If We Were Birds I Sault Ste. Marie I In Your Eyes Projects
"Impeccably co-directed by Joseph Lauzon and Loretta Durat, and highlighted by stunning design effects and sculptures by acclaimed artist and former director of the Art Gallery of Algoma, Michael Burtch, the production is a remarkable artistic achievement that shines a light on human suffering in a sensitive, poetic treatment." Robin Waples
"This show is a hauntingly stunning, meaningful achievement that stands among the best productions from this community’s theatre groups." Robin Waples
In Your Eyes Projects in Partnership with Algoma University
If We Were Birds
Philomela: Anna Gartshore
Procne: Tova Arbus
King Tereus: Dan Nystedt
King Pandion: Bob Cooper
Pious One: Maria Kahtava
Young One: Ava Nori
Bleeding One: Heather Janser
Pregnant One: Krissy Strickland
Dwindling Dignity: Carol McLean
Scintilla: Emma Dingle
Algoma University, Shingwauk Auditorium
(click picture for map)
The Author I Erin Shields
Feminist playwright and actor, who trained at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London, England, and graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours BA in English Literature. She is currently based in Montreal.
She was co-Artistic Director (with Andrea Donaldson) of Groundwater Productions through which she created, developed and produced much of her early work including If We Were Birds (SummerWorks 2008). In 2010, If We Were Birds was produced at Tarragon Theatre (dir. Alan Dilworth).
Erin Shield’s other works include: The Epic of Gilgamesh (Groundwater/SummerWorks), the Dora Mavor Moore Award-nominated The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski (Groundwater/Canadian Tour), Dance of the Red Skirts (Theatre Columbus).
In 2011, Shields acted with Maev Beaty as two artists' models in their co-written play Montparnasse (Groundwater in association with Theatre Passe Muraille). Remounted in 2012, it won the Alberta Theatre Projects Enbridge Emerging playRites Award.
For full profile by Anne Nothof, Athabasca University go here.
The Story I If We Were Birds
When King Pandion marries his daughter Procne off to war hero King Tereus, she must leave her beloved sister Philomela behind. After years of isolation in a foreign land, Procne begs Tereus to collect her sister for a visit. When confronted with Philomela’s beauty, Tereus’ desire triumphs over reason, igniting a chain of horrific events. A harrowing exploration of violence and revenge, this adaptation features a chorus of ravaged women, each a survivor of a 20th century conflict: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Nanking, and Berlin.
If We Were Birds is a shocking, uncompromising examination of the horrors of war, giving voice to a woman long ago forced into silence, and placing a spotlight on millions of female victims who have been silenced through violence. A deeply affecting and thought-provoking re-imagining of Ovid's masterpiece "Tereus, Procne, and Philomela," Erin Shields's award-winning play is an unflinching commentary on contemporary war and its aftermath delivered through the lens of Greek tragedy.
"Anyone doubting the relevance and primal pull of myth needs to see If We Were Birds. Scratch that. Anyone interested in powerful theatre should see it."
Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine
"The writing is both poetic and muscular, the images are vivid, breathtaking, and heart-squeezing… pulsing with life and emotions."
Lynn Slotkin, Here and Now, CBC Radio
The Production Team
Directors: Joseph Lauzon & Loretta Durat
Producer & Scenic Design: Michael Burtch
Producer: Sofia Silberberg
Sound Design: Michael Burtch & Frank Deresti
Costume Design: Lisa Kozak-Dinel
Technical Director: Rob Rock
Choreography: Anna Gartshore
Marketing: Thomas Brandstetter
Makeup: Emma Dingle
Pottery: Gord Burke
Consultant: Shirley Horn
Stage Manager: Carol Rowland-Vas
Video Promotions & Carpentry: Dan Nystedt
Stage Extension Carpenter: Neil McLean
Properties: Monica Vaes
SHOW DATES & TIMES
Feb. 21 & 22. 8 pm
Feb. 23. 2 pm (matinee)
Feb. 27, 28 & 29. 8 pm
The Shingwauk Auditorium @ Algoma University
This play contains strong language and mature themes and is not suitable for children.