Canciones del Mar – 2015

We Players presents
Canciones del Mar: Songs of the Sea
Saturday, July 18th, 2015 at 6pm

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Google Maps link 499 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Curated by Music Director Charlie Gurke

Our third annual concert aboard the 1886 tall ship Balclutha!
Five highly-acclaimed Bay Area latin musicians share songs about the sea, boats, love, and life, drawn from the folkloric and popular music traditions of Latin America and the Caribbean.

This event also marked the release of our fantastic recording of the 2014 concert!

Featuring:
Diana Gameros – Vocals and Guitar
Jose Roberto Hernandez – Vocals and Guitar
Edgardo Cambon – Vocals and Percussion
Steve Senft-Herrera – Bass
Charlie Gurke – Saxophone

As part of We Players’ five year cooperative agreement with San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, we collaborate with a wide range of artists, creating work from diverse vantage points in a variety of media as an exercise in exploring the many layers of story within the site. We aim to provide multiple points of access and connection to both the park and our practice.

2014 Run of Rime of the Ancient Mariner CANCELED

Dear Patron,

We are deeply disappointed, and have had to make a very difficult decision to cancel all performances of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner on Alma. All tickets and fees will be refunded this week.

We were saving this for a surprise, but our production of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner on historic schooner Alma was built on the central image of an aerial performer as the Albatross, flying high above the deck, descending her apparatus in a painfully beautiful dance after being shot by the Mariner’s crossbow, all while sailing the San Francisco Bay.

Unfortunately, due to safety concerns related to the aerial performance that we and our partners at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park were unable to overcome, we are unable to proceed with the project at this time.

Alma's wake - sailing the Bay

Over the past several weeks of rehearsal we’ve made great strides in our development of the poem for performance. We have discovered rhythmic and imagistic gems while plumbing the currents of the text, we’ve written songs, we’ve stocked up on salty lingo, and are prepared to get wet. This has been valuable work, and we intend to make use of our investment. We set our sights on a new horizon and trust that we’ll find the time and the place that will best serve our vision for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

We sincerely apologize for this situation and the disappointment it may cause. We truly value you, our audience, and your support of and participation in our work. We don’t exist without you.

Thank you for your understanding and for staying the course with us.

Onward,

Ava Roy and Lauren D. Chavez

Vessels for Improvisation aboard the ferryboat Eureka

When I was approached about programming concerts at SF Maritime as part of We Players’ cooperative agreement with the park, it didn’t take long to figure out what I wanted to do. 

One approach was to explore themes of the sea in latin american music, which we’ve been doing in our Canciones del Mar concerts.

The other approach that came to me was at the other end of the musical spectrum, so to speak. A more ‘pure’ exploration of sound in space, the basic idea was to let improvisers loose in the park to react and respond to the sounds of the pier. The bigger idea is that working with other artists in the familiar site of SF Maritime will help We Players company staff see the Park in new and inspiring ways.

ROVA and Vessels for Improvisation

A longtime fan of the ROVA sax quartet, they were the first ensemble I thought of approaching for this project. For an astounding 35 years, ROVA has been developing an improvisational rapport, making them an ideal group to step into almost any situation with open ears.  Larry and John came to scope out the pier and decided that the ferryboat Eureka was best suited to this endeavor, with ample space for both audience and performers to move freely during the concert.

I had initially conceived of Vessels for Improvisation as a solely musical event, but ROVA expressed interest in collaborating with dancer Shinichi Iova-Koga, which made perfect sense, as movement (of performers and audience alike) would be a major part of Vessels.  Now in it’s second year, I’m very much looking forward to what Vessels will reveal, featuring an expanded ensemble with the addition of John Bischoff on electronics, and Dana Iova-Koga and Dohee Lee from inkBoat joining ROVA and Shinichi.

– Charlie Gurke, Music Director

The Trio Happening

Along Aquatic Park beach goers encountered the Graeae, a mythological trio of women from Ancient Greece, respectively called Dread, Horror and Alarm.

