a HEROMONSTER reflection

An audience member and new volunteer with We Players took time to share some impressions from her HEROMONSTER experience with us. We think this is so thoughtfully composed, that you might like to read it too! Thanks Geneva!

HEROMONSTER’s only two actors opened the doors to the mead hall in the interior of the Chapel at Fort Mason and welcomed the audience into the space. We Players’ mead hall had food and real mead and ale on offer. The show itself was a mix of battles and fellowship, disjointed attacks and assists. During the show, the actors played both friend and foe, both ally and enemy to the other. With tenderness, brutality, and extreme physicality – framed in the Chapel with its beautiful stained glass windows and the chilly autumn air outside – HEROMONSTER brought forth difficult questions about the practice of kindness and severity in the distant past and the tangible present. Dressed in rags and meeting each eye, the performers laid these questions before every audience member to face if they could. Each moment was either warm or cold or frightening, and no member of the audience was free to leave without the challenge and discomfort of witnessing both loving and abusive intimacy between strangers.

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HEROMONSTER pulled the epic Beowulf out of the shadows of space and time and introduced a modern perspective that has the power to change what we understand to be “heroic” or “monstrous.” Heroism as defined by old texts often describes strength and ruthlessness in a time when you would die without them. With the intimacy of the action and the continuity of the setting, We Players makes the epic relatable while still deconstructing the traditional understanding of its meaning.

The rustic mead hall setting, simple costumes, and haunting accompaniment helped revive the sense of wildness and danger beyond the walls of the mead hall, feelings we relate to less in our modern world but that help to remind us of the base moments in which these concepts of “hero” and “monster” were born and given life via story as a means to prepare for and survive in the harsh northern world. With that world as a seamless part of our own HEROMONSTER experience, the advent of heroism and monstrosity are pulled apart from the confusion many of us found in Beowulf. HEROMONSTER asked relevant questions about what our understanding of heroism and monstrosity are today, how each can exist and operate unnoticed by many people. HEROMONSTER came up into my face and asked me, “Have our definitions after all these centuries remained so much the same that we no longer recognize true heroism and monstrosity?”

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While HEROMONSTER was indeed a divergence from We Players’ usual large-scale, outdoor performance, it was a show still fully committed to exploring new boundaries for the company and its audience. We Players delivered a grand experience in which the actors participated in exactly what the show asks of their audience: willingness to try something new even when it is uncomfortable, something that values thorough examination of the self and how we choose to behave and treat each other as fellow humans.

– Geneva Redmond

HEROMONSTER at Fort Mason Center Chapel

Heroes and Monsters live among us and within us.
Join us this fall to encounter them up close.

HEROMONSTER

Created and performed by Nathaniel Justiniano & Ava Roy
Original Music by Charlie Gurke
beginning at Sunset
Thursday – Sunday, October 9 – November 1
Fort Mason Center Chapel

This work is being developed while in residence at the Lucas Artist Residency Program, Montalvo Arts Center

We Players’ newest production, HEROMONSTER, is being forged!

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, this daring duo invites us to examine our relationship with these epic archetypes.

Journey into the darkly 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 gard music scene, the Rova saxophone quartet. Throughout, multiple translations of the ancient anglo-saxon poem Beowulf serve as our guide.

 

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.

DateShow time
October 9-116:45
October 15, 16 & 186:30
October 22-256:30
October 29-316:15
November 1 (clocks change)5:15

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

Ondine Tickets Are Selling Out!

Ondine Performance- May 16 2015

Twelve performances of Ondine have sold out so far!

Our audiences love the show and remaining tickets are going fast – get yours today before it’s too late!

“by far the most entertaining and amazing show I’ve ever seen”

“all the elements come together beautifully to create a breathtaking theatrical experience”

“It may well be that I have experienced a production this wonderful, but I can’t think of any.”
 ★★★★★ Charles Kruger, Theatrestorm

Get your Ondine tickets here

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.


The Top Reasons to Experience ONDINE at SUTRO

There are SO many reasons!
Here are our top FOUR…

 

4

It’s a classic! You love old, magical stories as much as We do!

  • We can rely on stories that have already withstood the test of time… first written story of Ondine dates back to France in the 1300s, and the oral tale is much older
  • Ondine is born of the lineage of feminine water spirits. Her original name is “Melusine”
  • Ondine lives on today in everything from The Little Mermaid to the Starbucks logo – Melusine with her two tails!
  • The delightful 1811 novella “UNDINE” (on which Giraudoux’s play is based) was translated into many languages and could be found in libraries all over the world!
3

119 years after Sutro opened, party with We Players like it’s 1896!

Gaze out over the vast Pacific. Look for otters in the lagoon and herons lurking in the marsh grasses. Explore modern ruins of the once-opulent public baths… Feel the ghosts of swimmers diving and splashing in the world’s largest saltwater baths. Once upon a time, Sutro Baths boasted seven pools, each heated to different temperatures, plus a bizarre museum of Sutro’s personal collection of taxidermy specimens and other oddities. Imagine that!

2

It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN!  

Immerse yourself in a magical fairy tale. Journey through an enchanted forest! Look for whales spouting off stage! Activate your senses! Salt spray and sunlight…tapestry of coastal colors – blooming ice plants and windswept trees…breathe the fresh air, feel the sweet sea breezes, tune in to the crash of waves, the call of seabirds…delight in fin de siècle-inspired costumes, a gorgeous musical score, delicious language, and a story that will make your heart swell. Cue miraculous sunset at the end of the journey!

Join us for this thrilling and magical adventure! 

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.