Ava Roy: Shakespeare on Alcatraz - OZY | A Modern Media Company


Because this female director believes theater is necessary to life.

By Charlotte Buchen

Imagine standing next to Hamlet as he delivers the famous “To be, or not to be” soliloquy … beside the rusted bars of an Alcatraz prison cell. Or imagine breaking bread at a table next to the murderous Macbeth. These are the kind of immersive experiences that theater director Ava Roy believes will awaken your senses, and make the Bard’s words relevant in a new way.

Most of us were introduced to Shakespeare in high school by reading it seated at desks, a reality that Roy finds “deadly.” Her theater company, We Players, has a unique partnership with the National Park Service that will soon expand from the San Francisco Bay Area to New York City. Watch our video to meet Roy as she revisits “the Rock” and shares her take on how theater is no mere luxury but rather a necessary ritual that demands participation and makes you live life more intensely. 

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