Story and photo by Nyayian Biel ‘20
“The Birds,” an ancient Greek comedy originally written and staged by Aristophanes, a Greek playwright in 414 B.C. The director, Michael J. McCandless, transcribed it into English and added the flare of modern language and jokes. According to McCandless, “The original text of ‘The Birds,’ not far removed from our own current issues, inspired a natural adaptation to a contemporary context, while maintaining elements of Classical Greek style, dialogue, mythology and humor.”
“The Birds” was performed Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7. With the help of McCandless and Michell Delisi, production manager and choreographer, the students put on a show stopping performance every night. Delisi, who watched the show come together from start to finish, praised the production saying, “I was so impressed with how the cast took this challenging script of ‘The Birds’ and made it their own. It was so fun for me to watch it unfold. I loved the humor and creativity they brought to the final project.”
McCandless is the theater professor at Creighton University, he has directed Marian’s theater program for four years. He has been a dynamic part of Marian theater. “He has developed the program so much for it to be more professional. He has given the actors and actresses tips to become more professional,” Senior Avery Streeter who played the Oracle said.
“The Birds” had a co-ed cast of 44 students and a crew of 37. Junior Anna Hoffman, Euelpides, and Creighton Prep Isaac White, as Peisetairos played the leads. Peisetairos and Euelpides are Athenian humans who ran away from their lives in Athens due to their distaste for Athenian politics and the practices of the government. Peisetairos convinces Hoopoe, the king of the birds who is played by Creighton Prep Senior PJ Mooney, to start construction of a new bird city. To do so, he has to convince the bird chorus of his master plan. Peisetairos advises them to take back their place as the original and true gods.
The main conflict of the play occurs while the birds are building a new city. They are being interrupted by gods and other Athenians. Their interruptions, additional scenes of comedic relief, had the crowd in stitches.
“The Birds” was well put together and hilarious. It even allowed for crowd involvement. The scene of the “replaceable,” in which someone is chosen from the crowd and brought on stage to read a few lines, is an example of this.
“The show took up a ton of time and work, but it all paid off when I got to hear people laughing at the stuff we were doing on stage,” Hoffmain said. The cast worked for three months to put together “The Birds,” and their hard work created a show that many laughed along with.
With the end of another spring play, “The Birds” was added to the long list of successful Marian productions.