2015 Reflections

We at We Players are so grateful…

that we get to spend so much time outdoors
in historically-significant, culturally-charged, environmentally rich, and stunningly beautiful locations.

We Outdoors 4

It’s our great joy to scout them out, to invest in complex partnerships with the federal and state governments, and to collaborate with talented artists from around the Bay Area and the world- all to bring thrilling works of art to our public parks.

And we thank YOU for joining us in the fog and mist, in the blustery cold of our coastal climes, in the sun-kissed open spaces, for climbing steep hills and sitting on the ground, for gathering in the dwindling light to enter the unknown in our mead hall. For braving the elements and opening your hearts to the stories we share.
We are SO excited to announce our 2016 sites and programs, we’ll be blaring our horns with news in January.

Before we launch into the new year and all its new adventures, we’re taking some time to reflect on 2015, lessons learned and accomplishments achieved. We’re feeling really grateful for you, our extended community, and we’re feeling proud and humbled at once by what you’ve told us about your experiences with We Players this year.


Savor the sweetness with us!

Here’s what you and your fellow audience members had to say
about Ondine at Sutro this spring and HEROMONSTER at the Fort Mason Center Chapel this fall…

You told us that HEROMONSTER was:

HEROMONSTER feedback - 965px v2

You said the…

“intensity was palpable and visible in every calculated move made, sweat drop wiped, and grunt or gasp heard.”

and that we “populated [your] dreams with stirring visions”

And you shared personal discoveries:

“Gradually an idea emerged in my mind that had to do with ritual performance of a very old epic story taking place at an annual gathering of which we were part.”

“After all the battles, in the quiet of the aftermath, we wonder…would there still be heroes and monsters if we all lived in a world where everyone practiced how to be more kind, more loving?”

Our thanks to you, for joining us for HEROMONSTER

 


Earlier this year…

y’all couldn’t get enough of that sparkly sea nymph and her sexy silly knight errant!

You told us that Ondine at Sutro was:

“beautiful, smart, and funny”
“mesmerizing”
“unbearably beautiful”
“Superb! So funny, so poignant, too good.”
“the only time I can remember soaring pelicans bringing tears to my eyes”

Ondine - Act 1 - Pelicans - Hans - Jim Norrena_82A0650 - 965px

And that this is what happened to you:

“I left the piece feeling very filled up, inspired, and awake.”

“I will always remember the magical way We Players used the environs–most particularly the ending, when Ondine and the Old One disappeared over the ridge toward the fog-enshrouded sea. For me, that moment was perfection.”

Ondine_35 965px

“It’s not often that I feel that time has stood still during a performance and that was one of those times.”

“Once again, thanks to We Players I discovered a fabulous new space up to then unknown.”

And the head of SF Rec and Parks, Phil Ginsburg shared that:
“Yesterday’s performance was magical. It was one of the most unique and special theater (or park) experiences I have ever had. Thank you for introducing us to a whole new way of experiencing the elements in that spectacular setting. Thank you for opening our minds and hearts to what the Parks have to offer!”

Ondine Preview-146 965px
In closing, here is a letter we received from an Ondine attendee:

I have continued to think of Ondine throughout the day today — what a profound, magical, and artful experience it was to enter Ondine’s world yesterday.

[My husband] spotted a whale breaching in the Golden Gate, just moments before Hans commented that, in his world, whales could pass between a man and woman in the course of a day…

As we wound our way up the hill to Sutro Heights, I was struck by how radiantly happy everyone was around me, the crowd of We Players attendees all smiling and laughing, in a way that is quite rare in our present-day rush and seriousness, and in a way that seemed to be contagious to those passersby staring in wonder at what must have appeared like our own private carnival. And then spotting the Old One standing above us on a cliff, silently watching our progress.

And when Ondine was wrenched from her consuming grief, by the third call of her name, the stark silence was softened by a burst of quiet birdsong in the tree above her, making it seem all the more real that this was indeed a sudden new dawn for her, and my eyes filled with tears. As Ondine and her fellow spirit beings disappeared into the swirling mist toward the sea, tears streamed down my face.

Thank you for creating this magic. For bringing us to greater awe and connection with the magic already in the land around us here, and in the waters and mists and silent ancient stories they hold.

Thank you for sharing your stories with us. We love you.

