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