Stupid Fucking Bird
by Aaron Posner
sort of adapted from The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, with original music by James Sugg
directed by Kirsten Brandt; supported by producer Kovin Hagan
Sept. 14-Oct. 15, 2017. Download high-res photos. Scroll down for show details and special events.
Why you should see Stupid Fucking Bird
Because the LA Weekly called this dark comedy “the best Chekhov adaptation in two decades.”
Because we’ve got stellar director / playwright Kirsten Brandt (TheatreWorks, San Jose Rep, The Old Globe…).
Because the play breaks the fourth wall and does it right.
Because the cast deftly blends snark, pathos, sly observations about modern theater, and original ukulele songs.
Because if Chekhov were still with us, he’d sit up front with some cardamom ice cream and enjoy the show..
Where the %$*# did the title come from?
Playwright Aaron Posner has a few answers. In an interview with ACT Theatre in Seattle, he said, “It really just started as a joke where people were talking about Chekhov and I talked about how much I loved and hated The Seagull, and…I said, ‘I should write my own adaptation of The Seagull; I should call it Stupid Fucking Bird,’ and everybody laughed, and that’s how the play was born.”
Some people love the title, while others squirm. Posner told the Arden Theatre Company: “One thing I like about the title is it lets people know in no uncertain terms what kind of play they are going to see. If you don’t want to hear colorful language or are not comfortable with passion and nudity and adult complexities of life…then this is, perhaps, not the play for you.”
This is Chekhov — like you’ve never seen it before. Award-winning playwright Aaron Posner’s bold, raucous, contemporary riff on The Seagull moves the action to a country house where unrequited desire drowns in sarcasm and alcohol. Actresses, writers and even a ukulele-playing cook all bare their souls as they struggle to find the truths of life. And everyone discovers the disappointments of art, love and growing up in this skillful remix of the classic.
(in order of appearance)
Dev: Tasi Alabastro
Mash: Sharon Shao
Sorn: Stefan Fisher
Nina: Sarah Haas
Con: Jacob Marker
Emma: April Green
Trig: Andrew Cooperfauss
What people are saying about the show
“An entertainingly cheeky take on a classic.” –The Mercury News
“The show is smart enough to have it both ways: It mines The Seagull for classical heft even while giving it the bird.” –The Washington Post
“Offers unexpectedly authentic and affecting insights into love’s cruelties and the existential conundrums at the heart of Chekhov’s plays.” –LA Weekly
Which Chekhov play is Aaron Posner’s Life Sucks an adaptation of? Which movie version of a Chekhov play earned a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes? Learn more in our Highlights guide.
More information and special events
Stupid Fucking Bird runs Sept. 14-Oct. 15, 2017. (No performance Sept. 17.)
Showtimes: Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $19-$44. Discounts for seniors (55+), students, educators and groups of 10+. ($2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases; closing weekend is also subject to a $2 increase.) Run time is about 2 hours and 15 minutes, with one intermission. Suggested for high school-age and up due to language and adult content.
Parking and seating:
Parking is provided for $5 on most dates across the street at Notre Dame High School (call for availability for your performance). View an interactive parking map of downtown San Jose for more options. Seating is general admission, and the theater is wheelchair-accessible.
Pay What You Can Night: Thursday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m.
$19 Preview Night: Friday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m.
Opening Night (with a post-show party catered by Cafe Stritch) Saturday, Sept. 16, 8 p.m.
Talkback with our director and cast: Sunday, Oct. 1, after the 2 p.m. matinee
Our nonprofit partner for this production is Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue. We are proud to support Mickaboo’s fine work rescuing parrots and other commonly domesticated companion birds who have been neglected, abused, injured or surrendered because their owners can no longer care for them. Learn more about Mickaboo. At the Sunday, Oct. 8, matinee, CEO Michelle Yesney will give a curtain speech about the nonprofit’s activities, and we’ll donate 25% of the ticket sales from regular-priced single tickets to Mickaboo.