2015 Reflections

We at We Players are so grateful…

that we get to spend so much time outdoors
in historically-significant, culturally-charged, environmentally rich, and stunningly beautiful locations.

We-Outdoors-4.jpg

It’s our great joy to scout them out, to invest in complex partnerships with the federal and state governments, and to collaborate with talented artists from around the Bay Area and the world- all to bring thrilling works of art to our public parks.

And we thank YOU for joining us in the fog and mist, in the blustery cold of our coastal climes, in the sun-kissed open spaces, for climbing steep hills and sitting on the ground, for gathering in the dwindling light to enter the unknown in our mead hall. For braving the elements and opening your hearts to the stories we share.
We are SO excited to announce our 2016 sites and programs, we’ll be blaring our horns with news in January.

Before we launch into the new year and all its new adventures, we’re taking some time to reflect on 2015, lessons learned and accomplishments achieved. We’re feeling really grateful for you, our extended community, and we’re feeling proud and humbled at once by what you’ve told us about your experiences with We Players this year.


Savor the sweetness with us!

Here’s what you and your fellow audience members had to say
about Ondine at Sutro this spring and HEROMONSTER at the Fort Mason Center Chapel this fall…

You told us that HEROMONSTER was:

HEROMONSTER-feedback-965px-v2.jpg

You said the…

“intensity was palpable and visible in every calculated move made, sweat drop wiped, and grunt or gasp heard.”

and that we “populated [your] dreams with stirring visions”

And you shared personal discoveries:

“Gradually an idea emerged in my mind that had to do with ritual performance of a very old epic story taking place at an annual gathering of which we were part.”

“After all the battles, in the quiet of the aftermath, we wonder…would there still be heroes and monsters if we all lived in a world where everyone practiced how to be more kind, more loving?”

Our thanks to you, for joining us for HEROMONSTER


Earlier this year…

y’all couldn’t get enough of that sparkly sea nymph and her sexy silly knight errant!

You told us that Ondine at Sutro was:

“beautiful, smart, and funny”
“mesmerizing”
“unbearably beautiful”
“Superb! So funny, so poignant, too good.”
“the only time I can remember soaring pelicans bringing tears to my eyes”

Ondine-Act-1-Pelicans-Hans-Jim-Norrena_82A0650-965px.jpg

And that this is what happened to you:

“I left the piece feeling very filled up, inspired, and awake.”

“I will always remember the magical way We Players used the environs–most particularly the ending, when Ondine and the Old One disappeared over the ridge toward the fog-enshrouded sea. For me, that moment was perfection.”

Ondine_35-965px.jpg

“It’s not often that I feel that time has stood still during a performance and that was one of those times.”

“Once again, thanks to We Players I discovered a fabulous new space up to then unknown.”

And the head of SF Rec and Parks, Phil Ginsburg shared that:
“Yesterday’s performance was magical. It was one of the most unique and special theater (or park) experiences I have ever had. Thank you for introducing us to a whole new way of experiencing the elements in that spectacular setting. Thank you for opening our minds and hearts to what the Parks have to offer!”

Ondine-Preview-146-965px.jpg

In closing, here is a letter we received from an Ondine attendee:

I have continued to think of Ondine throughout the day today — what a profound, magical, and artful experience it was to enter Ondine’s world yesterday.

[My husband] spotted a whale breaching in the Golden Gate, just moments before Hans commented that, in his world, whales could pass between a man and woman in the course of a day…

As we wound our way up the hill to Sutro Heights, I was struck by how radiantly happy everyone was around me, the crowd of We Players attendees all smiling and laughing, in a way that is quite rare in our present-day rush and seriousness, and in a way that seemed to be contagious to those passersby staring in wonder at what must have appeared like our own private carnival. And then spotting the Old One standing above us on a cliff, silently watching our progress.

And when Ondine was wrenched from her consuming grief, by the third call of her name, the stark silence was softened by a burst of quiet birdsong in the tree above her, making it seem all the more real that this was indeed a sudden new dawn for her, and my eyes filled with tears. As Ondine and her fellow spirit beings disappeared into the swirling mist toward the sea, tears streamed down my face.

Thank you for creating this magic. For bringing us to greater awe and connection with the magic already in the land around us here, and in the waters and mists and silent ancient stories they hold.

Thank you for sharing your stories with us. We love you.

Happy Holidays!

2015 Theatre Bay Area Awards

Our production of Ondine at Sutro received
7 nominations at Theatre Bay Area’s 2015 Awards!

