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The Scariest Thing isn’t What’s Outside the House, It’s What’s Inside!

Published on: April 26, 2022

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BANGOR, MAINE – Husson University Theatre (HUT), the university’s official student theatre club, will perform Conor McPherson’s “The Birds” in a special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service from Friday, April 29, 2022 through Sunday, May 1, 2022 in the Gracie Theatre’s Black Box performance space.

This nail-biting thriller follows a group of individuals as they seek refuge from the outside world and the birds that have mysteriously begun ferociously attacking their town and anyone who inhabits it. The show is directed, designed, and performed by Husson students and will be open to the public.

While members of the public may already be familiar with the motion picture adaptation of “The Birds” that was produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963, this stage adaptation promises to provide its own series of chills and thrills. The film version starred Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren along with Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette and Veronica Cartwright.

“Our stage version of “The Birds” gives us a look at how the human psyche changes when monsters aren’t just attacking from outside - but from the inside too,” says stage director Gracie Demchak. “The cast and crew are very committed to this show, and rehearse several times a week - often until 11 p.m.!”

Originally inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s 1952 novel of the same title, Conor McPherson’s adaptation of “The Birds” is one that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. During the play, characters fight to survive in a world that’s overrun with vicious birds.

“The Birds is so much more than just another thriller,” continued Demchak. ”It provides a gripping, unsettling, and moving look at human relationships in the face of societal collapse. The scariest thing isn’t what’s outside the house, it’s what’s inside.

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Some of the cast members of “The Birds” are making their HUT debut. These members include junior Juliet Stoneton of Orrington, Maine; freshman Nex Staples of Gardiner, Maine; freshman Rin Minoty of Gardiner, Maine; and freshman Madison Phillips of Wales, Maine. The returning HUT performers include sophomore Hannah Boddy of Washburn, Maine; senior Kylan Bowden of Lebanon, Maine; and freshman Bailey Arruda of Warwick, Rhode Island. 

The production team includes sophomore Bryanna Romesburg of Winterport, Maine making her debut as stage manager. The returning HUT production crew members include director Gracie Demchak, a sophomore from Winterport, Maine, lighting designer Melanie Wright, a senior from Gorham, Maine; sound designer Chris Duff, a senior from Worcester, Massachusetts; costume designer senior Erin Bessey of Newport, Maine; and props by junior Erin Cahoon of Wrentham, Massachusetts.

Performances of “The Birds” will take place on Friday, April 29, 2022 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 2 p.m. All performances will be located at Husson University’s Black Box Theatre, which is located on the second floor of the Gracie Theatre.

General admission tickets are only available at the door one hour before each performance. Seating is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis for this two-act drama. Admission is free for Husson students and $5.00 general admission. In accordance with Husson University policies, mask wearing is optional.

Husson University Theatre, or HUT, is a student-led theater club open to all Husson students who enjoy live theatrical productions. The group produces two shows each year for the campus and greater Bangor community. Husson students are responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations. This includes all of the production roles - from acting on stage, to crew roles backstage and box office management. Plays are selected, directed and designed entirely by students.

Originally, HUT was called the Husson Circle Players. The student shows began over 40 years ago and were performed on campus in Peabody Hall’s Kominsky Auditorium. When The Gracie was built in 2009, the Husson Circle Players moved to the new location and were renamed Husson University Theatre.

Recent Husson University Theatre (HUT) student productions have included Jonathan Rand’s “Check, Please,” “Stop Kiss” by Diana Son, John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt,” and “The Guys” by Anne Nelson. Other student productions include John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine,” John Scoullar’s “The Little Prince,” and “The Lion in Winter” by James Goldman. 

For more information about the upcoming production of The Birds, please visit the Husson University Facebook page or email husson.university.theatre@gmail.com

The Gracie Theatre, in a collaboration between artists, students, and university constituents, is an intimate and inviting performing arts facility that provides hands-on experiential learning and technical support services for the Husson University community through a combination of diverse cultural programming and community engagement. Learn more about the Gracie Theatre and upcoming shows at GracieTheatre.com.

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to an analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report,

Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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