Step right up and behold!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! 

Caesar returns home from battle and the villagers are flocking to the Concourse Maximus to celebrate her victory. News spreads fast in Rome and the streets are on fire with all the local celebrities gathering for the feast of Lupercal. Don't miss their amazing feats of strength and seduction! 

Our glorious leader Julius Caesar has won another stunning victory against the enemies of Rome! It all began when former ally Pompey the Great objected to Caesar’s new title of Dictator-For-Life. Pompey, a Senator, put together a striking team of wealthy and stylish Romans, including the hometown favorite Marcus Brutus. But Pompey never had a chance against the greatest general in the known world. Caesar is merciful, and after the ferocious pounding, she forgave her beloved Brutus! Caesar may be getting that crown after all. You heard it here! Happy endings really do happen.

In other news, Cinna the Poet has been spotted singing outside Caesar’s window at all hours of the night. “Caesar loves me well” the well known street singer admitted to yours truly, “I have a new song coming soon, O Cesare!” Caesar’s wife Calpurnia declined to comment at this time, although she did have good words for the patent medicine she’s been popping: “keeps the organs youthful!” affirms the soon-to-be Empress of Rome.

Are the rumors true? Does domestic disharmony dwell in the Brutus household? Gossips whisper that Rome’s favorite senator has been keeping to himself, taking long walks late into the night. What does his little lady Portia get up to when the noble Roman is not around?

Speaking of Noble Romans, the well given Caius Cassius has pledged a thousand drachmas to repair the defaced statue of Pompey at the Capitol. A risky move from the normally cautious gentleman. Sources have spotted him behind pillars having shadowy conversations with Rome’s elite. What could the senator be up to?

Rome’s most eligible Bachelor Marc Antony has announced he will lead the festivities at the Feast of the Lupercal. “This will be a traditional Lupercalia” insists Antony.  Know for his lavish parties, the carrouser continued, “But we’ll also have some fun!” Antony has climbed the ladder of Roman Politics with ease, recently named Master of the Horse. That’s second in line to Caesar!

If this year’s Feast of the Lupercal is anything like last year’s, all of Rome will be in their best attire, some of them will climb on rooftops, and a small fringe may turn violent and burn several buildings. Remember to vote Caesar in the next election! 

 

From the Editor's Desk: Caesar Maximus is infused with 19th century popular entertainments of circus and opera, and the glitz and glitter of modern Imperialism echoes it's ancestry in ancient Rome. Is it any wonder? The wheel of fortune spins, time comes round...


CAESAR MAXIMUS at The Music Concourse

Thursdays-Sundays now through September 30

Step right up and get your ticket to a show you'll never forget!

"Time has come round" - CAESAR MAXIMUS previews begin tomorrow!

CAESAR MAXIMUS: A show not to be missed, folks!

Experience Julius Caesar as you never have before, at The Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park, surrounded by iconic San Francisco landmarks.

Don’t take our word for it, get a taste of our Rome in this sneak preview!

Get your tickets before they’re gone!
http://weplayers.org/caesar-maximus-2018

Be our hero - help GUARD ROME

"LET LUCIUS AND TITINIUS GUARD OUR DOOR"

-Brutus, Julius Caesar

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We Players is seeking security warrior/ stuff guardians for CAESAR MAXIMUS.

The job is simple but VITAL! We've had some valuable production elements stolen in some recent break-ins and need a volunteer to stand watch (or sit watch, up to you) for us during the performance. 

Bring a book and snacks and chill while vigilantly watching our production vehicle and storage container (they have fun names like Animo and Momoco)! Your post will be in the parking lot behind the bandshell in the Music Concourse at Golden Gate Park. The lot is safe for people, but not so much for props. It's lit and night will only just be falling as the show ends. There is foot and vehicle traffic as well. 

We just want to communicate to potential thieves that we are watching. Your mere presence will prevent crime! 

Work as many or as few shifts as you like, we're happy to have your help! You'll receive a complimentary ticket to the show for every shift you work, plus you'll totally have our undying gratitude!

