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. 

The Sound and The Fury

There are only two more weeks to join for what audiences and critics are calling “an experience of a lifetime you will never forget!”

Have you seen a performance, but want to revisit the unforgettable images and sounds of Fort Point?
Have you bought your tickets for an upcoming performance, but can’t wait another minute to get into Fort Point?
Enjoy this 3-min video of Macbeth at Fort Point – story & site highlights! (video by Tracy Martin)

We Players presents Macbeth at Fort Point in San Francisco
May 30 – June 29

Film & Editing
Tracy Martin
www.tracymartinphotography.com

See what audiences and critics are saying about We Players’ site-integrated production:

“Entertaining, unnerving, powerful to experience…”

“Amazing and completely engrossing…”

“Those fortunate enough to attend this extraordinary event (it is more than a play) will be revisiting the memories for years to come.”

“The production itself was magnificent!”

“Find a way to go see We Players’ production of
Macbeth at Fort Point. Scratch that – drop everything and run, run, run over and do not miss this show. The most delightful use of performance space you’ll ever experience… I ended up having more fun watching this production than I have in many, many years.”

“An experience of a lifetime you will never forget. The power of location is made clear by these performances of
Macbeth at Fort Point. Don’t miss this opportunity!”

Macbeth at Fort Point 2014: The First Rehearsal

I awoke the morning of Friday, April 25th to rain. Sheets of late, overdue rain which our earth and reservoirs are sorely thirsting for. This is also the day of our first full cast rehearsal on-site at Fort Point. And so, in addition to packing the regular warm layers – hat, scarf and gloves necessary for a day at the Fort – I grabbed my waterproof boots and rain jacket as well. We Players embraces the unpredictable power of the elements, and work with equal vigor in the easeful sunshine or in the rain and cold.

Our group gathers just before the rangers open the gates to the fortress at 10am. We file in and mount the three flights of stairs to our green room, where we circle and check-in with each other, reviewing basic rules of working at an NPS site, as well as where props and costumes live, where We Players famous snack bin will be kept, and who among us are trained as first responders. Physical safety is a serious consideration for us, as we work in potentially hazardous environments and our work is athletic and physically embedded into the space. At Fort Point our main concerns are the slippery stairs and stones, which are very nearly always wet, thanks to the fog that condenses there daily, as well as the unlit corridors and shadowy corners we must navigate, sometimes while moving quite quickly.

We return to the Parade Ground to begin our walk-through of the performance route. Along the way, we identify our hidden storage locations, the pathways actors may take secretly during performance and primarily, mark the route the audience takes through the journey of the play. We gather again in the dark northwest corner of the third floor, a shaft of light filters in through the narrow window speckled with red lichen. We move through a series of exercises intended to help us awaken our senses (particularly beyond the dominant sense of sight), and to connect physically and energetically with the fortress. We move slowly at first, and without words. Eventually, character personalities begin to emerge, as do dissected lines of text. We explore, still mostly without words, how we interact with each other, with the multitude of sharp right angles, and with the negative spaces.

We take particular note of the lack of feminine energy in the structure itself – the cold, the thick, the sharp, the angular, the imposing, the powerful fortress of brick and stone lines. And yet, Nature persists. She creeps in through the cracks and pours into the open mouth of the fortress from above. The rain pools in the corners of the Parade Ground and the wind describes subtle and softly shifting patterns on the surface of these pools. The intensely bright green, orange and silver lichens grow profusely on the brick walls and form soft clusters of gentle but tenacious life.

We emerge dusted with red powder from the brick and share what we collected. In a way, this kind of sense work is very simple. But by taking the time to engage in this way, not driven by intellect or idea (or worse, concept), we begin to discover our characters. A process more of rooting, tracking and revealing that deciding and inventing.

“And with the upward rise, and with the vastness grow…”

-Ava Roy, Co-director of Macbeth at Fort Point 2014

‘The Bold Italic’ Interview

Local journalist and writer, Daniel Hirsch, interviews Artistic Director, Ava Roy, about We Players’ upcoming production of Macbeth at Fort Point 2014. Read on!

The Next Experimental Performance to Sell Out ASAP

by Daniel Hirsch, The Bold Italic

Dark clouds gathered over theater company We Players 2013 production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth — and that was perfect. The company specializes in “site-integrated” performances in which they stage classical productions in outdoor landmarks and historical sites. Since 2009, We Players has partnered with the National Parks Service to produce Hamlet on Alcatraz and an adaption of The Odyssey on Angel Island, among other productions. To mount its version of Macbeth, We Players selected Civil War-era fortress Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge. For a tale of power struggles and dark forces that take place in the tumultuous, rainy Scottish highlands, the foreboding weather was icing on a cake already rich with atmospherics.