……….The Trio: Caroline Parsons, Maria Leigh and Julie Douglas………e

……………………Location: Aquatic Park, San Francisco
…………………….Date: July 26th, 2014

Encountering the Trio

Saturday July 26, 2014
at THREE o’clock
on the beach at Aquatic Park
(directly in front of the Maritime Museum building)
FREE!

You’re invited! To the first public sharing of The Trio’s practice. The women who wielded elemental powers as the Weyard Sisters in We Players recent Macbeth at Fort Point, continue their exploration of other mythical trios. Join us for a picnic on the beach at Aquatic Park and encounter The Trio between the sand and the sea.

CMJ05

WHERE: Find the Maritime Museum building. Find the clock on the museum facade. Face the water. The Trio is somewhere on the the beach. Meet at the red We Players flag in the sand. They’ll come to you when it’s time.

The Maritime Museum is located at the far end of Beach Street, next to Ghiradelli Square in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood of San Francisco.

WHEN: 3-5pm, Saturday July 26, 2014

WHAT TO BRING/HOW TO PREPARE:
This event is free! But please do:
– Bring a picnic! We’ll have some snacks to share, please bring your own as well.
– Bring a beach towel or blanket, sunscreen and warm layers.
– Prepare to kick your shoes off! This party is in a sandbox.

WHAT ELSE:
The sharing will be immediately followed by a conversation with The Trio. We are eagerly seeking your experience! Your responses will directly inform the next iteration of our work.

Soy Tu Mar (I Am Your Sea)

Canciones del Mar: Songs of the Sea

I have played all sorts of concerts in all kinds of venues but “Canciones del Mar; Songs of the Sea” (curated by Charlie Gurke from We Players) is a very unique and fun concert because our performance will happen aboard a beautiful historic ship, the Balclutha, in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

For an hour and a half Jose Roberto Hernandez (guitar, vocals), Charlie Gurke (saxophone), David Pinto (bass) and Edgardo Cambón (percussion, vocals) and I will take you to a world of sea and love with stories and song.

I’m particularly excited about this year’s performance as I will be sharing one of my original songs, “Soy Tu Mar” (I Am Your Sea), a song that speaks about the sea, or better said, the sea speaks about itself, about its memories, about its joys and fear…through me.

I am very honored to be playing with such broad and talented musicians. We all come from different musical backgrounds so I will be playing and singing songs that, at times, may take me out of my comfort zone which I find to be very exciting as playing and singing styles of music different from mine takes my musicianship to another level. Really looking forward to this beautiful collaboration!

— Diana Gameros, Vocals & Guitar
Canciones del Mar

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.

Canciones Del Mar

Three of the Bay Area’s most exciting vocalists perform an intimate concert, singing songs about the sea, boats, love, and life, drawn from the folkloric and popular music traditions of Latin America and the Caribbean.


Curated by Music Director Charlie Gurke

Featuring:
Diana Gameros – Vocals and Guitar
Jose Roberto Hernandez – Vocals and Guitar
Edgardo Cambon – Vocals and Percussion
Sam Bevan – Bass
Charlie Gurke – Saxophone

……….Location: Aboard the tall ship Balclutha at Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco
……….Date: Saturday, July 13th, 2013

 

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.

Announcing WE’s Collaboration with playwright Daniel Heath

Daniel Heath

We are excited to collaborate with local playwright Daniel Heath, in the creation of a NEW work, designed and built specifically for this site! (premiere date TBD) 

Through historical research, ensemble based practices, interviews with people living in close relationship to the sea, and of course – intimate engagement with the site, We Players produces thought-provoking, site-integrated theatre productions on the dynamic floating stages at Hyde Street Pier and along the local waterfront.

