"Water, water every where, Nor any drop to drink"

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A Z Space and Word for Word Production

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Classic

The rime of the Ancient Mariner 

September 12 - October 12 at Z Space

Directed by Delia MacDougall and Jim Cave

Considered by some to be a "green parable," this epic voyage is a tale of man's crime against nature, with the shooting of the magnificent albatross—and the havoc which nature wreaks in return. Z Space will be turned into a sailing ship (Oliver DiCicco and Colm McNally, scenic design) surrounded by the sea and the elements (Hana Kim, video projections; Ray Oppenheimer, lighting, Matt Stines, sound; Nol Simonse, choreography; Nikki Anderson-Joy, costumes). We hope that you will enjoy Word for Word’s expansive take on this take on this classic epic poem.

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Previews - September 12-14, 18-20
Opening Night - September 21

Look for related events in collaboration with San Francisco Maritime National Park Association and the Exploratorium's Bay Observatory.


Press Resources

The dedicated press agent for this show is David Hyry, who can be reached at daldenh@aol.com.

Illustrations by Gustav Doré


Rime in the press

Longtime Word for Word friend and acclaimed author Tobias Wolff and Word for Word charter member Nancy Shelby were recently speaking together at an event. When he asked what's was next for Word for Word, the following ensued per Leah Garchik’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle:

[Tobias Wolff] ended by reading a portion of a new novel, the audience rapt as the prose embodied a point he’d made, that literature allows you to “enter into the inner life of another human.” It reminded me of a conversation earlier, at the reception, between the honoree and Nancy Shelby, a founding member of the theatrical company Word for Word, which has performed some of his works.

In response to his query about their latest project, she said they were working on “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” at which he smiled and started quoting, with ersatz grandeur: “The many men, so beautiful!/ And they all dead did lie:/ And a thousand thousand slimy things/ Lived on; and so did I.”

Someone wisecracked about the “thousand slimy things” and politics, and Wolff responded, quite seriously, that the written word allows the reader to “be someone else, to see someone’s world.” As to those in power, “I wish they were readers,” he said.