After weeks of aerial attacks, four strangers find sanctuary from an environmental catastrophe in an abandoned lakeside cabin. But that sanctuary is disturbed by questions of what constitutes civilized behavior in the absence of civilization. Adapted for a post-9/11 world by Conor McPherson, "The Birds" is based on the short story by Daphne du Maurier that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film.
“The idea of a leaderless, swarming enemy has always terrified the West,” says director Greg Carter. “A traditional war time foe (i.e. King George) provided a target whose elimination would lead to freedom. But during the Cold War, battling a mass ideology, like Communism, proved to be much scarier, because the enemy could be anywhere.
“Now, for twenty years, Americans have been asked to fight a War on Terror. That is endless war.”
In du Maurier’s 1958 story, the birds are repeatedly described as having arrived via the ominous ‘east wind’. Desperate for an explanation for the violent change in behavior, the farmer says that “The Russians have done it. The Russians have poisoned the birds.”
Writing in 2011, McPherson (author of “The Seafarer” and “The Weir”) had new threats to consider. The idea of environmental forces simply reclaiming the Earth from abusive humans is one possible explanation for the playwright’s new interpretation of “The Birds”. But in the 21st century, suicidal aerial attacks on buildings by faceless rivals also evoke potent cultural images.
“A powerful piece of theatre and a reminder of just how important that story has become... truly frightening... a night in the theatre that should not be missed."
"The Birds" features Sarah Harlett, Sean Nelson, Shawn Belyea, and Meme Garcia-Cosgrove, and opens January 21 at 12th Ave Arts.
The play is directed by Greg Carter and stage managed by Gabrielle Strong, with designs by Reed Nakayama, Tommer Peterson, Brendan Patrick Hogan, and Jenny Ampersand.
12th Ave Arts
January 21- February 20, 2016
Thu-Fri-Sat 7:30pm, Mon 7:30
no performance Mon Jan-25
written by Conor McPherson (2011)
based on Daphne du Maurier (1958)
directed by Greg Carter
designed and constructed by
Brendan Patrick Hogan
stage managed by
Graphic Design by Melanie Wang