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The Birds Comes to Susquehanna University Stage

Published on April 9, 2013

Susquehanna University’s Department of Theatre will present “The Birds” April 18–21 at 8 p.m., in the university’s Degenstein Center Theater.

First performed in 414 B.C., this ancient Greek comedy by playwright Aristophanes centers on one man's quest to create a utopia to escape the bureaucracy and wickedness of Athens, only to create the same problems in his new city, "Cloud Cuckooland." Middle-aged Pisthetaerus persuades the world’s birds to create a new city in the sky, thereby gaining control over all communications between men and gods. Pisthetaerus is eventually miraculously transformed into a bird-like god figure himself, and replaces Zeus as the preeminent power in the cosmos.

“Undeniably a masterpiece and perhaps one of the greatest comedies of all time, ‘The Birds’ lends a comic sense to mankind’s crazy cosmic and comic dream,” according to samuelfrench.com.

This will be the first Greek play on Susquehanna University's stage in 15 years. The artistic vision of the performance, directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Anna Andes, focuses on gender roles, with women playing male characters and vice versa. The play will also include some interesting design elements, such as a thrust stage that reaches out into the audience.

“The show itself is really cool because it’s an adaptation more or less,” said senior Megan Louia, a theatre performance major. “There is choreographed movement and it is more farcical than most other Greek comedies.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for non-SU students, and are available by visiting or calling the box office, Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., at 570-372-ARTS.

The Department of Theatre’s production season provides ongoing opportunities for Susquehanna’s theatre majors to work with classmates and faculty mentors. The department's emphasis on the ensemble, in the tradition of the Moscow Art Theatre, provides for both camaraderie and collaboration.

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