Happy Holidays!

Ondine at Sutro – Weekend


Saturday and Sunday Performances

May 2 – June 7, 2015
4:30 – 8PM

by Jean Giraudoux, translation by Maurice Valency

Co-Directed by Carly Cioffi & Ava Roy


Ondine Tickets

NOTE: NO REFUNDS. NO EXCHANGES. Please choose your dates carefully. 

Is your desired performance date not available? This page displays ticketing for Saturday and Sunday shows only.  Visit our events calendar to choose other performance options.

See our Ondine at Sutro portfolio page for more about the play, the people, and the place.


Tix, tix, tix!

Ondine’s Preview weekend is SOLD OUT!

Don’t Delay! Get your tickets today!

 

Don’t wait until it’s too late…

Experience this enchanted fairy tale fraught with naiads, knights, kings and feats of magic!

 

The Sutro District is breathtakingly beautiful! Our creative team is hard at work and play in the salt spray and on sun-kissed cliffs of our wild coastal stage. We are awakening the magic of this classic French fairy tale, as the love between our sea sprite and knight errant unfolds at Lands End.

 

Join us for this grand adventure!

Springing into Action!

Springtime Celebrations!

Join us in the great outdoors as the world turns towards warmer weather

Spring blooms

“Nature awakes; a warmth
Breathes out of her:
See how she gins to blow
Into life’s flower again!”
– Pericles

The lengthening days are much welcomed – we can rise to greet the dawn and savor golden rays in the evening before the sun passes out of sight. This season, We Players wishes you sunlit walks in your neighborhood parks, sea foam and salt spray while dancing in the sand at your closest beach, the freshest fruits of the flowering trees, community and joi-de-vivre!

We are all abuzz with our newest artistic visions! We are so excited to share unforgettable experiences, enchanting stories, sunsets and stunning views with YOU in 2015.

Visit us during our on-site rehearsal process at Sutro this month and next and experience the creative process live! We’ll be rehearsing the music, movement and scene work on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Come explore the Sutro district and keep your eyes peeled for performers hidden in plain view…

Happy Equinox!
from all of We


Spring Forth with some of the area’s most engaging art and performances!

 Buoy A New Deal: Continuing the Legacy of Maritime Art in the Park

We Players presents an exhibition of site-inspired works by eight bay-area artists
on display at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s Maritime Museum.
A New Deal runs through June 17th.

 

Ondine at Sutro Ondine at Sutro: A heart-wrenching story of love and enchantment

Awaken to a springtime adventure where worlds collide,
love blooms, and we encounter the creatures of the sea at Lands End.
Ondine at Sutro opens with a splash on May 1st and runs through June 7th, and tickets are on sale now!

Button - Ondine tix


More equinox treats:

The San Francisco International Arts Festival runs May 17 through June 7th & right now you can access Early Bird tickets (at just $12!) for performances by over 70 artists and companies from near and far.

For your springtime Shakespearean pleasure! “In the spring time, the only pretty ring time/ When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding/ Sweet lovers love the spring” (Click to enjoy the full song)

An equinox solar eclipse will be visible in Europe on Friday morning & the ESA has minisatellites positioned to observe sky & earth during the event. Wikipedia’s entry for it has great gifs showing the play of sun & shadow.

Ondine at Sutro: Performance Demonstration & Conversation

Company reading of Ondine, 2014

Ondine at Sutro: Performance Demonstration & Conversation

March 19, 7-8pm
Presidio Officer’s Club
50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco


Join the creative team responsible for We Players’ newest large-scale, site-integrated production, Ondine at Sutro, for a lively evening of performance demonstrations and conversation about the creative process.

This evening at the Presidio Officer’s Club will provide a sneak peek into the upcoming project, which will take place on and around the ruins of the old bath house at Lands End and the beautiful Sutro Heights Park above the Cliff House. The presentation will include an introduction to the history and ecology of the environs at Sutro Baths, insights into the production during the early stages of the rehearsal process, including real-time rehearsal of select scenes!

The event will feature:

· Ava Roy, production co-director and producer
· Carly Cioffi, production co-director
· Lauren Chavez, choreographer and producer
· Performers from the upcoming production

 

This event is free but registration is required due to space constraints.
 Please note that registering does not guarantee admission. Registered guests will be offered priority admission that will be honored until 15 minutes before the start of the event.

