Theatre For Young Audiences
A THAI TALE
3W/2M/3 Mythical Birds (either gender) - The Banyan Tree, in NE Thailand - Running Time 55 mins.
People come to the Banyan Tree to buy birds and fish, eels and turtles, and release them to “make merit” to improve their karma.
Songsuda, a bird from Southern Thailand, has been in the Banyan Tree so long, she’s forgotten how old she is. One day a Magician arrives, followed soon by Lĕk h̄æ̀ng h̄nụ̀ng, First-Bird-In-Waiting to the Queen of Thailand, and all consumed with her elevated station in life. She's been kidnaped from the Queen's Royal Garden and now finds herself trapped in the forest that is the Banyon Tree! But Sumalee, Third-Bird-In-Waiting, has come to rescue her - only to be caught by the vendor, and ends up trapped herself.
All the while, Pichai, the Vendor, keeps recapturing the birds to resell them over and over again. To help them escape, the Mugician shape-shifts into a Monk, and with a simple bowl of rice, reminds Pichai of his true kind nature. So, In the end, Pichai leads all those traped in the tree to freedom. The two Royal birds are returned home on magic feathers, and Lĕk learns that everyone and everything thing has worth and value, even a single grain of rice.
Production........University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO
Production........Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen, MI
University of Central Missouri
Photos by: Michael Benson
Directed by: Dr. Julie Rae Mollenkamp