Created, performed and produced by: Audrey Crabtree and Gabriela Munoz
Directed by: Hilary Chaplain

Credits for lighting, sets, costumes and music were not provided

By: Stanley Allan Sherman
Copyright © 2011

“Flocked” is the latest new work by creative powerhouse Audrey Crabtree, now joining forces with the extremely talented and funny Gabriela Munoz from Mexico. I have seen several of Ms. Crabtree’s new efforts since her award-winning “Bouffon Glass Menajoree” (directed by Eric Davis and with Lynn Berg and Aimee German), and “Flocked” has the most promise of becoming another great piece of Clown Theater. It is not there yet, but well on the right road.

“Flocked” takes advantage of the American and Mexican cultural differences. Audrey opens the show as a beautiful American bird having everything to herself, she is theeeee… center of attention. She loves being beautiful and she lets you know it. The set is cleverly simple, bird cages without the cage, just round circles of brown paper, like the bottom of a birdcage. Then something happens: another bird moves into a cage next to her. Gabriela’s bird is a total Mexican bird, bringing the wonderful movements and energy of Mexico. She preens herself, fluffs her feathers, and unpacks her belongings including a piñata all with her own wonderful lively rhythms. I loved Gabriel’s total involvement as her bird – she was all bird with never a question she was anything else.

Another nice thing about the show is that the language is bird words. There is not an English or Spanish word in “Flocked”, only bird sounds coming from these two performers. You can tell these are two totally different bird languages. All the drama comes from the new entry of this Mexican bird into American Bird’s neighborhood. There are hints of war and peace. At one point Audrey jams her finger up the ass of Gabriela’s piñata donkey in a very nasty brutal rhythm and she takes joy in the stress and outrage this causes Gabriela’s bird. This show works wonderfully on many levels. Which is an advantage of a non-language show… the audience’s imagination takes over and fills in lots of details. “Flocked” gives lot of room for the audience to take it in their personal directions.

This is a growing show and it is not finished growing. The physical distance between these two great performers makes this show hard to grow, one performer being in Mexico and the other in NYC. There are a few small things which I would like to see Director Hilary Chaplain address, including the flying scene. I love Gabriela’s flying technique; it is beautiful and fun. Audrey’s flying technique seems like it should be like poetry and it is not there yet; it is on the indication mime flying level. It would be wonderful to see Audrey look like she is truly flying, using her mime technique. It looked like Audrey was just on the outside of her bird having a slight indication edge of her character.

Flocked has the potential to develop into a truly great show and these three woman are off to a great start. Look for Flocked to come around again somewhere in the world sometime in the future.

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