Our connection to the past can be felt in the wood planks of the ships, heard in the clang of the buoy bells, visualized in the lines twisted into coils on the docks. We spin yarns alongside the boat shop, while present day shipwrights employ traditional techniques. Nearby, fishing boats line up to deliver their catch and ferries await their passengers, still traveling the waters of the bay. Because of our deep commitment to partnership and strong working relationship with the park site stewards, our performances not only utilize the spectacular site, but also highlight the rich history and current programming of the park.

Myths of the Mariner and the Muse

Myth

We Players’ MYTHS of the MARINER and the MUSE is an ongoing project taking a variety of performance forms on the historic ships located at Hyde Street Pier, the lagoon, and the surrounding environs of Aquatic Park.  We Players is proud to partner with San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in the first cooperative agreement of it’s kind between an arts non-profit and a National Park Service site.  This five year agreement officially began in August 2012 and will continue through 2017.

To date, projects at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park include a sailing production of The Odyssey (inspired by Homer’s ancient epic), aboard the scow schooner Alma (2011); Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, while cavorting along the pier and aboard both the full-rigged ship Balclutha and the steam-powered ferry boat Eureka (2012); and intimate sea-inspired story sharing aboard Eureka (2012).

In 2013 we will produce a series of music concerts, under the music direction of Charlie Gurke.

We Players Partners with SF Maritime National Historical Park

SFMNPA_logo

We Players is proud to partner with San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in the first cooperative agreement of it’s kind between an arts non-profit and a National Park Service site.  This five year agreement officially began in August 2012 and will continue through 2017.  Our MYTHS of the MARINER and the MUSE will continue in a variety of performance forms on the historic ships located at Hyde Street Pier, the lagoon, and the surrounding environs of Aquatic Park. 

To date, projects at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park include a sailing production of The Odyssey (inspired by Homer’s ancient epic), aboard the scow schooner Alma (2011); Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, while cavorting along the pier and aboard both the full-rigged ship Balclutha and the steam-powered ferry boat Eureka (2012); and intimate sea-inspired story sharing aboard Eureka (2012).

About the site – San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

About San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, located on the edge of San Francisco Bay near Fisherman’s Wharf, is open year-round. Visitors can view exhibits at the Park’s Visitor Center (415-447-5000) at the corner of Jefferson Street and Hyde, and may walk onto the pier to visit the park’s collection of floating historic ships and for breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. Tours, videos and demonstrations are offered daily, including a below-decks tour of the Eureka and a demonstration of setting Balclutha’s staysail. The wooden-hulled Eureka, built in Tiburon in 1890, ferried trains and later automobiles and passengers around San Francisco Bay until 1957. Visitors to Eureka today can see examples of the cars she ferried on her lower deck from 1923 to 1957, her four-story-tall walking beam steam engine, and the upper decks where up to 2300 passengers could travel during each crossing. The Eureka began her service before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, at a time when San Francisco’s Ferry Building was second only to London’s Charing Cross Railway Station as the busiest passenger terminal in the world. Moored across Hyde Street Pier from the Eureka, the Balclutha is a three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged ship built to carry a variety of cargo all over the world. Launched in 1886 near Glasgow, Scotland, the ship carried goods around Cape Horn (tip of South America) 17 times. It took a crew of about 26 men to handle the ship at sea with her complex rigging and 25 sails. Balclutha also had a brief career as a movie star in Mutiny on the Bounty, alongside Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, and narrowly escaped World War II scrap metal drives before being purchased by the San Francisco Maritime Museum in 1954.

The Alma flat-bottomed scow schooner

The performances aboard Alma mark the first phase of We Players’ multi-year exploration of the arc of leaving home, journeying, and returning, via Homer’s ancient epic, The Odyssey.  We Players thanks the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association for their partnership in creating this exciting event.

More about The Alma

The Alma is a flat-bottomed scow schooner built in 1891 to haul goods on and around San Francisco Bay. Alma is similar to scows that were launched and sailed on Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, inland rivers, and other coastal waters of the United States. No scow schooners save Alma are known to survive afloat in the United States. In 1988, she was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now one of the exhibits of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and is to be found moored at the park’s Hyde Street Pier. Visit San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park for more information.

