Aristophanes’ The Birds: An Urban Re-imagining (BDA_US19)
|Where does power come from?
What does it look like? Who can own it? My costume design for The
Birds explores the theme of shifting power in popular culture. Living
in the Harlem ghetto, the birds have their own dangerous world under
control until two newcomers from a small town arrive. Under the
leadership of Piesthetaerus, Cloud-Cuckoo-Land becomes a kingdom strong
enough to usurp the powers that be. As mainstream citizens try to
appropriate the birds’ culture, the gods (represented by American
politicians who have a tenuous grip on power themselves) ultimately give
all their power to Piestetaerus in order to get sustenance from their
constituents. The story ends with a laughable new world order, perhaps
one that isn’t far from our own.
Michelle Hunt, USA
|University of California, San Diego|