ISU Theatre will conclude its 2015-16 season with four performances of The Birds this weekend in the Memorial Union Maintenance Shop.
This production of The Birds was adapted by music and theatre assistant professor Amanda Petefish-Schrag and spouse Ben Schrag from the comedy by the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. Petefish-Schrag also directs.
The story follows Athenians Pisthetaerus and Euelpides, who are guided by two birds as they leave their city, weary of daily arguments about laws, to look for a better life. Pisthetaerus lights upon the idea that birds (as the original gods) should create a city-state between heaven and earth and reestablish their supremacy over both humans and the gods.
"From both the adapter and director perspective, I think one of the great challenges and opportunities of working with a classical text is making sure it stays relevant -- connected -- to a contemporary audience," Petefish-Schrag said. "This is especially true of something like The Birds because, even though the original text was written in the fifth century, it would probably have struck the ancient Greeks much like [Saturday Night Live] or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia strikes us today. So in the adaptation and production process, we're constantly striving to capture that kind of energy and comedic relationship with the audience."
The Schrag adaption includes a character named Donald Trump.
The production features performing arts juniors Adam Kroksh and Keegon Jackson as Pisthetaerus and Euelpides, respectively. Epops, the king of the birds, is played by senior philosophy major Adam Mellerup. Senior performing arts major Angela Burg serves as stage manager.
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, April 28-30, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1. Seating is limited due to the size of the M-Shop. Tickets are $18 ($16 for seniors, $11 for students) and available at the Maintenance Shop box office (weekdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.), Midwestix or at the door if a performance isn't sold out.