Alma Rehearsal

Monday rehearsal at Hyde Street Pier – in the wind, and the sun, on a boat, in the rigging, rolling on the decks, climbing ratlines, singing into the wind, rigging sails, you know – the usual rehearsal stuff!

Site: The Alma

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.28.35 AM

Alma on San Francisco Bay, ca. 1900

The Odyssey aboard Alma mark the first phase of We Players’ multi-year exploration of the arc of leaving home, journeying, and returning, via Homer’s ancient epic, The Odyssey.  We Players thanks the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association for their partnership in creating this exciting event.

More about The Alma

The Alma is a flat-bottomed scow schooner built in 1891 to haul goods on and around San Francisco Bay. Alma is similar to scows that were launched and sailed on Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, inland rivers, and other coastal waters of the United States. No scow schooners save Alma are known to survive afloat in the United States. In 1988, she was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now one of the exhibits of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and is to be found moored at the park’s Hyde Street Pier. Visit San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park for more information.

We Players presents: The Odyssey on the Alma

ALMA+We_FINAL_2011

This fall, We Players presents a limited engagement of The Odyssey while underway aboard a National Historic Landmark sailing vessel. Join We Players and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park on an afternoon sail through the San Francisco Bay on the 1891 scow schooner Alma, as we spin yarns from Homer’s ancient epic, The Odyssey.

“Set aboard a historic schooner and staged as the craft sails the San Francisco Bay, We Players’ new adaptation of The Odyssey exemplifies how, in theater, the marriage of text with place can reinvigorate both.” SF WEEKLY

We Players is excited to introduce new ways of experiencing and appreciating the waters of our local landscape, in partnership with the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Join us this fall, for one of only eleven performances of The Odyssey on Alma. Less than forty seats are available for each performance. Every performance sail will be followed by a post-show discussion over a simple meal aboard historic ferryboat Eureka. The Odyssey on Alma is the first phase of We Players multi-year exploration of Homer’s epic poem; the company is presently developing an island-wide production for Angel Island, which will be presented in spring 2012.

The Details:

WHAT: We Players’ The Odyssey on historic scow schooner Alma
WHERE: Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
DATES: Fall 2011

Friday, October 28
Saturday, October 29
Friday, November 4
Saturday, November 5
Friday, November 11
Saturday, November 12
Friday, November 18

TIME: Full afternoon adventure! 12:30-5pm
12:30pm – Audience members should arrive to Hyde Street Pier
12:45pm – Board Alma
1-4pm – Sailing performance!
4-5pm – Post show discussion and simple meal on the National Historic Landmark: ferryboat Eureka

Of the wine-dark sea

sailingava

Well, I’m just back from a 2200 nautical mile passage – through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific coast to Cabo San Lucas in Baja.

While at sea, I read several versions of the Odyssey on the foredeck of sailing vessel Kailani.

I love the ancient roots of this material, the epic scope and universal story of the Heroes journey. In some way, each day we go through a version of this journey – we rise to greet the challenges and unexpected adventures of the day, we return ‘home’ – the same person and yet in some way changed, renewed or transformed – even if only a subtle shift, we learn or forget something each day.

We’re beginning the process slowly, steadily, gradually – with a book club of just a few actors to read to each other and discuss the text. And to explore how the stories of the Odyssey relate to our own experiences. Gradually developing an understanding of the Hero and perhaps coming to personal definitions quite different from the concept of the ancient hero, who goes to battle for the spoils of war and for the “glory” and “honor” of it. My conception of a hero is something much more quiet – something like my father, sensitive and smart, patient and steady, deep in himself and knows how to savor the small things.

At sea, I savor the details of the environment. The play of sunlight and moonlight on the surface of the ocean. Infinitely various patterns of light. Flecks of green phosphorescence spraying and fizzling in our wake. The big dipper perfectly vertical off the starboard bow, dipping straight into the bowl of the ocean for a great scoop of liquid night.

Source work in the wine-dark sea…