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Play Pits Past Against Future

Stupid Bird Promo (2)

Photo credit: Provided by-Susan Domer

Stupid Bird Promo (2)
Written by: Colby ShoupFebruary 15, 2017

“Stupid F*@%ing Bird” is a combination of the old and the new in more ways than one.

“This show is so cool because it marries two ideas and two worlds together,” said Evan Hart, cast member and senior theater major. “It’s a classical and metatheatrical piece that can only be good when it opens.”

The play is the latest production from IPFW Department of Theatre with shows at 8 p.m. Feb 17-25 and a matinee at 2 p.m. on Feb 19 in Williams Theatre.

Written by Aaron Posner and inspired by Anton Chekhov’s 1896 play “The Seagull,” “Stupid F*@%ing Bird” follows a group of artists from two clashing generations who become entangled in a web of unrequited love.

The show was written in 2013 and brings modern theater techniques to a familiar story. For instance, actors often break character and address the audience directly in the script. This element was a unique challenge for all involved, said Jeff Casazza, director and associate professor of theatre.

“Everyone in the cast is really playing two characters: They’re playing a version of themselves and they’re playing characters in the play,” Casazza said. “The challenging thing is how deep Chekhovian characters are. They are full of passion and they are direct or indirect based on what those passions are, and it’s difficult to switch that on and off.”

Hart plays Doyle Trigorin, or Trig, a famous novelist who is set in his old-fashioned ideas of what art should be, Hart said. The philosophy of Trig, and the other older characters in the show, is constantly being questioned by the younger characters, especially by Con, the play’s protagonist.

The show itself parallels Con by criticizing and reinventing the “commonly accepted structures and forms of theater” throughout the story, Hart said.

“I think modern audiences want to be included in the performance now, instead of the traditional watching the show for two hours then leaving,” Hart said. “By changing up the rules like this and talking directly to the audience, we invite them to be a part of our world instead of sitting on the other side of the fourth wall and watching us do our thing.”

Tickets to “Stupid F*@%ing Bird” can be purchased at the IPFW box office or online at www.ipfw.edu/tickets. Admission is $5 for IPFW students; $12 for other university students; $14 for faculty and senior citizens; and $16 for adults.