CWU Play

“Stupid F##king Bird” debuts at CWU this Friday.

Every quarter, the talented students and faculty in Central’s Theatre Department put on various productions to showcase their talents. This quarter, one of those productions is “Stupid F##king Bird,” a tragic comedy about unrequited love, conflict between the generations, and the search for what it means to make art. The play opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Milo Smith Tower Theatre.

This sort of adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” follows Conrad, a struggling playwright, as he desperately attempts to write a new play and balance competing relationships.

“I think that this particular play resonates with today’s audience in a way that they understand Chekhov in a way that they haven’t before,” said Patrick Dizney, CWU associate professor and production director. “I think people will resonate with actions that happen in the play and go, ‘Oh my God, I literally saw that in my life last year, I went through that.’”

Chekhov’s plays are notoriously difficult to adapt and translate. And while Dizney believes that the playwright, Aaron Posner, “has done the absolute best translation of any Chekhov play,” he knows that this production will be challenging for his actors.

“To me, the value for my students is they get the opportunity to work on something really difficult,” said Dizney.

“My character in particular has so many mood shifts throughout the show,” said Nathaniel Shipley, the actor portraying the main character, Conrad. “At the beginning he is all cheery and happy, and quickly goes downhill into a state of hysteria and madness. It’s very fun to play, but also very difficult at the same time.”

Garret Deffert, Michael Galvin, Kaela Buffum Hogan, Anthony Wyatt Lord, Nathaniel Shipley, Rachael Skaggs, and Julia Seligman make up the production’s small cast, and they are excited about bringing this play to Central.

“I read this script for a class freshman year, and after reading it I was determined to be in it,” Shipley said. “The script just has so many great dynamics and messages, and is overall an amazing play.”

Even with a small cast, this play is all hands-on deck. From set and costume designers to stage hands to the actors themselves, this production will require the whole department.

“Almost everyone in the department at some point will lay hands on it,” said Dizney.

“Stupid F##king Bird” runs Nov. 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee showing at 2 p.m. on Nov. 24.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for seniors/students/alumni, and $8 for CWU students with ID. Tickets can be purchased at cwu.edu/tickets.

Wyatt Langstraat writes for the CWU Publicity Center.

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