Outstanding Production of a Play
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Principal Role: Ava Roy
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actors in a Featured Role: Jennie Brick
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Featured Role: Nathaniel Justiniano & Nick Medina.
Outstanding Performance by the Ensemble of a Play
Outstanding Costume Design: Brooke Jennings

We’re so pleased that the talent and passion of our actors and creative team – as well as the significance of site-integrated theatre – is being recognized by the Theater Bay Area Awards this year. Didn’t get to see Ondine at Sutro? Want to experience it again? We hope our video and photography highlights can help immerse you (again) into this fairy tale of enchantment and wonder…

Ondine (Ava Roy) and the King (Nick Medina) immersed in a serious discussion about LOVE

Ondine (Ava Roy) and the King (Nick Medina) immersed in a serious discussion about LOVE

On Monday eve November 16, we celebrated our shared commitment to impassioned storytelling with the larger Bay Area theatre community. We found ourselves on stage in an actual theatre for the first time…well…ever! And what a beautiful playhouse ACT’s Geary Theatre is. Ava and Cole Ferraiuolo, the young Artistic Director of Faultline Theatre, presented awards together and shared the stage with many other directors from around the region. Musical theatre folks shared song and dance routines and several important Legacy Awards were presented, including to the late, great Mark Rucker, whom we all honor and miss.

We’re especially pleased to celebrate Brooke Jennings and Nathaniel Justiniano, award recipients in their finalist categories. Three cheers!   

We Players performers and volunteers at the awards ceremony!

We Players performers and volunteers at the awards ceremony!

Announcing Brooke Jennings for Outstanding Costume Design!

Announcing Brooke Jennings for Outstanding Costume Design!

Now entering the cave of shadows…

Sutro!
Who speaks of your faded glory? You’ve just changed garments. You’ve traded your glass and steel for a flouncy full skirt of sea foam and a lush blouse of blossoming ice plant. You’ve traded your human imposed form – oh! the towering structure you once lorded over the rock wall separating you from your ancestor the ocean! – for the natural curves of eroding stone. Now you are in constant concert with the waves, your conversation with the wind yields softer edges, rounded now where once there were right angles. Only your stone footprint remains, and a lagoon of gentle waters. Our imaginations fill the well of that open space, the space you’ve left behind. We dream ourselves another world, a world of sea spirits and robust fairy tale figures. May the image of the lone fisherman plying your placid waters linger in our memories! May this memory ignite a thousand more of the story of Ondine and her Hans, which We Players left invisibly, indelibly, imprinted on the air.

Sutro-60-tunnel-965px.jpg

NOW – we move from the vast expanse of Sutro’s sparkling sea towards dark forests where ferocious creatures lurk and mead halls where blazing heroes recount feats of glory.

I wake this morning with a new feeling, a trembling, a quivering, an uncomfortable and yet familiar sensation…
The beginning feeling…

The feeling of standing at the edge of the abyss, horrified at the prospect of stepping directly, purposefully, into the unknowable depths.
Sending one foot and then the other into thin air and thence to discover how falling down the rabbit hole feels this time…

Horrified, and yet certain that I’ll do it.

Though some gears in my physical machinery will resist the plunge, others will overpower the fear, the impulse towards self-protection, and hurdle me forward.
Poised briefly on this thin edge before the plunge…monsters and heroes here we come!

This fall, we will escort you into cave of shadows as we search for the monsters lurking in the closet and under the bed. I hope you’ll join us as we seek the heroes and monsters that live among us.

More from that shadowy cave of dreams soon…

mwah!

Ava

Ondine at Sutro: Performance Demonstration & Conversation

March 19, 7-8pm
Presidio Officer’s Club
50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco

Join the creative team responsible for We Players’ newest large-scale, site-integrated production, Ondine at Sutro, for a lively evening of performance demonstrations and conversation about the creative process.

This evening at the Presidio Officer’s Club will provide a sneak peek into the upcoming project, which will take place on and around the ruins of the old bath house at Lands End and the beautiful Sutro Heights Park above the Cliff House. The presentation will include an introduction to the history and ecology of the environs at Sutro Baths, insights into the production during the early stages of the rehearsal process, including real-time rehearsal of select scenes!

The event will feature:

· Ava Roy, production co-director and producer
· Carly Cioffi, production co-director
· Lauren Chavez, choreographer and producer
· Performers from the upcoming production

This event is free but registration is required due to space constraints.
Please note that registering does not guarantee admission. Registered guests will be offered priority admission that will be honored until 15 minutes before the start of the event.