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Stupid Fucking Bird

How has Anton Chekhov informed Stupid Fucking Bird? Aaron Posner – the playwright of Stupid Fucking Bird – calls it a ‘sort of’ adaptation of The Seagull, and he’s quite liberal with excising chunks of plot and compressing two or more characters into one for ease of modern staging. But he’s remained intensely faithful to the essence of the story.
 
How does Chekhov's The Seagull apply to 21st Century living? Many narratives now take place in the back stages of theatres or the backlots of film sets, it’s basically a genre unto itself. A huge debt is owed to The Seagull for that. It’s the first modern exposé on the lives of theatre-makers, and it’s never been bettered. But its heart remains in the human story, which is always relevant.
 
How did you fine-tune the comedic aspect? There’s an old theatre legend (often attributed to actor Edmund Gwenn) that tells of his dying words. “What’s it like?” he was asked. “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard,” was his alleged punchline.  Apocryphal or not, it says a lot about the work that goes into making comedy land.  All you can do is work till you nail it.
 
How does both acting and directing impact the staging process? So much depends on the method of approach.  On this project we’ve explored organic ways to stage the drama, following the natural inclination of the actors’ impulses in the space. We’ve also negotiated more abstracted sequences which require an approach closer to choreography.  The trick is to be flexible.

Stupid Fucking Bird will be performed at Metanoia Theatre, The Mechanics Institute every Wednesday to Sunday until Sunday February 26.