The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy)

Written by:

Yvette Nolan

Artist/Creator(s) Identify As:

Indigenous

Cast Size:
12

Roles For:

  • Men: 2
  • Women: 10

Genre:

Adaptation
Comedy
Indigenous Theatre

Themes:

Colonialism
Greek Play
Reconciliation

Length:

75 min.

Year Written:

2015

Synopsis:

In this updated version of Aristophanes’ classic comedy The Birds, two men flee the modern world, arriving in the fabled land of the birds seeking freedom and a better way of life. But the men are unable to resist remaking this utopian paradise in their own image, without regard for the inhabitants who already occupy the land. In this playful modern retelling, The Birds reflects on pressing contemporary Indigenous questions about truth and reconciliation.

Characters:

Jack / Gulliver / Sandpiper / Hoopoe / Nightingale / Raven / Priest / Poet / Surveyor / Agent / Lawyer / Eagle

First Produced:

2013, University of Regina

Resources:

The Birds is available on the CPO Website.

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Notes:

The Birds is an entertaining and intellectually-engaging adaptation of the classical Greek comedy. Vibrant and colourful costumes, coupled with well-designed forest props, add a sense of realism in what would otherwise be a purely fantastical world. Each performer and crew member played their roles exceptionally, showcasing the dedication that went into the work. At the end of the performance, the audience left the theatre pondering the nature of reconciliation in the present day.” – Review of McGill University Production, by Kevin Vogel

Featured Play Category:

Alexa's Picks

Selection Notes:

Yvette Nolan's adaptation of Aristophanes' The Birds is an exceptionally well done piece, and expertly weaves together the Greek mythology of the original plot, and Indigineous creation stories and beliefs. The play uses song, dance, verse, and satire to explore the impacts of colonialism, and the future of truth and reconciliation. Simply by reading the script, it is apparent that this piece would allow directors and their ensembles of actors so much freedom to play with words and images, and make constant discoveries within the framework of Nolan's beautiful work.