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Birds: A Festival Inspired by Aristophanes

A Citywide Celebration

Stretching from Brooklyn's waterfront to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the Onassis Cultural Center New York's spring festival spans New York City in search of birds, both allegorical and real. The festival's centerpiece is an adaptation of Aristophanes’ classic comedy, The Birds, first performed in Athens in 414 BC. 

WATCH ANIMATION: The Birds by Aristophanes, by Beetroot Design Group, Athens

Following its sold-out world premiere at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus and in Athens, this vibrant re-staging of Aristophanes’ ancient comedy travels to New York City for its American debut.

Director Nikos Karathanos’ retelling is both true to Aristophanes’ original and creatively adapted to reflect on contemporary concerns. The production at St. Ann’s Warehouse is the foundation of a broader festival of events at prominent cultural venues in New York City that will explore and celebrate themes emanating from The Birds

Below is a quick snapshot of festival venues with links to corresponding events:

St. Ann's Warehouse - May 2-13 
New adaptation of Aristophanes' The Birds, contemporary art exhibition, artist talk, and The Birds director talk

American Museum of Natural History - April 22
Piano concerts, family programs, and a philosophical bird walk

Brooklyn Museum - April 25, May 19, May 23, May 24-July 8, June 16
Political satire discussion, exhibition opening lecture, David Levine: Some of the People, All of the Time, Birdheart animated theater, and family day

New York Public Library - May 1
LIVE from the NYPL with Rachel Kushner and Paul Schrader: Prison Complex

Brooklyn Bridge Park - May 5
Bird walks with American Museum of Natural History ornithologist Paul Sweet

Stella Adler Studio of Acting - May 7 (Not open to the public)
The Birds cast members visit Riker's Island inmates and perform songs from the play

New-York Historical Society - May 12
Meet the Fledglings family program

Metrograph - May 18-20
Four films, three days, many birds

SCROLL DOWN TO NEXT SECTIONS for a full schedule of events, participants, and multimedia. 

Birds: A Festival Inspired by Aristophanes is produced by the Onassis Cultural Center New York. 

Spring 2018 Booklet of Events

Letter from the Onassis Foundation President

A Note from the Curator

Festival Curator: Violaine Huisman

Associate Curator of Visual Arts: Mari Spirito

Curatorial Assistant: Tamar MacKay

Festival Schedule

April 22-July 8, 2018

9:00

am, Sunday, April 22 Sun, April 22

EarthFest at the American Museum of Natural History

9-8pm , American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History Earth Day Celebration

  • concert
  • family program

7:00

pm, Wednesday, April 25 Wed, April 25

Brooklyn Museum Panel Discussion: Aristophanes and Political Satire

7-8:30pm , Brooklyn Museum

Panel discussion featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris, acclaimed actor Denis O’Hare, and others.

  • Talk
  • Discussion

7:00

pm, Tuesday, May 1 Tue, May 1

LIVE from the NYPL with Rachel Kushner and Paul Schrader: Prison Complex

7-9pm , New York Public Library

Political and philosophical queries stemming from Aristophanes will be highlighted in a conversation with bestselling author Rachel Kushn...

  • Talk

7:30

pm, Wednesday, May 2 Wed, May 2

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

7:30

pm, Thursday, May 3 Thu, May 3

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

5:00

pm, Friday, May 4 Fri, May 4

Art Tour of Nature of Justice: On "The Birds" at St. Ann's Warehouse

5-6pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

The Festival's visual arts curator Mari Spirito offers a tour of Nature of Justice: On "The Birds," a contemporary art exhibitio...

  • Tour
  • Contemporary Art

7:30

pm, Friday, May 4 Fri, May 4

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

8:00

am, Saturday, May 5 Sat, May 5

Pigeon Toes Bird Walks

8-5pm , Brooklyn Bridge Park

Join Paul Sweet, noted ornithologist from the American Museum of Natural History, for birdwatching tours at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

  • Talk
  • Walk

7:30

pm, Saturday, May 5 Sat, May 5

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

5:00

pm, Sunday, May 6 Sun, May 6

The Birds

5-7pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

10:00

am, Monday, May 7 Mon, May 7

Stella Adler Studio of Acting

10-3pm , Riker's Island Correctional Facility

Through a partnership with the Onassis Cultural Center New York, members of The Birds cast will visit Riker's Island inmates. ...

  • Theater

7:00

pm, Monday, May 7 Mon, May 7

Nature of Justice: A Visual Arts Response to The Birds

7-8pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A discussion on Nature of Justice, the visual art exhibition accompanying The Birds production at St. Ann's Warehouse....

  • Talk
  • Contemporary Art

7:30

pm, Tuesday, May 8 Tue, May 8

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

7:30

pm, Wednesday, May 9 Wed, May 9

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

7:30

pm, Thursday, May 10 Thu, May 10

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

9:30

pm, Thursday, May 10 Thu, May 10

Voices On: Post-Show Artist Talk at St. Ann's Warehouse

9:30-10:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A riveting talk with The Birds director Nikos Karathanos and other members of the cast.

  • Talk

7:30

pm, Friday, May 11 Fri, May 11

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

9:30

pm, Friday, May 11 Fri, May 11

Flying High: After-Show Party with DJ Reborn

9:30-11:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

Post-show party with DJ Reborn to carry the Aristophanian spirit into the night. 

