Democracy is for the Birds: A site specific Birds project (BDA_US29)

Democracy for the Birds was a site specific performance art project developed under the guidance of Madeline Sobota in group colaboration at Ohio University in October 2005. The group consisted of 6 members whom were cross-displinary (set, lighting, sound, scenographer, costume designers) and served also as the performers. We based our piece on the adaptations by Arrowsmith and O’Brian of Aristophanes’ The Birds. The goal of the piece was to create the experience of trust and betrayal through positive reinforcement, entrapment, and destruction of self with our audience. We did this by leading our audience into an environment of partying, laughter, and music, establishing “trust”. They were then given physical wings made of found objects, invited to be “birds” in our “Utopia” and were lead into a tight stairway lined with propaganda. “Hail! Hail! Savior of the birds! Redeemer of our Race! We claim to you ourselves, our chicks our nests!” Through the propaganda the 80+ “birds” were lead into a steel cage/firescape. While entrapped the performers ripped off and destroyed the “birds” wings, establishing “betrayal,” while the space opened up to reveal a “trusted” bird in white, the symbol of liberty, innocence, and beauty, suspended below as we throw blood and torture her until she dies. Destroying something beautiful that cannot be fixed. After the witnessed destruction the audience was freed from their cage, given candles and proceeded to have a candlelit vigil around the dead body. At their own time each member blew out their light and exited in darkness and silence. 
Rebecca  Ferguson, Rachelle Beckerman, Brandon  Kirkham, Ana  Milosevic, Karl Kern, Scott  Carpenter,
Ohio University School of Theater