‘Squawk’ starts Thursday

by David Dixon

San Diego State’s School of Theatre, Television and Film begins this year’s spring semester with a show suitable for the whole family. The award-winning “Squawk” is about a peace song competition in a society of birds. Entertainment is inevitable when the competition does not go according to plan, as the birds cannot seem to agree on each others’ ideas for the big event.

“Squawk” is advertised as “ideal for all children under the age of 90.” The performance is directed by Margaret Larlham, who was responsible for writing and directing the enjoyable kid-friendly short play, “Symphony of Clouds (Musical Adventures of the Boy Mozart).” This raises expectations for “Squawk,” as “Symphony of Clouds” was a success with audiences.

The creators of “Squawk” are Ellis Pearson and Bheki Mkhwane, two South African men who have collaborated on pieces for more than a decade. While they have gone their separate ways, Pearson and Mkhwane’s creative work continues to be performed around the world, including in the U.K., Ireland, Pennsylvania and now San Diego.

While it is hard to find a good amount of information about the play’s other productions online, the South African newspaper Mail & Guardian wrote a very positive review of an earlier version of “Squawk” that played at the Playhouse Opera. The review praised the writers for their unique storytelling.

“It’s a sharp tale … The dialogue is clever and fast-paced; no wonder, it was devised by this talented twosome,” the reviewer wrote.

“Squawk” sounds like it will be another theatrical success for SDSU. While adults will probably end up enjoying themselves at the very least, this could be a great opportunity for extremely young ones to be introduced to the awesome power of live theater.

Tickets and information about “Squawk” can be found at theatre.sdsu.edu.

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