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The Birds by Conor McPherson
Quotidian Theatre at The Writer's Center
Bethesda, MD
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The Quotidian Theatre Company presents the D.C. Area Premiere of Conor McPherson's stage adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1952 short story "The Birds", which was also the source of Hitchcock's 1963 film.  We are fortunate to welcome two newcomers to Quotidian's stage: Jenny Donovan plays the role of Julia and Matthew Vaky is Nat. They join co-founder Stephanie Mumford as Diane and QTC regular Ted Schneider as Tierney.  The play is directed by Jack Sbarbori.

Conor McPherson's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1952 short story "The Birds" must be described in terms of what it is not: while based on du Maurier's work, it is not the threatening wind from the East (i.e., Russian and Chinese Communism) that provides the terror, nor is it the extended scenes of attacking birds found in Hitchcock's 1963 film.  Only the character named Nat is found in McPherson's play, and he is nothing like du Maurier's Nat Hocken.  McPherson's Nat is joined by novelist Diane and schoolgirl Julia in an abandoned farmhouse to survive the unexplained attacks of the birds.  All three characters have had their own problems, and now they find themselves in what may be an apocalyptic world where they must forage for the necessities of everyday life while avoiding the avian sorties.  As it becomes clear that they may be among the very few still alive, the core of McPherson's adaptation takes over.  Rather than detailing horrific attacks, the philosophy major from University College Dublin explores how these three flawed individuals react to a world where there are suddenly no rules.  We all wonder what moral and ethical choices we might make under extreme stress; McPherson provides the audience with a scenario that is both mysterious and shocking.  

 The play premiered at Dublin's Gate Theatre in 2009 with Sinead Cusack as Diane, Ciaran Hinds as Nat, and Denise Gough as Julia.  The U.S. premiere was held at the Guthrie Theatre in 2012, followed by a production at Florida's Mosaic Theater.  The Quotidian Theatre Company is proud to present this D.C. area premiere of "The Birds",  our sixth production by Conor McPherson.

"Quotidian Theatre knows how to work a nuance, and the production generally hits the mark, a testament for this D.C. area premiere that will still make you look twice at birds gathering along telephone wires. Stephanie Mumford is sublime as Diane... her every motion is attuned to her character's motives. Mumford is well matched by Matthew Vaky as Nat... Julia is played with coquettish school girl charm by Jenny Donovan."
- Debbie Jackson, DC Theatre Scene

"The play is at the same time dark and humorous. Stephanie Mumford is outstanding, playing an abandoned wife and estranged mother desperate for lasting love from anybody. Matthew Vaky shows wonderful dramatic and comedic talent in his portrayal of a somewhat mentally imbalanced and troubled man drowning his inadequacies in alcohol, drugs, and empty relationships. Jenny Donovan plays the part of a callously selfish ingénue to perfection, and Ted Schneider is chillingly cold in his blunt assessment of life and his own personal needs. I was exceptionally impressed with the script, Sbarbori's quaint and rustic lake cottage set design, his overall direction of the play, and superb performances by the entire cast."
- Jane Coyne, DC Metro Theater Arts

"Rather than eliciting outright fear, the play carries a tension that develops between these last survivors of what is presumably an apocalypse. Several classic struggles are addressed: the fear of isolation, the preservation of romantic ideals, and the existential meaning of life. With several surprises and an exciting climax, this show is worth watching. The audience is left not with an immediate feeling of pleasure, but of fascination, a feeling that will leave them contemplating the plot for days afterward."
- Nisha Tracy, Broadway World
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Quotidian Theatre at The Writer's Center (View)
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815
United States


Arts > Theatre

Minimum Age: 16
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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