Bakersfield soon to see ‘The Birds’

Bakersfield soon to see ‘The Birds’

: Joey Little and Jotae Fraser run lines with each other during rehearsals after class.

Patricia Rocha, Reporter

By Patricia Rocha

Reporter

 

As their opening night quickly approaches, the cast of Bakersfield College’s production of “The Birds” are excitedly rehearsing. Theater director Kimberly Chin is excited to see how the Ancient Greek play is challenging her students with its musical numbers, compelling characters and unique setting.

“They’re coming together as an ensemble and I’m really happy with the result so far,” Chin said.

Her students agree. Theater major Desiree Martinez feels the cast has really connected with their characters. At a petite 4’ 11” Martinez is excited for her theater debut as a hummingbird.

“A humming bird is very fast and kind of hyper, and I would definitely say that’s me,” said Martinez. “This is my first ever theater performance. I’m really, really excited about it. I get really emotional when I think about it because it just feels like this is where I belong.”

Theater major Jotae Fraser loves how different his lead character Pisthetaerus is to his past roles.

“It’s a different character that I haven’t had a chance to play,” Fraser said. “I really like it because it’s a different process. This is the first production that I’ve been a part of where it is such a huge cast and I really love, for me being the lead character, to have all the reactions and stuff that the birds give. It really helps support my character and really gives him that ultimate power.”

Fellow cast mate Domingo Ramirez Jr. feels his character is particularly special for him because this is his first theater role and he feels he’s perfect for it.

“My role is the peacock, and it’s a bird that’s very flamboyant and sassy…very fashionable and not afraid to tell you what you’re doing wrong,” Ramirez said about his over-the-top character. “It’s just really fun because I think I’m like that but I’m scared to actually be like that so I’m glad that my character is like that because I get to just go full out and be fun.”

Ramirez is also glad his love of dance will show in the play’s choreography. Chin spoke on what it has been like for her students to learn these musical numbers.

“Some of them have never danced at all,” Chin said. “I find that inspirational that they’re able to challenge themselves in this way. I’m really proud of all these students.”

In order to get an authentic Athens feel, the performances will be held in what is known on campus as “the huddle,” located outside of the gym and stadium entrance.

“The athletic department has been very generous and said that they would allow us to use their swim benches,” Chin said. “Just like Greek theatre, you didn’t have these plush cushy seats…so we’re trying to give audience members as close to an ancient Greek theater feel as possible.”

There are a few challenges because of the location, but Chin is optimistic it will only make the production stronger.

“Many of these students have never performed on a stage,” Chin said. “Getting them to project and having to challenge themselves through the environment, that’s something we are really working on.”

Martinez is hoping the weather and concrete setting won’t be too much of a challenge.

“It’s going to be on concrete so we have to do some dancing and us, as the birds, we’re sitting on the floor a lot,” Martinez said. “It might get uncomfortable at times, but the show must go on, right?”

Fraser thought the setting was a brilliant idea.

“I can’t wait to get out there and really get that whole feel going on, like, ‘OK every body, we’re here, we’re in Greece, we got the birds,’” Fraser said. “I just think it’s going to be amazing.”

The play will be held in the huddle on April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28.