University players present ‘The Birds’

YUJIN SONG
Arts and Life
Correspondent

I am one who appreciates the arts and literature. However, the words of Aristophanes’ Greek comedy are enough to make me horrified.

Among all of the great literature, the Greek plays have always been the biggest challenges for me. Still, even if you are just as scared of the ancient literature as I am, there is nothing for you to worry about regarding this play.

Perfectly adapted into a modern version, ‘The Birds,’ performed by the University of Scranton Players and directed by Gabriel Vega Weissman, approached its audience in much more friendly manner than a typical Greek comedy.

Last Sunday was the closing night of the play. The theater was an intimate atmosphere. The stage was decorated in the nest- or wood-like shape with the lighting of warm colors.

A moderate number of patrons came in and filled the seats. After a series of bird songs, from The Beatles’ “Blackbird” to “Eels” and “I Like Birds,” the play started. Since the distance between the seats and the stage was close it was convenient to see the detailed look of the actors and actresses.

The play started with two characters jumping onto the stage with birds on their wrists. Pisthetaerus, the protagonist, and Euelpides was in the forest looking for Bill Clinton who used to be a human, but becomes a bird even though they make fun of birds.

They meet Bill Clinton with the help of an unpaid intern bird. They ask him to turn them into birds so that they can escape from the mess of the human world.

However, Clinton rejects this since they have got nothing to offer birds. Then, Pisthetaerus convinces him of building a new city for all bird-kind. Clinton likes the idea and lets them persuade other birds.

The birds are first enraged with Clinton since humans are their sworn enemies. In the end, they decide to turn Pisthetaerus and Eulpides into birds, after being convinced by Clinton. Pisthetaerus chooses ‘Cloudcuckooland’ as a name of the new bird city and asks the birds to build up the walls between satellites and human beings.
Then, different kinds of humans come in and try to get some profit out of the new city. Pisthetaerus kicks them out of the city.
Further, the birds begin to like her and the city and even consider her as a leader of them. However, Pisthetaerus falls for a deal in which she goes out with David Hasselhoff in exchange for transforming the bird city into a bird casino.
The play ends with the perky voice of PR Gal promoting the bird casino and the confused faces of the birds.
This modernized version of ‘The Birds’ gets rid of most of difficult names of Ancient Greece, lessening the burden for the audience. Also, by including many pop culture references instead of Greek mythology, The Players kept the play understandable and laughable. However, they kept the depth of the comedy that successfully showed the greed and selfishness of humans throughout the play, especially in the last scene. Frequent puns, jokes and sarcasm about birds and reality made this comedy even more entertaining.

The Players made the play much more extraordinary.

The performers were all incredibly competent and hilarious. Senior Latrice Smith pulled off the protagonist role flawlessly. The rest of the cast also showed off their immense talent. Especially first-year Matt Naranjo’s bird cry and junior Conor Hurley’s Bill Clinton impersonation, which were just enough to crack up the audience. Senior Victoria Kusy’s happy face without worries also added a bigger impact to the ending conclusion.

It appears safe to say that the play was a success. Now, all we can do is to keep calm and wait for another performance of The Players. The next performance will be “Leveling Up” by Deborah Zoe Laufer during mid-November.

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