 

We at the Presidio

 

11cropped965px

Join We Players at the Presidio Officer’s Club
this Thursday, January 22, for an inside view
into our unique site-integrated theatre inspirations!

 

Artistic director Ava Roy will share a multimedia presentation of previous work, discuss the company’s unprecedented collaboration with the National Park Service, and engage in a conversation with the audience about We Players’ artistic goals and methods.

Details:
Presidio Officer’s Club
50 Moraga Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94129
415-561-4400
7-8pm, Thursday January 22nd
FREE!


But wait, there’s more!

Ondine reading

We Players returns to the Presidio on March 19th with a special sneak peek into our upcoming project Ondine at Sutro, which will take place on and around the ruins of the old bath house at Lands End and the beautiful Sutro Heights Park above the Cliff House. The evening will include movement, music, and scene sharing, an introduction to the history and ecology of the environs at Sutro Baths, and insights into the production during the early stages of the rehearsal process.

This event will feature:
Ava Roy, director and producer
Lauren Chavez, choreographer and producer
Charlie Gurke, composer and music director
and
Performers from the upcoming production

Details:
Presidio Officer’s Club
50 Moraga Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94129
415-561-4400
7-8pm, Thursday March 19th
FREE!

2014 Reflections

“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have.
Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”  – Henry James

Backstage at Macbeth at Fort Point, 2014

2014!

A quick recap: we rallied after the effects of the 2013 Government Shut Down and re-activated our stunning Macbeth at Fort Point, we brought the joyous Canciones del Mar back to the tall ship Balclutha and the provocative and entrancing Vessels for Improvisation back to the ferry boat Eureka (both vessels at Hyde Street Pier); we experimented with roving site-based performance with King Fool, our two-person distillation of King Lear, and we spent five fruitful weeks immersed in rehearsal for our sailing production of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Shortly before the expected opening performance of Rime on Halloween, we confronted the challenge of discerning between radically compromising the vision and honoring the core artistic integrity of the piece. We chose the latter. We trust this will lead us to a resplendent fully realized production in due time.

In just a few short months we launch our fabulous annual dinner theatre gala (February 28, save the date!) and then dive into rehearsals for our newest site-integrated colossus: a sprawling and gorgeous Ondine at Sutro. Meanwhile, as the days curl with surprising quickness into cozy darkness, and the crisper chill of autumn air carries us into cave of winter, we embrace this seasonal shift as an opportunity for reflection and envisioning what dreams may come…

In truth, this task of self-reflection is an ongoing and ever-present part of our practice within We Players. Though sometimes confusing and always challenging, to me, these questions are essential, like bread and water.

* Why make art? * What’s the core purpose? * Who is it for? * What’s the intention of a work? * Why does it matter? * What do I have to share that is truly of value? * What do I want to see more of in the world? * How can I contribute to that? * How do we achieve maximum and meaningful impact with our work? * How does our art support the expansion and elevation of the human spirit? *

We Players - Rime of the Ancient Mariner 2014 - Rehearsal

This fall, as I engage with these impossible and crucial questions, I find myself peering back into the mists of spring 2000 when We Players was born, and still more questions bubble up.

* Why did I form We Players? What were my questions then? What were my intentions then?

What were the foundational inspirations and principles guiding the work then? Which are still true now? Which have changed? What have I forgotten that is still essential and must be remembered? Why site-specific work? Why participatory? Why Shakespeare? What’s the role of ritual in making theatre? Why We Players?

Through these questions we continually stretch and strengthen our established practice (our methodologies, intentions, aesthetic and purpose), which enlivens public place, challenges the intellect, stretches the capacity for feeling and empathy, and elevates the spirit.

2015 is just around the bend! In addition to Ondine at Sutro in the spring, we’ll be opening the first of several visual art exhibitions at the SF Maritime Museum in February, sharing a series of dynamic presentations at the newly opened Officer’s Club in the Presidio throughout the year, and announcing a still-secret smaller scale work at a surprise location in the fall.

I look forward to sharing with you thrilling performances, rich with moments of shocking beauty, charged with vital questions and bright with both expansive natural vistas and the radiance of the human spirit. 

xo

Ava Roy

Artistic Director, We Players