Bird House

The Dream Team: Casting BIRD HOUSE by heidihandelsman
June 7, 2009, 8:29 am
Filed under: Casting | Tags: , , , , , ,

Rehearsals for Bird House are about to start! Everyone keeps saying to me, “I can’t wait to see how you’re gonna do all that stuff!” And I always reply, “Neither can I!” Time to dig in, and discover how it all goes.

We’ve already started on these impossible happenings, in fact, thanks to two fantastic groups of people.

First of all, our design team is stellar. Seriously. These people are creative geniuses.

And, of course, our actors are amazing. We gathered ourselves together a few weeks ago for a workshop, and our theatrical experimentation proved quite fruitful. We tried out some new vocabularies, solved some challenges, and unearthed challenges we didn’t even realize we were facing.

One challenge that the Kate, KNF team and I managed to conquer last month, pre-workshop even, was casting this thing in the first place. The caliber of actor who showed up to audition was through the roof! It was like an embarrassment of riches. The whittling-down process caused long meetings and sleepless nights. But it all paid off, because we definitely landed on the right folks for the job. The magnetic Christina Shipp, the sparkly Cotton Wright, the high-spirited Wendy Scharfman, the sprightly Kylie Goldstein, and the nimble Anthony Willis and Ora Fruchter are already rocking my socks off.

Oh, we had so many wild ideas about how to cast this play! Back in April, we brainstormed a few versions of fantasy casts. Not really “this is how we should cast the play” casts, more like, “wouldn’t it be funny/awesome if…” casts. My favorites:

The Big Name New York Actors cast: Mary Louise Parker as Louisy, Cynthia Nixon as Syl
The 80s sitcom cast: Betty White as Louisy, Bea Arthur as Syl, Rue MacLanahan as Rita, and Estelle Getty as Myra
The SNL cast: Amy Pohler as Louisy, Tina Fey as Syl
The sure-to-bring-in-a-big-audience cast: George Clooney, in every role. Naked.

OK, full disclosure, there was wine present when we came up with these ideas. We were at my apartment, reading the script out loud, just for ourselves. It was a great way to reconnect with the script, and it hurtled Kate into a massive rewriting adventure. In case you’re curious, casting in my living room was as follows: Heidi as Louisy, Tzip as Syl, Kelly as Myra, Kate as Rita, and Katherine as everyone else.

But enough of dreaming up these wild dreams from the confines of my apartment, or coffee shops with brilliant designers! Time for the rehearsal alchemy to begin!

-Heidi Handelsman


Welcome to the Lop Side, Soldier by sportivetricks
June 6, 2009, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Notes on the Play | Tags: , , ,

“Kate Marks has accomplished what other writers only dream about.”– Ashley Griffin, TheaterOnline.Com

a lovely and well-executed fairy tale.– Will Fulton, NYTheatre.Com

“…full of stunning imagery.– Amy Freeman, OffOffOnline.Com

Heidi Handelsman has conjured this fantasy so fully that even though we see the puppeteers through the life-size windows of this hand-crafted bird house (Sara C. Walsh’s set), we remain raptly dreaming Aaron Riccio , That Sounds Cool


Cotton Wright* and Christina Shipp are Louisy and Syl in BIRD HOUSE (photo by Marcus Woollen)

Welcome to the official website of BIRD HOUSE, an impossible new play by Kate Marks. It’s a coming of age story for an age under seige, when everyday what we thought was impossible is suddenly at our doorstep.

Below, you will find the production blog, regularly updated with new developments in the process of creating this singular event.  Check back often to keep abreast,  or subscribe to our RSS feed.

BIRD HOUSE is an AEA approved showcase opening July 10th @ Theater 3 and closing on July 26th.  For more information on ticket sales and directions, click HERE.

Click the TheaterMania button to purchase tickets, only $18.


*Member of AEA