Review: If We Were Birds


Score: 5 piles of bird shit out of 5

The drama department’s major production this year is ‘If We Were Birds’ by Erin Shield. Golden Words got to see a pre-viewing of the play, which is the retelling of the myth of Philomela and Procne, modernized by parable of the horrors of war or something. The play was good, despite the title being misleading. It had nothing to do with birds. I was expecting some of the actors to be dressed as birds, flying around and whatnot, collecting twigs to make their shantytown style homes, which are still better than how most other animals live their lives. But no, none of that. Just a lot of women subjugated to violence. I brought my little cousin to it. He didn’t cry or anything, but I think he lost that last little twinkle of innocence in his eyes. Regardless, the title was blatant false advertising.

This play was almost as disappointing as ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. There was no slaughter of birds whatsoever, just prevalent use of the n-word. Though this play did not use the n-word once (which was nice because my little cousin is black – I didn’t want to have that conversation), again, no birds. And the title had such intrigue too. What if we were birds? Well that’d be pretty neat, right? The play got me thinking about being a bird so much before I went to go see it, I couldn’t sleep for days. I had questions that needed answers dammit. Like, if I were a bird, what would it be like to fly? I could fly to class, to the bars; I wouldn’t have to walk or drive anywhere again. That would save me so much money. Also If I were a bird, I’d be Birdman. I’ve always wanted to be Michael Keaton.

He was batman. Therefore, if I were birds, I would be batman. Speaking of Birdman, I liked how the play stayed true to the movie by being done in all one shot. That was really incredible, like if this play had been done over the span of 12 years and if those 12 years were spent as a slave, I’d give it the academy Oscar for sure. But we all know the academy doesn’t work like that, so If We Were Birds will just have to be happy with their lousy Golden Globe wins. When it comes down to it, If We Were Birds was a solid attempt at mise-en-scene, but lacks emotional authenticity with little audience connection or correlation to real world postmodernist expressionistic conceptualism in a contemporary setting. But because this is a student run newspaper and this is a student production, I give it 5 out of 5 piles of bird-shit! The actors were like, really pretty, and I like the way the sets were painted :).