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Empress Theatre presents ‘Bird Brain’

Emma Sinclair as Queen and Camille Pavlenko as Undersecretary in ‘Bird Brain.'

It’s okay to be different.
That’s the message delivered by “Bird Brain,” one of the new summer productions at the Empress Theatre.
“It’s got a lot of great themes in it about being yourself, not always following the rules,” said Andy Jenkins, summer program director at the Empress Theatre.
The play written by Vern Thiessen will be performed Saturdays at 11 a.m. throughout July and August.
“Bird Brain” is firmly rooted in Canada, which fits well with the Empress Theatre’s goals for its summer productions.
“Our mandate is to produce theatre that is relevant to Alberta,” Jenkins said. “We believe it’s important for a community theatre to produce work that reflects the community we live in. It’s important for tourists to get a glimpse of what it means to be an Albertan.”
Empress veteran Greg Wilson stars as Bird Brain, who reluctantly shelters a nest of baby birds under his hat.
This unusual behaviour puts Bird Brain at odds with his community, and he must choose between conforming to the expectations of society, or following his heart.
Wilson is in his fourth year of studying dramatic arts at the University of Lethbridge.
Last summer at the Empress Theatre Wilson starred in “Worry Wart,” and also performed in Monday Night Improv and the two Vaudeville productions.
Wilson has appeared in the university’s productions of “Richard III,” “Spring Awakening,” “Patience,” “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Man and Beast.”

Greg Wilson has the lead role in ‘Bird Brain.'

Camille Pavlenko returns for another summer at the Empress and fills the role of Undersecretary in “Bird Brain.”
Pavlenko has performed at the Empress in “Midnight,” “Blame It On Bigfoot,” and “Ghost Light.”
Pavlenko has also appeared in New West Theatre’s productions of “It’s Munsch Time,” and “The Paper Bag Princess and Other Stories.”
Rounding out the cast of “Bird Brain” is Emma Sinclair, an Empress Theatre summer program newcomer who fills the role of Queen.
Sinclair in the fall will enter her final year of studies toward a drama performance degree at the University of Lethbridge, where she has performed in such productions as “Richard III,” “Hay Fever,” “Arcadia” and “Spring Awakening.”
Directing “Bird Brain” is Cari Russell, who returns for a second summer at the Empress Theatre.
“I hope that “Bird Brain” reminds us all, young and old, that to be different is the most glorious thing about us,” director Cari Russell wrote in her notes about the play.
A graduate of the Rosebud School of the Arts, Russell’s credits as a director include “The Red Rose” and “HMS Pinafore.”
Last summer Russell performed at the Empress in “Blame It On Bigfoot.”
Russell recently performed in “Marooned With Munsch” for New West Theatre, and also works for Trickster Theatre and Evergreen Theatre.