Area Premiere of Slow Falling Bird

Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program presents area premiere of Slow Falling Bird
Acclaimed magic realistic play by Georgetown faculty member closes out 2014-15 Theater & Performance Studies Program’s “Where We’re From: A Season of Origins and Migrations”

Washington, DC — Slow Falling Bird, written by acclaimed Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program faculty member Christine Evans, who “writes from the gut with a darkly gritty world-view” in this “multi-layered, superlatively textured script” (San Francisco Bay Times), makes its area premiere at Georgetown’s Davis Performing Arts Center, in the Gonda Theatre from March 26-April 11, 2015 (showtimes below).

Australian-born Evans, whose work has been called “hauntingly poetic” by the Sydney Morning Herald, came to Georgetown in 2012 as Assistant Professor in Theater & Performance Studies after serving as Briggs-Copeland Lecturer on English at Harvard from 2007-2012. Multi-talented, Evans is also a jazz saxophonist who has performed as an acrobat in an Australian women’s circus. She has been deeply involved in the Georgetown rehearsal process, serving as music director for the production. Her long-time collaborator from Australia, Guest Artist Rosalba Clemente, Head of Acting at Flinders University Drama Centre, directs the cast of GU student actors in this show as part of the 2014-15 GU Theater & Performance Studies Program’s “Where We’re From: A Season of Origins and Migrations.” Evans and Clemente will also participate in a public dialogue to discuss their collaboration on Thursday, April 9 at 4 p.m. in the Davis Center’s Gonda Theatre. (Please note: This public dialogue has been rescheduled as a post-show discussion on Thursday, April 9.)

Evans notes that Slow Falling Bird characters (though not all events) are fictional, and that the 2005 play was written “in response to the hardening of Australian policy against asylum seekers in the late 90s and early 2000s, a move which became more polarizing in public opinion as large numbers of refugees — from primarily Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran — fled war…. Those that did land were detained in Immigration Detention Centres, of which Woomera, where this play is set in the remote central desert, is the most notorious….The remoteness of Woomera’s location and the enforced lack of press and legal access — combined with indefinite detention — meant that asylum seekers resorted to desperate measures such as sewing their lips shut and leaping from the high razor-wire fences.”

In this play, Fish Child, conceived on the boat of an asylum seeker, hovers above the Woomera Immigration Detention Centre in the Australian desert, reluctant to be born into the desperate situation below. Her mother becomes enmeshed in an increasingly deadly struggle with a prison guard, bargaining for her child’s future. Slow Falling Bird explores the brutal realities confronting those who arrive unbidden in Australia’s waters and the warping social and mental conditions on both sides of the wire, asking what kind of new life, and new society can be born into such barren surroundings. By turning bleak and darkly comical, this play takes place against the wider background of a world with tightly patrolled borders and an increase of ‘non-citizens’ without rights.

“We are ecstatic to be producing the area premiere of this poetic and politically resonant work from our brilliant faculty colleague Christine Evans, and honored to be welcoming leading Australian director Rosalba Clemente to Georgetown. It has been inspiring to see our top students be introduced through this vibrant world of magical realism to a history and culture we know too little about, and yet that speaks profoundly to issues that shape our world such as migration, racial and cultural identity, and human rights,” says Davis Center Artistic Director, Professor Derek Goldman.

Slow Falling Bird received the Rella Lossy Award in Playwriting, the Monash National Play Award (Australia), was a finalist for Australia’s Patrick White Award, was featured at the 2003 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and premiered at Crowded Fire in 2005. It ran at the University of San Francisco in October 2014.

Both Slow Falling Bird and Trojan Barbie, which had its area premiere at Georgetown in spring 2013, are part of Evans’ anthology War Plays. This spring 2015, a workshop reading of Evans’s latest play Cloudless will also be held at the Davis Performing Arts Center.

Slow Falling Bird showtimes — over two weekends on either side of a holiday break at Georgetown — include the following:

Thursday-Saturday, March 26-28 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday-Saturday, April 8-11 at 8 p.m.

Ticket prices are as follows:



Additionally, space-available GU student tickets for opening night on March 26 are free (limit one), I.D. is required at pickup.

To order tickets or for more information, visit or call 202-687-ARTS (2787) Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. Georgetown University’s main campus is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.

Originally from Australia, Christine Evans is an internationally produced playwright now resident in the U.S. Her work has been produced and developed at the American Repertory Theater (Trojan Barbie, world premiere), Playbox Theatre, U.K., New Vic (London), Belvoir St. Theatre (Sydney), Darwin Theatre Company, the Adelaide International Festival of the Arts, Deck Chair Theatre, Vitalstatistix, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Magic Theatre, Spooky Action Theater, Theater Simple, Live Girls!, Kitchen Dog Theatre, hotINK Play Festival, Bricolage Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Perishable Theatre, New Jersey Rep, Crowded Fire, Ohio Theatre (NYC), The Irish Rep (NYC), Boston Playwrights Theater, Rattlestick Theatre, the Women’s Project, Centenary Stage and Cutting Ball. In 2013, HERE presented an Equity showcase production in NYC of her newest work, You Are Dead. You Are Here., a cutting-edge multimedia work (originally titled The Underpass during its incubation at Georgetown during a 2010 residency), based on research into the use of video games and virtual reality environments in both training soldiers for battle, and in experimental rehabilitation of those who return with PTSD. 2014-15 productions also include You Are Dead. You Are Here. at StreetSigns, NC; Trojan Barbie at StreetSigns, NC; and the world premiere of Can’t Complain with Spooky Action Theater for the Women’s Voice Festival in Washington, DC. She holds an M.F.A. (Playwriting) and a Ph.D. (Theatre & Performance Studies) from Brown.


Laura Mertens
Georgetown University Department of Performing Arts
Public Relations and Special Events Manager