Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On the Menu

At last...here are some of your comments from the February Feast:

(and thank you for the lovely pictures on your envelopes too!)

“I noticed that Hamlet called Denmark a prison…You probably noticed this.”

We thought there was some kind of connection in there! ;)

“Invite ex-prisoners to come see the show” / “Will (former) prisoners be able to participate in the production?”

Yes! In fact we are exploring a number of ways for prisoners to be involved in this work. Including incorporating their poetry and artwork, and inviting some former prisoners to be involved as crew and performers.

“Local schools would love to see the energy of We Players!” / “Get local schools to come on field trip?”

We agree. Our thanks to Michele Haner, who will arrange for Ava to visit the French-American International High School and lead a discussion about site-specific theater, and using theater as a tool for social action. We plan to arrange student internships for the summer rehearsal and production period. We are hoping to team up with other teachers and existing outreach programs to incorporate work with at-risk youth.

Please let us know if there's a teacher you think we should talk to!

“A haiku for We:

You are amazing

Your manifested beauty’s

Magnified by love

Keep it up.”

Thank you. We are buoyed up and strengthened by your support!

“How long by homing pigeon flight is a trip from Alcatraz to San Quentin?”

Very good question. Please let us know the answer. Although it may be more relevant to ask this of cormorants, gulls, egrets…other bird species that make their seasonal nesting home on Alcatraz.

“How are the prisons related?”

Amazing how few people are asking that question. Thank you. We will provide information through the project, and infuse our work on site with current stories and statistics to help make the connection between the two.

“Can we watch the play from a boat?”

Do you think we would leave out any detail?

“Will you reinstate the Alcatraz garden?”

Please check out: http://www.alcatrazgardens.org/

The volunteer garden crew on the Rock is amazing. They are restoring the gardens throughout the island.

In November we ate figs from the trees as part of our harvest / fire ceremony.

“What prisoners were sent to Alcatraz and why?”

The so called “worst of the worst”. That is, if you went to prison, but then got in trouble there you could be sent to Alcatraz. Very few prisoners were sent to Alcatraz directly. It was, “reserved for those desperate and irredeemable types”.


“The insane are often incarcerated. Is Hamlet insane? Depressed? What about Ophelia? I’m excited to find out.”

Me too.

“Put Hamlet/We player info on the Alcatraz/Park Service website (including background on Shakespeare and the play itself)”
Despite our partnership with the park, we are running into fields of red tape on this one.

Please consider sending this request to the Park Service!

A story from Stanley Williams who was executed at San Quentin in 2006: A friend snuck a rose petal in to him on a visit to death row. Stanley took it from her, held it in his palm for a minute, then put it in his mouth…and swallowed it. He told her he though it might be his last and only chance to connect with the natural world and he wanted to experience it fully.

How can I support you without giving money? / I would like to be of service, even if I can’t give money.

There are so many aspects to this project. We welcome your support, your talents, your thoughts, your questions. Please write to info@weplayers.org and tell us what you're interested in, what aspects of the project ignite you, and we will find a fit. YES. We want your help.

Can we tie race into the picture?

Yes please. This begs a longer response...perhaps a blog post unto itself...

More opportunities like this for fans and supporters to get together and get to know We Players better. Doesn’t have to be as lush as this one, even a pot-luck would do.

Salons / work-in-progress / conversations this spring. Stay tuned here.

I’ve left out most of the general praise and support of we comments – though we thank you truly – oh but here are a few anyway...

Take good care of yourselves throughout this process and KNOW that you are serving this community in a profound way.

I can’t wait to see the show! Your company is singular in making these spaces available through a trans-historical yet extremely current performance tradition. Bravo!

This has been magical.

I’ve never attended an event such as this. I have nothing to add or change.

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