"You are what you repeatedly do” – Aristotle


Heroes and Monsters live among us and within us.
Encounter them up close.


Created and performed by Nathaniel Justiniano & Ava Roy
Original Music by Charlie Gurke
Produced by Lauren Chavez and Ava Roy

Beginning at Sunset
Thursday – Sunday, October 9 – November 1
Fort Mason Center Chapel

In partnership with Fort Mason Center Presents

Performers Ava Roy and Nathaniel Justiniano join forces to create this stunning new work of intensely physical theatre. With an original score by award-winning composer Charlie Gurke, We Players presents a feast of poetry, mythology, and interactive storytelling at the Fort Mason Center Chapel this October, 2015.

The ancient poem Beowulf serves as a provocation, a jumping off point, and as source text. Through rigorous physical and intellectual investigation, we explore and challenge conceptions of heroism and monstrosity, good and evil, light and dark, and how this dynamic lives in all of us. In an explosion of physically and sonically activated text and imagery, this daring duo invites us to examine our relationship with these epic archetypes.

Journey into the dark and illuminated forest of HEROMONSTER
Share in the ritual of gathering and breaking bread together
Enjoy sumptuous food and drink at our banquet table
Linger in the dwindling light as the reverberations of image and sound move through you

This entrancing new production is the first phase in a multi-year exploration and development process for We Players. Subsequent phases will include collaborations with the renowned dance theatre company inkBoat and masters in the avant-garde music scene, the Rova saxophone quartet. Throughout, multiple translations of the ancient anglo-saxon poem Beowulf serve as our guide.

Photos by Lauren Matley & Jim Norrena

Photos by Lauren Matley & Jim Norrena

About the artists: In her sixteen years as the Artistic Director of We Players, Ava Roy has developed a creative process that seamlessly integrates text, artist, and location into an interactive experience that is emotionally, intellectually, and visually provocative. Nathaniel Justiniano is an award winning actor/creator, director, and teacher. Most recently you may have seen him as the Chamberlain and the grotesque Fisherman in Ondine at Sutro or previously in Macbeth at Fort Point or The Odyssey on Angel Island. Nathaniel has co-created and performed in multiple critically-acclaimed productions with his company, Naked Empire Bouffon.

We Players is currently supported by Grants for the Arts/ General Fund Portion of the San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Fort Mason Center Presents. This work was developed while in residence at the Lucas Artist Residency Program, Montalvo Arts Center. 

Please note:
Alcoholic beverages are passed about this gathering in the mead-hall. Please drink responsibly.

+ The Cast

Ava Roy - Creator, performer
Nathaniel Justiniano - Creator, performer
Charlie Gurke - Composer, musician
Steve Adams - Musician

+ The Buzz

SFBay, October 26, 2015: HEROMONSTER pushes theatre to frightening boundaries
SF Examiner, October 15, 2015: We Players brings heroes, monsters to life
Montalvo Arts Blog, September 28, 2015: We Players Explore the Heroic and the Monstrous

+ The Place

Our Mead-Hall:

For We Players, Place is a character.

Locations have distinct energies, personalities and even desires. In the poem Beowulf, King Hrothgar’s great hall of Herot functions as an important cultural institution that provides light and warmth, food and drink - a place for singing, story-telling and safety.

The mead-hall served as a place of refuge within a dangerous and precarious external world - a world continuously threatened by attacks of neighboring peoples and wild beasts of the great northern forests. The mead-hall was also a place of community, where traditions were preserved and loyalty was rewarded. This is where legends were created and perpetuated, reputations were built, fame broadcast, and history written through the telling of it.

Built during the Korean War, the Fort Mason Center Chapel is one of only two remaining military chapels left in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Ten beautiful stained glass windows, which depict several Army branches, the twelve Apostles and eight Hebrew prophets, line both sides of the aisle. Inlaid wood Army insignias adorn the front of the choir loft. Chaplains of all faiths provided services for military members and their families until 1997, when it became part of the Park. While available for private rental, the chapel is now generally closed to the public. We Players is thrilled to bring our audiences into this well-crafted space. Our mead-hall of Herot, like the chapel, is a sanctuary, a refuge for the tired and a place for rituals that support community.