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Bird in the Hand

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Through July 29. Tickets are $25-9 on a sliding scale. Call 510-558-1381 or visit www.centralworks.org.
Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley

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This is a new play written by sometime solo performance artist and professor of creative writing at San Francisco State, Anne Galjour. Originally inspired by her love of birds, she began the play in 2001 as an exercise in monologues and duets. The play follows three couples in San Francisco whose relationships are all affected by their interest (or lack thereof) in birds. The four-actor play uses birds in an urban landscape as a voyeuristic vehicle peering into the apartments and homes of the characters. Throughout the show, the actors perch and birdcall as both scenic transitions and as sound effects. As the characters lament the habitat fragmentation of the city experience, their own personal isolations are revealed. This play could be incredibly engaging to an audience of "birding" enthusiasts, but to a layperson, it was hard to stay connected and care for the characters. The sound effects were also a bit distracting. At times, there was ambient noise from elsewhere in the building, and it was hard to tell which were accidental noises, and which were part of the show. The actors performed the piece quite well; all of them successfully playing several characters, and the layering of the scenes was done artfully by Galjour. Bird in the Hand is a play custom-made for a bird enthusiast or nature lover.

 
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