We so appreciate your enthusiasm to support our work.  Thank you! 

-We Players

CAESAR MAXIMUS takes place at The Music Concourse,
Thursdays- Sundays August 16 - September 30. 

Save the Date - the We Players 2018 Season Launch Party is coming

Party Like it's 44 BC!

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Join We Players on the Ides of March
 at The General's Residence to celebrate the launch of our upcoming season.
Get the first taste of 2018...

Come out in celebration of art and community and meet some of the Roman Women who will inhabit The Palace of Fine Arts this spring! 

Help us imagine new worlds and transform precious public places into inspired landscapes where tales of antiquity marry our own cultural reality. 

Join us at
We Players' 2018 Season Launch Party
March 15, 7pm-10pm
at the General's Residence,
Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture,
San Francisco

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Our 5th annual Canciones del Mar concert was a dream!

"THE SACRED RADIANCE OF THE SUN"

- King Lear

Our 5th annual Canciones del Mar concert was a dream. Thank you dancers, listeners, and stellar musicians! 

Photos: ACT OUT Photography, Jim Norrena

Photos: ACT OUT Photography, Jim Norrena

A standing ovation for the jaw-dropping sunset streaking resplendent colors across the sky, melting everything into liquid gold, and slipping off into violet clouds. 

Big thanks to our friends at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and to the warm wooden embrace of ferryboatEureka. We'll be back! 

Meantime, the songs of el pulpo (the octopus) y el calamar (the squid), of sailboats and canoes and the teasing love affair of the waves against the sand, murmur in our memories...

Photo: Lauren Matley

Photo: Lauren Matley


Mother Lear starts this weekend with private home performances in SF and San Anselmo!

On opening weekend you can find mama Lear on the roof of a dramatic SOMA warehouse, surrounded by the urban jungle, as well as amongst live oaks upon a golden hilltop. 

Be sure to catch We Players' trademark exterior open space performances of Mother Lear in the South Bay at Montalvo Arts Center, and in San Francisco at the beautifully expansiveMcLaren Park. Find unique intimate performances under The Sukkah at The Jewish Community Center East Bay, and at other spectacular private residences around the Bay Area.

Nick Medina: nominated for Outstanding Male Actor in a featured role

The 2017 Theatre Bay Area Awards ceremony arrives on October 30th and We Players is nominated for eight (eight!) awards for our recent productions of Romeo & Juliet, BEOWULF, and Midsummer of Love.

For Midsummer of Love, Nick Medina was nominated for Outstanding Male Actor in a featured role. This is especially impressive given that Nick gallantly stepped in with three days of rehearsal! Congratulations, Nick, and thank you. And a big shout out to Nathaniel Justiniano, who originated the role!



Photos by Lauren Matley

We Players lands 8 Theatre Bay Area Awards nominations

The 2017 Theatre Bay Area Awards ceremony arrives on October 30th and We Players is nominated for eight (eight!) awards for our recent productions of Romeo & Juliet, BEOWULF, and Midsummer of Love.

For BEOWULF, Yoshi Asai is nominated for Outstanding Properties Design, Allen Willner for his Outstanding Lighting Design, and Maria Chenut for her Outstanding Costume Design! Congratulations!

Photos: Lauren Matley

HEAR THE SONGS OF THE SEA

Canciones del Mar pulls into port in just ten days!
Saturday, 9/23, 6:30pm

We Players' Music Director, Charlie Gurke

We Players' Music Director, Charlie Gurke

Come celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month at Canciones del Mar, aboard Eureka, the 1890 side-wheel paddle steamboat at Hyde Street Pier.

Have a listen to La Piragua, from Canciones del Mar!

Join our "Captain's Club"! 
Any donation to We Players made between now and 9/23 in the amount of just $10 or more puts you in the Captain's Club!

We're delighted to offer complimentary  Canciones del Mar drinks to our Captain's Club members.

Please note: We can not accept any donations on-site at the event and drinks will not be available for purchase.

