The Theater department has been preparing since May for their first show of the 2018-2019 season, “The Birds.” On Wednesday, Oct. 11, they will take the stage at 8 p.m. in the Redbud Theater Complex. Undergraduate students Alandra Baptiste, Walker Delk, Michael Diaz and Bryce Neel make up the entire four-person cast.
Written by Connor McPherson, this play was adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s novelette published in 1952. This novelette, which the cast and director read together, was the same one that inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s notable film. Though the play is meant to be scary, it is starkly different from Hitchcock’s notorious adaptation of “The Birds.”
“If people expect an Alfred Hitchcock, or an exact adaptation of that, that’s not the show that it is,” Director Noah Lelek said. “It’s sort of zombie apocalypse meets ‘The Birds,’ plus, a little bit of these characters sort of dealing with the effects of being strangers and living together.”
The cast faced many challenges, especially dealing with the lack of information on their characters’ back stories, forcing them to come up with their own. Being comprised of two transfer students and two current-continuing TWU students, they also had to face the challenges of getting to know each other.
“We’re in the show with two transfers, so we don’t know them. We’ve never acted with them before, and it’s really hard to get chemistry with new people on the stage,” cast member Alandra Baptiste said. “The end product makes it all worth it.”
The transfer students are not the only addition to this show. Undergraduate theater designers will hold every position of this production. Lights, sounds, props, costumes, set and even stage managers are all run by students.
“I don’t know the last time we did that: all student designers,” Lelek said.
Because the director plans to stick close to the original play, there are differences between this upcoming production and what might be seen in a film.
“I hope they understand the sense of fear that the show has,” Baptiste said. “I hope that the danger within the show is delivered well, too.”
Lelek also wants the audience to take away more than just the thrill of horror.
“It’s not just for fun and to be scary; it’s much deeper than that,” Lelek said.
Other showings of “The Birds” will be Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2 and 8p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are sold $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. The Saturday matinee, though, will be pay-what-you-can. You can reserve tickets online or through the TWU Box Office at 940-898-2020.