Written by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Translated by Maurice Valency
Brian MacDevitt, director
Leigh Wilson Smiley, acting coach
Kendra Portier, choreographer
Under what circumstances can a society skew their morality for comfort and personal gain? Set in the fictitious town of Güllen, experience the story of a woman’s revenge on a community that cast her out when she was pregnant and impoverished. This allegorical dark comedy features a village of citizens—set into motion as a mob of dancing birds, whose sweeping murmurations turn ferocious. The play arcs from absurdist to barbarous in order to question what happens when civil ethics, personal morality, patriarchal rule, justice and democracy go amok.
“A small masterpiece of misanthropy…a grotesque fable whose icy laughter and bizarre fantastical sideshows…reflect its Swiss author’s proximity to both the Holocaust and the accompanying absurdist revolution in theater…. A nightmare about democracy, Dürrenmatt’s play will always be pertinent.” — The New York Times
To learn more about the history of this play and our production, check out this website created by dramaturg Jared Strange.