American Premiere of The Birds Finds Its Cast for St. Ann’s Warehouse Run

Off-Broadway News   American Premiere of The Birds Finds Its Cast for St. Ann’s Warehouse Run
The epic Greek production will feature a company of 19.
A production photo from <i>The Birds </i>
A production photo from The Birds

St. Ann’s will welcome the Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens’ production of The Birds beginning May 13. The show is billed as a “modern, feast-for-the-senses” adaptation of Aristophanes’ 414 BC poetic comedy of the same name. The production, which will be performed in Greek with English subtitles, will feature a company of 19 actors.

Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens’ production of <i>The Birds</i>
Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens’ production of The Birds

This modern take on The Birds has been translated and adapted by Giannis Asteris and Nikos Karathanos, who also directs. The story follows two Athenians, Peisthetaerus and Euelpides, who are fed up with their city and the gods who rule over it. In protest they take to the woods, seeking out “birds” to build a utopia in the clouds dubbed “Cloudcuckooland.”

The production draws on everything from ancient practices to pop culture, music hall to drag artistry, rites of passage to beach parties to create what director Karathanos calls a “weird and outrageous experience” that honors the original while shining light on contemporary issues.

Performances will run May 2–13 in the Brooklyn waterfront theatre.

The cast of the American premiere will be made up of Amalia Bennett, Kostas Berikopoulos, Konstantinos Bibis, Maria Diakopanagiotou, Vasiliki Driva, Haris Frangoulis, Galini Hatzipaschali, Nikos Karathanos, Emily Koliandri, Ektor Liatsos, Christos Loulis, Grigoria Metheniti, Foivos Rimenas, Michalis Sarantis, Aris Servetalis, Giannis Sevdikalis, Elena Topalidou, Marisha Triantafyllidou, and Aggelos Triantafillou.

Afroditi Panagiotakou, the Onassis Foundation’s Director of Culture, says, “Empowered by Nikos Karathanos’ gaze, Aristophanes’ birds speak of a utopian society, a society that cannot be. They set off our thoughts and emotions about democracy, freedom and equality—a vision that’s always worth fighting for.”

Completing the creative team are Elli Papageorgakopoulou (sets and costumes), Aggelos Triantafillou (music), Simos Sarketzis (lighting design), Amalia Bennett (movement), and Orfeas Apergis (surtitle translation). Live musicians include Sofia Efkleidou, Michalis Katachanas, Dimitris Klonis, Vasilis Panagiotopoulos, and Dimitris Tigkas.

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