But metaphoric dark clouds were also brewing—in Washington, DC. Midway through We Player’s sold-out run, the government shutdown forced the company to cancel several of its performances because Fort Point was suddenly inaccessible to the public. This June, We Players is remounting its successful production to both make up for the lost performances (over 1,000 ticket-holders were turned away) and to rethink Shakespeare’s dark masterpiece. It promises to take audience members all over the fort, offering chills of the emotional and physical variety.

As the company begins preparing its return to Fort Point, I interviewed Ava Roy, We Players’ artistic director who also plays Lady Macbeth, about the dark magic of this famous play, San Francisco landmarks worth loving, and government incompetency.

Macbeth is famous for being a cursed play … Theaters that presented it have burned down and actors involved in it have seen their careers ruined. Do you believe in the curse? Do you think the government shutdown was a manifestation of that curse?

[Laughs] I’m not that superstitious. The play is definitely dealing with some intense themes and energies, and I try to respect them. The government shutdown was one of the motivating factors and an initial impetus to do it again, but it [also] provides us a chance to explore the text in new ways and go deeper into the material. For example, in 2013, we cast all the warriors as very young men, exploring the theme of how boys become men as warriors. Now, we’ve cast much older actors, in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. It really changes the fundamental power structure, and political relationships in the play.

Did having to deal with the government shutdown affect the way you thought about this play at all?

It didn’t change my thinking about the play itself, but it definitely felt grossly appropriate. As much as it was painful and upsetting, it also felt like: oh my God, the government is perfectly modeling what this play is about. A lot of my goal in doing Shakespeare is about how do we make people see relevance in our present moment. I couldn’t ask for anything more perfect to demonstrate how power corrupts. People in Washington were making —or rather, not making – choices and not seeming to see or care that their actions were affecting individuals, small organizations, and communities.

Why did you choose Fort Point for Macbeth?

Physically, the space is perfect. It’s this big, brick, damp, cold fortress. In terms of thematic connection, it was built during Civil War, but it was pretty much obsolete by the time it was completed. It speaks to the futility of protection. Everything Macbeth does to protect himself is basically futile. Sonically, as well as environmentally, there’s this constant buzz and throbbing noise from the sound of cars on the bridge above, the waves outside, the wind, you can’t get away from it … from the very beginning, you get this sense you’re shot out of a gun, the play really accelerates, and you can’t escape.

What’s your relationship been like with the National Parks Service?

Since we started working with the Parks Service, they are now developing protocol for more artists to use their spaces. It’s been really great to feel like part of movement. We have a shared mission of increasing attention and relevancy to these sites … A lot of what we do attracts more local visitors to parks. After we did Hamlet at Alcatraz, a lot of longtime local audience members told me that was the first time they’d visited …When you have a powerful emotional experience in a place, it changes your relationship to the place. The larger benefit is how we can change our world and our relationship to it.

If you could stage a performance of any play at any famous landmark, natural or man-made, what would it be and why?

The truth is every where I go, I’m making a list. I’ve been cultivating this way of thinking for a long time. I’m pretty interested in Greece and Grecian ruins. The first place I’d go outside of the States would be some semi-rubble and ruin in Crete or somewhere.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Dress warmly if you come to Fort Point. It is really cold out there.

We Players’ 2014 production of Macbeth at Fort Point opens June 5th-29th at Fort Point. Tickets just went on sale and tend to sell out, so grab yours quickly if you want to go. Prices range from $30 for previews to $75 for Saturday nights with post-performance receptions.

Production Staff Interviews for We 2014

If you like how We Players transforms public space, builds community, and engages timeless themes and current social issues, one of the most fulfilling ways to deepen this practice and expand your own awareness is to get involved!

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WE are looking to expand our community of qualified production staff including: Costume Designers (preference for applicants w/ apparel design & garment making experience); Lighting Designers; Production Managers; Stage Managers; Properties Masters; Carpenters; and Go-get-em all-purpose production team members!

We are hosting two days of production staff “speed-dating” as an opportunity for company directors to meet with a wide range of skilled and experienced theatre designers and technicians. Sessions are 20 minutes each, scheduled on the half hour. By appointment only.

DATES & LOCATIONS: 

Wednesday 1/8/14 12-3pm, East Bay location near Bart (TBA)

This “speed dating” is akin to an informational interview. Extended interviews with candidates for 2014 projects will be scheduled by invitation.

REQUIRED: Send resume to we@weplayers.org. Please include a brief personal statement and note why you are interested in working with We Players and/or engaging in site-specific performance. Please list all your available times in order of preference and we will do our best to accommodate. Please explore our website and familiarize yourself with our artistic practice before responding. Our site-integrated work is very unique and unlike traditional theatre experiences. Projects take place in a wide range of Bay Area settings, usually outdoors and in direct relationship with the elements. Our work is for the hardy of spirit and body, it is intense and immersive.