  • Music
  • Party

2:00

pm, Saturday, May 12 Sat, May 12

The Birds

2-4pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

Meet the Fledglings at the New-York Historical Society

2-3:30pm , New-York Historical Society

The sixth annual Meet the Fledglings program in honor of the special exhibition Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife....

  • Family Program

7:30

pm, Saturday, May 12 Sat, May 12

The Birds

7:30-9:30pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

5:00

pm, Sunday, May 13 Sun, May 13

The Birds

5-7pm , St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn

A vibrant restaging of Aristophanes’ ancient classic directed by Nikos Karathanos.

  • Theater

9:15

pm, Friday, May 18 Fri, May 18

Metrograph Film - Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

9:15-11:15pm , Metrograph

This offbeat piece of pulp art is pure Jarmusch, with a stirring score by RZA.

  • Film

11:00

am, Saturday, May 19 Sat, May 19

Metrograph Film - The King and The Mockingbird

11-12:30pm , Metrograph

A brimming banquet of inventive animation for children and adults.

  • Film

4:00

pm, Saturday, May 19 Sat, May 19

Birdheart by Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane

4-4:45pm , Brooklyn Museum

A show about transformation, loneliness, and the urge to fly, Birdheart holds a mirror up to humanity. 

  • Theater

5:00

pm, Saturday, May 19 Sat, May 19

Metrograph Film - Brewster McCloud

5-7pm , Metrograph

Reimagining the myth of Icarus, Robert Altman risked imitating it—that is, letting his outsize imagination brush too close to the sun....

  • Film

11:00

am, Sunday, May 20 Sun, May 20

Metrograph Film - The King and The Mockingbird

11-12:30pm , Metrograph

A brimming banquet of inventive animation for children and adults.

  • Film

5:00

pm, Sunday, May 20 Sun, May 20

Metrograph Film - The Birds

5-7pm , Metrograph

One of Hitchcock’s supreme master-builder achievements plays on our fear of nature’s capricious cruelty.

  • Film

7:00

pm, Wednesday, May 23 Wed, May 23

Brooklyn Museum Exhibition Opening Lecture by David Levine

7-9pm , Brooklyn Museum

Artist David Levine opens his exhibition Some of the People, All of the Time with a lecture on the history and theory of the fak...

  • Talk

2:00

pm, Wednesday, May 23 Wed, May 23

Workshop: L’école de la claque with Bill Dietz

2-4:30pm , Brooklyn Museum

Join composer and writer Bill Dietz to discover the behavioral conventions of concert audiences.

  • Talk
  • exhibition

12:00

pm, Saturday, June 16 Sat, June 16

Bring the Cool: Express Yourself!

12-4pm , Brooklyn Museum

Cool Culture Family Festival celebrating the true spirit of democracy.

  • Family Program

2:00

pm, Saturday, June 30 Sat, June 30

Conversation: Personae in the 21st Century

2-4pm , Brooklyn Museum

Artist David Levine moderates a conversation on the use of personae in our domestic, political, and online lives.

  • Talk
  • exhibition

Off Site Events

Sat - Jun

30

Conversation: Personae in the 21st Century

Brooklyn Museum

Artist David Levine moderates a conversation on the use of personae in our domestic, political, and online lives.

  • Talk
  • exhibition

Sat - Jun

23

Workshop: L’école de la claque with Bill Dietz

Brooklyn Museum

Join composer and writer Bill Dietz to discover the behavioral conventions of concert audiences.

  • Talk
  • exhibition

Sun - May

20

Metrograph Film - The King and The Mockingbird

Metrograph

A brimming banquet of inventive animation for children and adults.

  • Film

Sun - May

20

Metrograph Film - The Birds

Metrograph

One of Hitchcock’s supreme master-builder achievements plays on our fear of nature’s capricious cruelty.

  • Film

Sat - May

19

Metrograph Film - Brewster McCloud

Metrograph

Reimagining the myth of Icarus, Robert Altman risked imitating it—that is, letting his outsize imagination brush too close to the sun....

  • Film

Sat - May

19

Metrograph Film - The King and The Mockingbird

Metrograph

A brimming banquet of inventive animation for children and adults.

  • Film

Fri - May

18

Metrograph Film - Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Metrograph

This offbeat piece of pulp art is pure Jarmusch, with a stirring score by RZA.

  • Film

Sat - May

19

Birdheart by Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane

Brooklyn Museum

A show about transformation, loneliness, and the urge to fly, Birdheart holds a mirror up to humanity. 

  • Theater

Sat - Jun

16

Bring the Cool: Express Yourself!

Brooklyn Museum

Cool Culture Family Festival celebrating the true spirit of democracy.

  • Family Program

Wed - Apr

25

Brooklyn Museum Panel Discussion: Aristophanes and Political Satire

Brooklyn Museum

Panel discussion featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris, acclaimed actor Denis O’Hare, and others.

  • Talk
  • Discussion

Wed - May

23

Brooklyn Museum Exhibition Opening Lecture by David Levine

Brooklyn Museum

Artist David Levine opens his exhibition Some of the People, All of the Time with a lecture on the history and theory of the fak...

  • Talk

Sat - May

12

Meet the Fledglings at the New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society

The sixth annual Meet the Fledglings program in honor of the special exhibition Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife....

  • Family Program