An avian flight of fine fancy
Three junior reporters met some cast members of the show The Birdhouse Factory last Wednesday. They interviewed the performers and later watched the show.
Here they recount their experiences.
What is The Birdhouse Factory?
The Birdhouse Factory is a fusion of theatrical and acrobatic performances. The show is all about humour and love.
I especially liked the props. They include a giant metal wheel similar to the one used by US space agency Nasa to train astronauts. The crew build the props themselves and ship them to performance venues in a large cargo container. 'The show is ever developing and it gets better every time we perform it,' says Chris Lashua, the director.
The Birdhouse Factory started a few years ago in the US. According to Lashua, the show had its first major success when the crew was invited to perform at a theatre on Broadway.
As the show is a form of circus, artists come and go often. If a performer leaves or is injured, the director will have to look for a replacement. The show, therefore, hires new members quite frequently.
But the troupe prefers to hire people from the circus community, especially through referrals from current crew members.
Lashua says the troupe always welcomes ex-members who wish to return.
Ideas and roles
'Birdhouse Factory begins with an injured bird flying into a factory,' Lashua explained.
The workers there kick their boss out and turn their factory into a birdhouse so the bird can stay and recover.
But the show has been evolving since day one. 'It's kept on developing and everyone shared ideas to bring out the circus aspect,' Lashua said.
Viktoria Grimmy, known as the 'hula hoop girl' of the troupe, has been an acrobat since she was three. She told us that each role was assigned according to a member's personality. 'We do this because we tend to do our best when we like our roles,' she said. 'Also, by doing so, artists will feel more comfortable performing.'
Birdhouse Factory world tour
Grimmy said she enjoyed being part of the production. 'I enjoy performing in a small-scale circus because all artists contribute equally to the show's success and no one is neglected,' she said.
The show has toured many countries, including Holland and Finland, since its debut six years ago.
But, for Grimmy, performing in New York was the real icing on the cake.
'The most memorable place to perform will definitely have to be New York. We could not imagine showcasing our hard work in an international city that may help us gain recognition from both the industry and the world,' she said.