo. To stab him in the back if you can time it right. You described it to me that the experience was "Almost like his psyche is being determined from the outside in. I knew one version of Tybalt, but another, different in so many ways, was just lying in wait. This one doesn't think there could be anything wrong with killing Mercutio or a Montague....Coming back to kill someone, what a weird thing to imagine. What a thing that most people don't imagine. Sneaking up to kill a person. it comes so naturally being up there on that hill...The lasting image I have from the adobe is falling on the hard dirt, knowing I'm about to die. The image that will stay with me from Montalvo is creeping up to the back of unsuspecting Romeo's head, ready to kill him."

Each of you taught me so much about the truth of letting the space inform your characters. Thank you.

Rehearsals in April at Montalvo Arts Center - Photo by Tina Case

Rehearsals in April at Montalvo Arts Center - Photo by Tina Case

In April we lived together in the 10 live/work studios of the incredible Sally and Don Lucas Arts Residency Program Center at Montalvo. I recall the sun drenched mornings. The cry and clatter of crickets. The sense of both subtle and significant progress. Of artistry - collective and individual - daily moving apace. The late nights full of surprises, like that April full moon when the two owls called to each other back and forth, back and forth, late into the night, into the early morning even. In bed listening - 1am listening, 1:30am listening, 2am listening… Are they lovers? Friends? Sharing in the hunt? Arguing? What can I learn from them? How do I attune my listening such that nature can teach me how to proceed with the work? The sense of being at summer camp with these artists, who are good people. Big generous hearts all round. In Shakespeare summer camp, our text work pierces the valley air along with the sounds of construction and hikers and local birds blending in their song. The clean breeze feels gentle and kind. 

Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park - Photo by Miller Oberlin

Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park - Photo by Miller Oberlin

 

In each site the environment offers sudden surprises that enrich the meaning and delight the senses. In Petaluma a frenetic swallow took jagged flight at the very moment Mercutio was stabbed, as if her surprised soul was leaving her body in a rush. One day, as we rounded the corner of the adobe to lay Juliet to rest in her corral full of black crosses, a dozen stoic black bulls stood hulking in their massiveness in the pasture beyond. At twilight, for those remembering to look up, a criss-crossing of bats streaked the violet sky as the death mask was placed on Juliet's face. Then the hawk that screeched it's high, clear cry as she was laid into the open tomb. That sunny Sunday matinee when Benvolio and Mercutio loitered listlessly in the hot summer sun and Tybalt approached with hate in his eyes and a vulture swooped down from the sky, as if on cue, circling the feverous trio, waiting to see who would die first and possibly become its next meal. And who among those present can forget the precious moment during the marriage of Romeo and Juliet when just as the lovers kissed and said amen a burst of wings shot up from the great walnut tree as a flock of red-winged blackbirds took flight!

We'll bow our heads with humble acceptance for the sometimes distracting noise of traffic and inopportune airplanes, for these golden moments where art and nature align in precious, unrepeatable beauty.  

Yes. But sometimes the forces of nature held us right up against the edge of the possible. And we invited the audience to uncross their arms and legs, to lurch from their would-be theatre seats, and instead lean into the experience with us. We don't pretend they're not there. They don't pretend they're not there. We are actually all inhabiting the same space together, scorching sun or pouring rain notwithstanding. This is a different request of the audience. To be willing to navigate occasional discomfort to be fully immersed into the world with us. It isn't always easy, but we hope it's worth it.  

THANK YOU for this huge, long adventure. Thank you artists and thank you audiences for leaning in and joining in at Capulet Ball parties, at Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, at the Montalvo Arts Center. Don't forget to get out and play, no matter the weather. 

Death Procession to the Temple - photo by Miller Oberlin

Death Procession to the Temple - photo by Miller Oberlin

 

"The show was FABULOUS!!!  It was the most memorable theater experience of my life, apart from the downpour. The 3 hours flew by! The experience of following the players from scene to scene, and in many cases interacting with them, was so engaging. The actors were superb...and then there was the final scene at the crypt, when the steps were covered with dead bodies and Juliet's mother was weeping, surrounded by Montagues and Capulets, and the narrator walks among them and tells us, "We're in mourning. Go home now." -- WHOA.  No curtain call, no applause, no chatting with happy actors after the show. Just this end...And the actors stayed in character (we saw Juliet's mother crying -- and several cousins leaning on poles crying and consoling one another, all the way up to the parking lot). SUPERB!!! And it will be a huge advantage for my daughter Juliette when she sits in class and wades through the play, like they do in so many old-school high school English classes; Shakespeare is meant to be ACTED and LIVED.  Well, it doesn't get any more alive than the We Players on Sunday."  - Vikki B, audience member.