When King Pandion marries his daughter Procne off to war hero King Tereus, she must leave her beloved sister Philomela behind. After years of isolation in a foreign land, Procne begs Tereus to collect her sister for a visit. When confronted with Philomela's beauty, Tereus's desire triumphs over reason, igniting a chain of horrific events. A harrowing exploration of violence and revenge, this adaptation features a chorus of ravaged women, each a survivor of a twenteth century conflict: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Nanking, and Berlin. If We Were Birds is a shocking, uncompromising examination of the horrors of war, giving voice to a woman long ago forced into silence, and placing a spotlight on millions of female victims who have been silenced through violence. A deeply affecting and thought-provoking re-imagining of Ovid's masterpiece "Tereus, Procne, and Philomela," Erin Shields's award-winning play is an unflinching commentary on contemporary war and its aftermath delivered through the lens of Greek tragedy.
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Playwrights Canada Press
January 01, 2012
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