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Tongue of a Bird (2000)

By Ellen McLaughlin

Directed by Carmela Lanza-Weil

This multi-ethnic production revolves around the character of Maxine (Sherry Okamura), a search and rescue pilot hired by Dessa (Ithica Tell), a mother whose twelve-year-old daughter, Charlotte (Angela Rollins), has been abducted. Maxine’s search for the girl parallels her search for her own mother, Evie, (Julie Cowden) appearing as a ghostly Amelia Earhart figure throughout. Maxine must also care for her elder Grandmother (Trish Egan) while searching for the lost girl.

bird_graphicAs part of the rehearsal process, two actresses took a flying lesson in a Cessna (see photo) with Pilot Julie Buckley at Aurora Aviation. The weather cooperated with a rainstorm that definitely helped Sherry Okamura and Ithica Tell conduct research for their characters who fly under storm conditions in the play.

Production staff included Mark Twohy, stage manager, Robert Tollefson, set design, Marci Cochran, costume design, Nathan Burkhoff, lighting and technical designer, Dmae Roberts/Harold Phillips, sound design, Stephen Hoyt, music composer.