There’s an incantatory, mesmerizing quality to We Players’ “Roman Women,” which, with Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” as a gossamer framework, comprises original songs (score by Charlie Gurke); circular, choreographed movement; grave prophecies and existential musings; and excerpts from the tragedy itself.
The production features an excellent chorus of five women (Micael Bogar, Julie Douglas, Lauren Hayes, Baily Hopkins and Emily Stone) plus the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva (Britt Lauer), who presides majestically over the activities. [...]
[Director Ava] Roy intends for “Roman Women” to represent a cycle, a ritual that, as she writes in the program, weaves through time as the women search for, and re-create among themselves, some version of the emperor Caesar, the all-powerful male figure.
Accordingly, don’t expect a clear narrative arc, or to actually see the emperor assassinated in the space, which at times represents the Roman forum.
The women’s singing voices are lovely within the rotunda’s acoustics, their monologues from “Julius Caesar” and other text impassioned and clear, and the steady repetitions of movement and choral chants (some in Latin) are hypnotic.
Site-specific work this sensorial, this well done, is its own raison d’être.
We're a few weeks into our run and it's be so interesting and fun to share this show with audiences. People have been sharing wonderful, moving feedback, and Jean Schiffman from the Examiner gave us a lovely review:
Read the full article here.
There are only a few more weekends left to see this distinctive piece of theater! For more info an tickets, visit We Player's website.
After two months of rehearsals and show development, ROMAN WOMEN opens tonight and we are so excited to share this piece with audiences! We were recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle (see article here) and as Theatre Critic Lily Janiak's weekend pick on Facebook!
With its latest, the site-specific company [We Players] heads to the Palace of Fine Arts, but emphatically not to the venue’s theater. They’re staging “Roman Women” at the outdoor rotunda.
For more information about the show, location, and tickets, check out the We Players website, www.WePlayers.org
I'm very excited to be performing with We Players' production, Roman Women this May. It's been a unique and wonderful experience developing the piece and working with such inspiring artists.
About the show: "This ritual performance features a unique soundscape - including live instrumentation, classical text derived from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and physical theatre and dance generated by the all-female ensemble. Our very own ruin from an imagined San Francisco of antiquity, The Palace of Fine Arts - with its famous weeping maidens, sweeping pergolas and unique avian life - will serve as inspiration. Turning up the volume on women’s stories, we reach a hand back through time to empower those with lesser-known histories. Through Roman Women we explore the public and private lives of the women in Julius Caesar, in the late Roman Republic, and in the 21st century - imagining and recreating secret rites and hidden mysteries." (www.WePlayers.org)
The show begins previews at the end of April and runs through May. For more information, visit www.WePlayers.org