So wet your bosun's whistle and join the Captain's Club today!  

Mother Lear draws ever near

"YOU ARE WELCOME HITHER"

- King Lear

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We are thrilled to announce our next production!

MOTHER LEAR

An irascible scholar with dementia communicates with her caretaker daughter using only the text of Shakespeare's King Lear, as the two struggle with aging, love, and their own balance of power. 

A facilitated conversation on the themes of death and dying immediately follows each performance.

Join us at unique and intimate venues around San Francisco Bay this autumn to experience this powerful two-person distillation of one of the Bard's greatest works.


Actor Spotlight: Libby Oberlin

Drum roll, please! Here’s our Romeo & Juliet Actor Spotlight #2! 
Meet Libby Kelly Oberlin as CAPULET (Lord and Lady) 

Q: Describe We Players in four words. 
A: Profound, extraordinary, meaningful, purposeful 

 Q: How has working with We Players changed your perspective of theater, or of the world at large?
 A: Shakespeare got it right when he said, “All the world’s a stage” and We Players takes that quite literally. Working with We really makes you realize that art can and _is_ happening all around us- and it does not have to be confined to a theater. I’ve worked on non-traditional stages and locations but the thought, research, and care that We puts into deriving meaning from a place is quite special. The place becomes another character, another player, and a real means of inspiration.

Q: Any funny or memorable We Players moments, anecdotes, quotes/metaphors you’d like to share? 
A: I think I’m going to get away with it this time so don’t tell Ava or Brooke but, in the past two shows that I’ve performed with We I’ve had the “pleasure” of wearing a flesh colored unitard, known as the nuditard. When in the nuditard during rehearsals, I’d sometimes wear a sweatshirt to keep warm. Park goers always did a double take when they saw me, as it looked like I forgot to put on my pants. Memorable, for sure! 

 Q: What’s your hometown? How has it shaped you? 
A: I grew up in Springfield Massachusetts, the birth place of basketball. No, I’m not a good basketball player but I definitely jammed and broke a number of fingers when I played as a kid. Most Springfield residents I know have an incredible knowledge of and mental repertoire of 90’s R&B songs, myself included. Mary J Blige was/is everything!! 

 Q: If you weren’t an actor, what would you be, and why?
 A: I’ve always known I would be an actor. Since I was seven years old. In addition to acting, I’m also a theater teacher. I can’t get enough! 

 Q: Tell us about some new favorite of yours, whether it’s a lunch dish, a singer, movie, color, or something else entirely. What is it about this new thing that’s rocking your world? 
A: As of 3 years ago, my new favorite person is my daughter Maeve. She’s the coolest!     

 

Photos by Tina Case and Jim Norrena 

Spring has arrived

“Come, we burn daylight, ho!”
– Romeo & Juliet

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We welcome the lengthening days…
Let us rise in the light and bask on stones in the sun!
Or however you best fill the hours with the joy of nature and creative discovery.

Thank you Gala attendees for celebrating the equinox with us,
and for helping kick off our 2016 season with your tremendous support.

We raised $50,000 for site-integrated theatre!

THANK YOU
to all our supporters,
our inaugural award winner – Ruth Tringham,
our fabulous culinary artist – Andrea Blum,
our 35 volunteers and 22 in-kind donors.

What a joyous occasion, a fitting spring celebration of art, new life and community!

-------------------------------------- 
We’re soon heading into our April residency at the Montalvo Arts Center

 

Stay tuned via social media for live-from-the-studio reports from our cast and creative team as we immerse ourselves in the world of the play, dig into the text, develop dances and sword fights and swoon under the stars. 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
CAPULET BALL TICKETS NOW ON SALE!
Join us at one of four stunning sites for this interactive performance and party –
 an elaborate prelude to our full scale production later this summer

Info and Tickets

We wish you rambunctious adventures with your nearest and dearest, 
along with quiet moments of stillness
for savoring the tiny blossoms and sweetly scented air of spring.

boundless gratitude for life and love!
*

Equinox Excursions

Mid-March through mid-April is best time of year to visit Golden Gate Park’s Dutch Windmill and Tulip Garden. This garden was gifted to the city in 1902 by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. The cherry blossoms at the park’s Japanese Tea Garden are in full bloom as well.

