Birds of a Feather – Marc Acito

birds

First produced by the Hub Theatre in Fairfax, Virginia on July 15, 2011.

Original Cast:

Silo, Lola, Bombshell, Porkey, Gayest, Preening,            Dan Crane
Announcer, Grown-Up Tango

Roy, Pale Male, Bombshell, Betty, Gayer, Bored,             Matt Dewberry
Teen Tango, Chastity Wright

Birder, Gay, Fat Cat Senator, Man in Coveralls,                 Eric Messner
Wanna-Be, Richard Cohen

Zookeeper, Paula Zahn, Female Birder                                Jjana Valentiner

 

Director:  Shirley Serotsky
Set Design:  Robbie Hayes
Costume Design:  Deb Sivigny
Lighting Design:  Andy Cissina
Sound Design:  Veronica Vorel

 

Publication:  Acito, Marc. Birds of a Feather. Samuel French, 2013. Drama Stacks PS3601.C53 B57 2013

 

Setting:  New York City, in and around Central Park; early 21st Century

Language:  Contemporary

SILO

(to ROY) What are they staring at? If they want to see a show, they should go to Times Square. Phantom’s on twofers.

Genre/Style:   Comedy

Plot:  Tells the story of Roy and Silo, the two male Chinstrap Penguins who fell in love and raised a chick in the Central Park Zoo.  Their story inspired the children’s book And Tango Makes Three, which became one of the most banned books ever.  As a contrast, the play also relates the story of Pale Male and Lola, two Red-Tailed Hawks who built a nest on the side of a Fifth Avenue apartment building.  Pale Male became a cause célèbre when his nest was removed at the behest of a few building residents and protests ensued.  Pale Male and Lola have also been the subjects of a number of children’s books, none of which have been banned.

 

Review of the Production:  Horwitz, J. (2011, Jul 13). Tales of hawks and penguins take flight in hub theatre’s ‘birds’. The Washington Post.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.14-15: Silo yearns for the outside, admires Pale Male, and bemoans being a penguin. 

SILO

I ask every bird who comes back from the Outside to tell me what it’s like. And they talk of things called trees that extend up, up, upper still, opening onto an Everywhere of Blue where something called clouds swim on the wind. I want to see the thing they call grass and flowers and garbage. And bugs and crumbs. But most of all, I want to know everything about the bird they call Pale Male.

[lines cut]

 

But underneath my slick plumage lies a cushion of air that keeps me buoyant, floating safely between the predators above and below. And in that narrow pocket I tuck away my secret self.

p.33:  Roy is talking to his daughter, Baby Tango. 

ROY

I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those annoying parents who goes on and on and on about his darling sweet snooky gookum light of his life reason for his existence, but seriously, take a look at this child.  Is she not the most adorable lovable huggable creature ever ever ever ever ever in the history of the world since before the invention of time? I thought so.

[lines cut]

But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m actually the strong one. It’s true. It comes from being very superficial. Things don’t bother me much because I don’t think much. It’s a fool-proof system-designed by a fool. I highly recommend it.

p.41-42:  The Birder is a character who’s a birdwatcher watching Pale Male and Lola.  He’s a bit lonely and socially awkward.    

BIRDER

Every week all spring, a new batch of birds shows up-two hundred and seventy five different kinds. I’ve lived here my whole life, I’ve never noticed. Most New Yorkers tune out, y’know, put on that New York face…

[lines cut]

I once saw a mourning dove pretend to have a broken wing to distract an owl away from its nest. And I actually watched this little plover deliberately act insane just to confuse a raccoon, which is exactly what you should do when you’re getting mugged.

p.43-43:  Birder remembers watching the Twin Towers fall on television.  Likens people in the buildings to birds.

BIRDER

Watchin’ those chicks perched on the edge of the nest, hopping up and down, trying to work up the courage to take a flying leap into the unknown, I can’t stop thinkin’ of those people who were t rapped in the World Trade Center. The ones who decided they’d rather leap to their deaths than burn alive. [lines cut] Two virtual strangers who found themselves standing above the world in a broken window, fire blazing at their backs, the wind whipping past their faces as they stared out at so much blue. And I imagine them turning to each other and saying, “Let’s not die alone.”

p.51: Zookeeper talks about the experience of being single.

ZOOKEEPER

Sure, I’ve been over to the model boat pond a couple of times, but I’d never seen Pale Male that close. It was like meeting the Pope or the president. He was so mesmerizing. Those intense eyes. That proud chest. His whole demeanor was so…masculine. Almost alluring.

Okay, I seriously need to get laid.

[Lines cut]

I know it’s counter-productive, but when you’re single, you don’t have someone else to torture, so you torture yourself.

 

Representative Scenes:  Scenes con­tain the first person’s lines and the last person’s lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the scene in its entirety.

p. 11-14: Roy and Silo discuss their relationship and Roy’s desire to have a chick. [Part of a longer scene.] Starts with

SILO

(to ROY)  What are they staring at? If they want to see a show, they should go to Times Square. Phantom’s on twofers.

and ends with

ROY

I beg to differ.

p.26-30: Lola confronts Pale Male about their relationship and the way he treats her; Pale Male explains that’s the way of hawks and he also complains about Silo and Roy having a chick and how it’s not natural.   Starts with

LOLA

How many children do you have?

and ends with

LOLA

I choose to believe otherwise.

p.73-75:  Silo breaks up with Roy, telling him that he’s fallen in love with a female penguin from San Diego.   Starts with

SILO

You sick?

and ends with

ROY

This isn’t the world-wide-world. It’s a prison.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *