See how a woeful widget factory becomes a frolicsome funhouse in Cirque Mechanics' Birdhouse Factory which will play the Ohio Theatre for one night only. Created and directed by Chris Lashua, the originator of the German Wheel act in Cirque du Soleil's Quidam, and featuring veterans of the Pickle Family and Moscow Circuses, Birdhouse Factory uses a decidedly fresh aesthetic to showcase its high-flying, mindboggling talent. The production has wowed audiences worldwide, including a critically acclaimed off-Broadway run and US tour, highly successful European tour, and performances in Dubai and Hong Kong.
CAPA presents Cirque Mechanics' Birdhouse Factory at 3pm on Saturday, October 20, at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.). Tickets are $20-$35 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. Students between the ages of 13-19 may purchase $5 PNC Arts Alive All Access tickets while available. For more information, visit www.GoFor5.com.
Assembly workers become ecstatic with aerial ambition, crane operators twist and transmute into strange and silly shapes, and gravity-defying mechanics ignite endless "oohs" and "aahs" when unexpected inspiration flies into their world. Much more than just cogs in a wheel, the powerful performers in this off-the-wall production exact a seamless blend of physical prowess and colorful creativity in this 90-minute production. Birdhouse Factory was inspired in part by the masterful industry murals of Mexican artist Diego Rivera, the outrageous illustrations of cartoonist Rube Goldberg, and the slapstick-style humor of Charlie Chaplin's film Modern Times.
Birdhouse Factory creator and director Chris Lashua is hailed worldwide for his daring and inventive expertise with the German Wheel ("The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," "The Academy Awards," and 1996 Atlanta Olympics). Lashua's obsession with wheels began more than 20 years ago when he achieved success as a professional freestyle bicyclist in the early '80s. Shortly thereafter, he joined Cirque du Soleil, where he performed for several years. After close collaboration with friends and former colleagues to develop what they'd consider to be the ultimate cirque show, Birdhouse Factory was born.
Co-director, choreographer, and costume designer is Aloysia Gavre. All Birdhouse Factory machines and circus props were designed and fabricated by Chris Lashua, Chris Taylor, Tony Roan, and fellow artist, Michael Redinger. Set design is by Sean Riley, lighting design is by Heather Basarab with additional designs by lighting director Blake Manship, sound design is by Rex Camphuis, and musical composition is by Cody Westheimer and Julia Newman.
The cast of Birdhouse Factory includes character artists Jesse Dryden and Steven Ragatz, and acrobats Michael Redinger, Patrick McGuire, Wes Hatfield, Ganchimeg Oyunchimeg, Sagiv Ben Binyamin, Aloysia Gavre, and Lindsay Orton.
Birdhouse Factory was originally produced by the Circus Center of San Francisco and the Pickle Family Circus. The original production was directed by Chris Lashua and co-directed by Rex Camphuis, Sandra Feusi, Aloysia Gavre, and Sam Payne.
Birdhouse Factory is for all ages, but best for children over four years old.
Photo credit: Darin Basile