2014 Reflections

“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have.
Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”
 – Henry James

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2014!

A quick recap: we rallied after the effects of the 2013 Government Shut Down and re-activated our stunning Macbeth at Fort Point, we brought the joyous Canciones del Mar back to the tall ship Balclutha and the provocative and entrancing Vessels for Improvisation back to the ferry boat Eureka (both vessels at Hyde Street Pier); we experimented with roving site-based performance with King Fool, our two-person distillation of King Lear, and we spent five fruitful weeks immersed in rehearsal for our sailing production of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Shortly before the expected opening performance of Rime on Halloween, we confronted the challenge of discerning between radically compromising the vision and honoring the core artistic integrity of the piece. We chose the latter. We trust this will lead us to a resplendent fully realized production in due time.

In just a few short months we launch our fabulous annual dinner theatre gala (February 28, save the date!) and then dive into rehearsals for our newest site-integrated colossus: a sprawling and gorgeous Ondine at Sutro. Meanwhile, as the days curl with surprising quickness into cozy darkness, and the crisper chill of autumn air carries us into cave of winter, we embrace this seasonal shift as an opportunity for reflection and envisioning what dreams may come…

In truth, this task of self-reflection is an ongoing and ever-present part of our practice within We Players. Though sometimes confusing and always challenging, to me, these questions are essential, like bread and water.

* Why make art? * What’s the core purpose? * Who is it for? * What’s the intention of a work? * Why does it matter? * What do I have to share that is truly of value? * What do I want to see more of in the world? * How can I contribute to that? * How do we achieve maximum and meaningful impact with our work? * How does our art support the expansion and elevation of the human spirit? *

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This fall, as I engage with these impossible and crucial questions, I find myself peering back into the mists of spring 2000 when We Players was born, and still more questions bubble up.

* Why did I form We Players? What were my questions then? What were my intentions then?

What were the foundational inspirations and principles guiding the work then? Which are still true now? Which have changed? What have I forgotten that is still essential and must be remembered? Why site-specific work? Why participatory? Why Shakespeare? What’s the role of ritual in making theatre? Why We Players?

Through these questions we continually stretch and strengthen our established practice (our methodologies, intentions, aesthetic and purpose), which enlivens public place, challenges the intellect, stretches the capacity for feeling and empathy, and elevates the spirit.

2015 is just around the bend! In addition to Ondine at Sutro in the spring, we’ll be opening the first of several visual art exhibitions at the SF Maritime Museum in February, sharing a series of dynamic presentations at the newly opened Officer’s Club in the Presidio throughout the year, and announcing a still-secret smaller scale work at a surprise location in the fall.

I look forward to sharing with you thrilling performances, rich with moments of shocking beauty, charged with vital questions and bright with both expansive natural vistas and the radiance of the human spirit. 

xo

Ava Roy

Artistic Director, We Players

King Fool Artist Statement

Every one of us will die, and we will all witness the death of loved ones. We lose things; we lose friends and opportunities all our lives. How we approach loss–and death is the ultimate loss–can make the difference between fear and acceptance.

This is an Everyman Lear. In our play, Cordelia finds her father, Lear, who has wandered off to a remote place. In his disjointed state, he mostly doesn’t recognize her; he imagines all the others around him. They go through the old hurts one more time, fighting, cursing, scheming, then giving in, weeping and laughing. He is the king of his story, as we all are. His caretaker daughter is his fool and a host of other voices, but at last he recognizes her fully as she conducts him to his last breath.

This two-person, one-hour distillation of King Lear is designed to invite conversations about the meaning and experience of death. Each performance will be followed by a conversation with the artists, special guests –  including those whose life’s work involves the dying, and audience members who wish to participate.

— Ava Roy & John Hadden