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If We Were Birds ()

Produced by

Groundwater Productions

Presented by

The SummerWorks Performance Festival

Playwright: Erin Shields
Director: Alan Dilworth


Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace


August 8th, 2008 – August 17th, 2008


If We Were Birds is a riveting re-imagining of Ovid’s masterpiece “Tereus, Procne and Philomela”. When King Pandion marries his daughter Procne off to war hero King Tereus, Procne returns with him to Thrace and is separated from her beloved sister Philomela. After years of isolation in a foreign land, Procne begs Tereus to fetch her sister for a visit. When confronted with Philomela’s beauty, Tereus’ desire triumphs over reason igniting a chain of horrific events.  A harrowing exploration of violence and revenge, this adaptation features a chorus of ravaged women, each a victim of a 20th Century conflict: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Nanking, and Berlin. (


Philippa Domville Procne
Tara Rosling Philomela
David Fox King Pandion
Geoffrey Pounsett King Tereus
Rose Cortez The Young One (Rwanda, 1994)
Daniela Lama The Pregnant One (Bangladesh, 1971)
Ieva Lucs The Pious One (Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-1995)
Shannon Perreault The Bleeding One (Nanking 1937)
Edwige Jean-Pierre The One with Dwindling Dignity (Berlin, 1945)

Creative Team

Erin Shields Playwright
Alan Dilworth Director
Jung-Hye Kim Set Designer
Jung-Hye Kim Costume Designer
Kimberly Purtell Lighting Designer
Thomas Ryder Payne Sound Designer
Courtney Brown Assistant Director
Monica Dottor Choreography on "The Rescue"
Michael Dufays Fight Coordination


Scott Seetoo Stage Manager
Gideon Arthurs Producer
Miriam Fernandes Associate Producer
Anthony Swaneveld Postcard Design


Jason Golinsky Venue Technician
Peter Eaton Venue Technician
Michel Charbonneau Festival Lighting Designer