By Chris Zuver, A&E Editor
On October 12 through 15, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center and the University of Missouri-St. Louis Theatre presented the Aristophanes comedy, The Birds. The play tells the story of two Athenians who tire of the city life and its politics, poetry, religion, and business and so they leave in search of something better. They decide to seek out where the birds dwell. Upon meeting the birds and seeing how they rule their land, the men come to believe that if they can control the sky, they can have power over both gods and mortals.
The production of The Birds was described as a quite silly adaptation, written specifically for UMSL’s Theatre and Cinema Arts Department. While the overall themes of the play have remained relevant since it was first performed at the City Dionysia in 414 B.C., some of the details, references, and jokes have been changed. While the play still takes place in 414 B.C., the vernacular, music, and jokes have been updated for modern audiences. This was done in order for audiences to have a response similar to what the ancient Greeks would have had to the original.
The cast included Cassidy Flynn, graduate, acting; Dylan Houston, junior, acting; Dre Williams, sophomore, business management/theatre/cinema arts; Sydney Hallett, junior, special education/theatre; Joshua Mayfield, sophomore, psychology, Wallat Baban, junior, psychology/biochemistry; Kyle Mertens; Courtnee Brownlee, senior, media studies; and Mona Sabau, senior, PR marketing.
The performance was visually colorful and featured fire effects. Modern critics claim “The Birds” to be a well-crafted fantasy, noteworthy of its portrayal of birds and their songs.