The Birds Premieres Tonight!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of the Goshen CampusBirds_1

The Birds! (not Hitchcock’s!)

As I mentioned last week, the SFS Drama project’s spring show, Aristophanes’ sociopolitical comedy The Birds, takes flight starting tonight! A colorful and fun mix of comedy, romance, satire, mortals, gods, lots of birds, and even modern music and dance, The Birds is sure to please – and make you think. As I wrote my program notes earlier this week, I wanted to share with a larger audience some of the philosophy behind the SFS Drama Project:

One of my main goals with the St Francis Drama Project is making sure these Middle School students get a broad and varied experience with the wonderful world of theater during their four-year “careers” here. So I tend to think in terms of four-year cycles. For the Class of 2016, they have had quite the journey across eras and genres. From the modern teen angst of John Lennon and Me (Caroline Frederick’s first SFS play), we moved to the world of rock-and-roll in the 1950s and musical theater via Bye Bye Birdie. The genteel American classic comedy Harvey was up next, with the Bard on deck in Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors (the first show Lon Church directed for us!). We then traveled to turn-of-the-20th-century Russia for the wacky fable Fools (Amelia Dimas will never forget those fun Friday after-school rehearsals in the Chinese room), and then to the grimy streets of London town awash with the great songs and choreography in Oliver! We rounded out this “cycle” letting Middle Schoolers immerse themselves in Oscar Wilde’s English comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest, and now find ourselves in ancient Greece laughing at Aristophanes’ The Birds, the same as audiences did over two centuries ago.

I think you can see our students get a very well-rounded travelogue both in eras, genres, and even geography. And coupled with that, the focus is on three key planks: helping them to become better actors and technicians, learning to function as a dependent ensemble, and having fun. It’s a very simple formula, really, but one that has proven very successful for us. Their enthusiasm inspires me every single rehearsal and show.

I hope you can fly with us in the next week!

Showtimes are Friday, March 25th, Tuesday, March 29th, and Wednesday, March 30th at 6:30 p.m., with a Saturday, March 26th 2:00 p.m. matinee. As we did last year with Oliver, we are selling tickets in advance (in the case of sellouts) through Bidpal. The link to purchase tickets is here

The Birds has little to offend young audiences, but it is recommended for students in grades 4th and up.