Birds of a feather flock together in this colorfully-elaborate satirical play
The stage is dark. Everything is still. All of the sudden, an eruption emits from the speakers: “Well everybody’s heard about the bird! Bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word!”
This is the opening for “The Birds.”
Karen Berman, chair of the Department of Theatre and director of “The Birds,” and Steve Holbert, Georgia College alumnus, adapted “The Birds” from the original Greek play written by Aristophanes in 400 B.C. Their adaptation is a political satire, poking fun at current political issues and figures such as Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
For those not politically savvy, fear not. “The Birds” appeals to all.
“I really think that people our age will really enjoy it,” Amy Carpenter, senior theater major, who plays Pisthetaeria, said. “It really is relevant to our time and there are a lot of political aspects in there that people should know about. While it’s a really entertaining show, I think people are really going to get a lot out of it.”
In the adaptation, the birds stand for the diversity of humans. Their diversity is represented by the unique costumes worn by each bird. They get along well, but still have problems amongst each other. The birds want to find a utopian society, which reflects humans’ struggle to create a better world.
The message is simple. “I’m hoping that people will question news media, think about their own political positions and be inspired to vote,” Berman said. “I hope people will really want to engage in our political system and understand that they can make a difference; that if they don’t engage, things will happen to them.”
To emphasize this message, there will be a voter registration table outside of the theater.
Euelpides, played by Ross Daniel, senior mass communication and theater major, and Pisthetaeria are members of the Occupy Wall Street movement who leave their society to try and build a new and uncorrupt government.
They search for utopia with the help of Jay and Crow, two bird puppets voiced by Kameron Lineback junior history major, and meet the king of the birds, Epops, portrayed by Logan Lorenz, junior marketing major.
Euelpides and Pisthetaeria convince the birds to form their own government in the sky, separating themselves with a wall from the gods, who represent corrupt politicians. But everything does not go as perfectly as everyone wants.
The play incorporates pop culture extremely well, including things from Twitter to women’s healthcare. Every joke is cleverly placed and easily understood, making the dialogue between the characters fluid and quick-witted.
One of the funniest bits of the performance is the stand-up comedic performance by Mede, played by junior theater major Evan Wells. Mede makes jabs at Palin, Romney, Clinton, Obama and Congress as a whole, garnering laughter from the entire audience.
The most fascinating part of the play is the movement. From the opening to the close, almost every aspect of the show involves some form of movement – mostly dancing. Most of the movement is interpretive, but all are eye-catching. While all of the actors make it seem easy, the movements prove to be rather difficult.
“The bird movements were actually the hardest part because my character is based off of a hoopoe, which is a bird with a giant Mohawk, and they move mostly in the head,” Lorenz said. “I had to learn to look from one side of my head and move my neck a lot. It kind of hurt in the process.”
The costumes and makeup, all of which were designed by GC theater majors, bring each character to life and exemplify which bird each actor portrays. The vivid colors and details of the costumes and makeup contrast with the dark stage and bring the characters more to life and add color to the stage.
When Euelpides and Pisthetaeria become birds by drinking Red Bull, they become donned with two large wings – one on each arm. The wings are spectacular and extravagant, yet difficult to manage.
“The rope I climb kills me because my wings are always getting in the way,” Daniel said.
Overall, “The Birds” provides an entertaining view on current politics, mixing it well with pop culture.
“I thought it was awesome,” Sarah Beagley, freshman undeclared major, said. “My favorite parts were the dancing and the music. I also liked how they incorporated politics into it.”
“The Birds” will continue performing tonight and tomorrow, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. in Russell Auditorium.