Conference of the Birds Week 1

One week into rehearsal Conference of the Birds rehearsal! It’s been about 3 rehearsals and I feel like we’ve covered a lot, but there’s still a long way to go.

We met our birds (puppets) on the first day of rehearsal. A motley crew. Jeremiah, the director, laid them all out and we were to go to the birds that “called to us”. Sounds like a lot of hoopaloopa and actor mumbo jumbo but it’s strange that there are some birds that felt more right than others. Okay…to use an easy analogy…imagine Harry Potter choosing his wand. Yes…the right bird would feel right. My bird was the Guilty Bird. It wasn’t an immediate affinity but I’m growing to understand it better. It’s a funny little bird too. I’ll show a pic soon.

Conference of the Birds is originally a Sufi poem. For lack of a better word, it’s an epic and the stage version we’re doing was adapted by Peter Brook. According to William Teo: His Work in Theatre:

“The Conference of the Birds was a turning point for William. William was drawn to works that offered hope. Conference of the birds was his search for a hope, his anchor. (I paraphrase).

In rebuilding Conference of the Birds, we’re spending a large part of it on the process. We’re only performing for 2 shows but rehearsing over 2 months. It’s a very rare treat for an actor these days to be so process oriented and I’m really thankful for the opportunity. It must be more than serendipity that I’m encountering William Teo’s legacy in this stage of my acting career/journey where I am taking stock and re-evaluating the paths ahead.

Theatre stirs our feelings, reminds us we are human, and gives us courage.

Theatre tells us we are not alone.

I do theatre to offer a prayer, and to tell stories that otherwise never be told.

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