KQED: The Government Shuts Down Art in San Francisco

Macbeth Presido 14

Lauren Chavez, of the We Players theater group, had to send this message to ticket holders, who still don’t know where or if the show will go on: “Our current production ofMacbeth is built very carefully and conscientiously into Fort Point, the Civil War era fortress beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. For over a year we have been integrating our work into that unique physical, sonic and energetic landscape. Because of the government shutdown we have been blocked from our stage, our most prominent scene partner and creative inspiration.”

 

Travels with A Masked Man

 

TWMF_Hadden

Written and performed by John Hadden
ONE NIGHT ONLY – Friday, October 12 @ 8pm
Location – Passenger Deck of the Eureka
This event is by-invitation only. If you would like to be our guest, please Email Us

Haunted by unanswered questions about his childhood overseas, a man confronts his father—an ex-CIA officer who ruminates darkly on the American Empire, the human animal, and himself. Hadden, who plays both characters, evolved the play from many hours of conversations he taped with his father eight years ago. Alternately poignant and hilarious, the play evokes memories and responses about parents and children and growing up during the Cold War.

John Hadden is a longtime director and actor. He was a founding member of Shakespeare & Co in Lenox, MA and is currently the Artistic Director of The Theater Company at Hubbard Hall, Cambridge, NY.

Following the one-hour performance, desserts and tea accompany a discussion conducted by We Players’s managing director Lauren Chavez, with artistic director Ava Roy and John Hadden.

We Players featured in American Theatre Magazine’s July 2013 cover story on immersive theatre

American-Theatre-magazine

Though the experience was carefully curated, with viewers herded from scene to scene, individual vantage points made for experiential differences. “Even though you’re moving as a group, the spaces we chose were multidimensional,” Roy notes. “I’m staging things way off in the distance, on a cliff above your head. We’re challenging audiences to expand their awareness and perspectives and look above and behind them, below them, off in the distance. People can choose their perspectives, whether they get close to the actor or move farther back.”

Sea Stories Circle – Myths of the Mariner and the Muse

Hyde Street Pier, aboard historic ferryboat Eureka 

Sundays, 2-4pm: April 14, May 19, June 16th * 2013 

Mythmarinerlogo

Join We Players for one or all of these reading events, which will be a crucial part in our process of collecting and sharing stories about the sea as we gradually develop a new show for San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Bring stories, poems, songs, or just come willing to read from the selections that we bring.

These are free events and complimentary beverages and cookies will be provided.

Fort Point

Fort Point has been called “the pride of the Pacific,” “the Gibraltar of the West Coast,” and “one of the most perfect models of masonry in America.” When construction began during the height of the California gold rush, Fort Point was planned as the most formidable deterrence America could offer to a naval attack on California. Although its guns never fired a shot in anger, Fort Point has witnessed Civil War, obsolescence, earthquake, bridge construction, remodeling for later wars, and restoration as a National Historic Site. It stands today beneath the soaring Golden Gate Bridge as a monument to more than two centuries of military presence on San Francisco Bay. The fort also bears silent and eloquent testimony to the craftsmanship of the Army engineers who designed it and the workers who erected it.”  (John Martini, Historian)

Text and images on this page courtesy of the National Park Service website and the National Archives. Please click the photo below to view the official Fort Point website for more information about this spectacular National Park Service site, located directly beneath the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, California. 

1910

Fort Point National Historic Site: History & Culture

Fort Point has stood guard over the narrows of the Golden Gate for over 150 years.

Fort Point has stood guard at the narrows of the Golden Gate for nearly 150 years. It has been called “the pride of the Pacific,” “the Gibraltar of the West Coast,” and “one of the most perfect models of masonry in America.” When construction began during the height of the California Gold Rush, Fort Point was planned as the most formidable deterrence America could offer to a naval attack on California. Although its guns never fired a shot in anger, the “Fort at Fort Point” as it was originally named has witnessed Civil War, obsolescence, earthquake, bridge construction, reuse for World War II, and preservation as a National Historic Site.

Built for the Civil War

Fort Point was built between 1853 and 1861 by the U.S. Army Engineers as part of a defense system of forts planned for the protection of San Francisco Bay. Designed at the height of the Gold Rush, the fort and its companion fortifications would protect the Bay’s important commercial and military installations against foreign attack. The fort was built in the Army’s traditional “Third System” style of military architecture (a standard adopted in the 1820s), and would be the only fortification of this impressive design constructed west of the Mississippi River. This fact bears testimony to the importance the military gave San Francisco and the gold fields during the 1850s.

Although Fort Point never saw battle, the building has tremendous significance due to its military history, its architecture, and its association with maritime history. To learn more about Fort Point before, during and after the Civil War, please visit Fort Point, 1846-1876.

Army’s use of Fort Point during the 20th Century

In the years after the Civil War, Fort Point became underutilized and was used intermittently as an army barracks. The pre-Civil War cannons, so valuable when they were originally installed, became obsolete and were eventually removed. During World War I, the Army remodeled Fort Point for use as a detention barracks, though the building was never ultimately used for that purpose. During the 1920s, the property was used by the Presidio for housing unmarried officers and different military trade schools.

The Golden Gate Bridge and Preservation Plans

In the late 1930s, plans for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge also involved plans for the demolition of Fort Point. Fortunately, Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss recognized the architectural value of the Fort and created a special engineer arch which allowed the construction of the bridge to occur safely over the Fort. During World War II, Fort Point was once again used as temporary housing for soldiers. After World War II, the movement to preserve Fort Point for its historic and architectural value began to grow. Over the next 20 years, support for the preservation movement waxed and waned. In 1959, a group of retired military officers and civilian engineers created the Fort Point Museum Association and lobbied for its creation as a National Historic Site. On October 16, 1970, Fort Point became a National Historic Site.