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.”
“The We Players have been turning public spaces into impromptu playhouses for more than a decade (last year was Hamlet on Alcatraz), but in May, the group presented its most audacious performance yet: a five-hour roving rendition of The Odyssey on Angel Island, wherein the audience is conscripted into the story to cavort with mythical monsters against the backdrop of the San Francisco skyline. With a piece of theater that could leave you grass-stained, sunburned, and in the market for a bronze chest plate, We Players didn’t just break the fourth wall, it toppled the whole playhouse.”
We Players named Best Site-Specific Classicists
It turns out the editor’s picks are extra special – the Guardian wrote a full paragraph about WE:
“This year marks the end of We Players’ three-year collaboration with the National Parks Service on Alcatraz Island. The project showcased the island’s scenic isolation in a number of artistic and community-building endeavors. The stage company’s 2010 marathon production of Hamlet was a tour de force of site-specificity, taking actors and audiences all over the island, including areas normally off-limits to the public. In their imaginative stagings of Macbeth, Hamlet, and Iphigenia, as well as their ongoing art exhibitions for, by, and about incarcerated juveniles and adults, the Players highlight themes of isolation, incarceration, justice, and redemption. They wield their art as a catalyst rather than as nostalgic revival. Their Alcatraz residency ends in the fall. In 2012, it partners with the California Parks Service to stage The Odyssey on Angel Island.”
Check out these beautiful words from the Huffington Post!
“Ms. Roy was invited to be the first artist-in-residence on the island in November 2008 after Amy Brees, the National Park Service’s Alcatraz site supervisor, saw her production of “Macbeth” at Fort Point, the Civil War-era brick-and stone structure tucked under the Golden Gate Bridge. That “Macbeth,” with its closing sword fight on the roof, bridge footlights casting stark shadows and a full moon in the distance, was “the most amazing theater I had ever been to in my life,” Ms. Brees said. “The Park Service is interested in provoking people to think about these places and their meanings,” she said. “At Alcatraz, those themes are justice, punishment, crime, redemption.”