Tag Archives: bird crafts

Stray cat meets sparrow

Our family cat, Pinky, was a stray kitten with searing blue eyes and tiny gnashing teeth before we rescued her from the roof of a local school that borders a park where she used to play.

Nowadays Pinky loves to sit by a window near the kitchen table where I write. It gives her the best view of all those birds who find our backyard a welcoming habitat. Hummingbirds. Quail. Wrens. Grackles.

When I heard about a play titled “Sparrow” making its Southwest premiere later this year, I did a little homework and discovered — thanks to the Arizona Bird Committee — that Arizona is home to all sorts of sparrows. Fox Sparrow. Swamp Sparrow. Lincoln’s Sparrow. And more.

But Stray Cat Theatre in Tempe is bringing a different sort of sparrow to our neck of the woods. It’s a play titled “Sparrow” that originated at The House Theatre of Chicago in 2007 — a work conceived by Nathan Allen and written by Chris Matthews and Jake Minton. “Sparrow” is the tale of a young girl with special powers.

Emily Book is an elementary school student — the sole survivor of a school bus crash that leaves her hometown devastated. She moves away, only to return for her senior year. It’s a painful reminder, and few are happy to see her. What unfolds next will surprise and stir you.

The Strat Cat Theatre audition notice describes “Sparrow” as a “very physical, ensemble-based work” in which many actors play multiple roles. It’s storytelling intertwined with music and dance, plus sci-fi and graphic novel sensibilities. Reviewers have likened it to “Mean Girls,” “Carrie” and “Wicked.”

With direction by Stray Cat founding artistic director Ron May, “Sparrow” should prove edgy yet accessible, like his production of “Columbinus” a couple of seasons ago. I’m eager to experience all four of this season’s Stray Cat productions — including “Milk, Milk Lemonade,” “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” and “Heddatron.”

In the meantime, I have my own cat to keep watch over the world with me.

— Lynn

Note: “Sparrow,” which is recommended for teens & up, runs Sept 23-Oct 8 at the Tempe Performing Arts Center in the Mill Avenue District.

Coming up: Zoot suit tales, From ukes to clogs, Art in motion

Update: Head to Bookmans Entertainment Exchange in Phoenix this Thurs, July 28 at 1pm for a “Bird-a-palooza” with the Arizona Animal Welfare League. Click here for details.

Update: I’m now blogging as “Stage Mom Musings” at www.stagemommusings.com. Please find and follow me there to continue receiving posts about arts and culture in Arizona and beyond. Thanks for your patience as the tech fairies work to move all 1,250+ posts to the new site. For the latest news follow me on Twitter @stagemommusings. 6/13/12

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Art meets Audubon

It's the perfect day to try a bit of bird-related art in honor of John James Audubon

John James Audubon, a naturalist and artist known best for his work with birds, was born April 26, 1785.

Hence today’s Google doodle with the beautiful bird theme.

If you’re feeling inspired to honor Audubon’s contributions to the worlds of art and science, consider making a bit of bird art with your children this week.

A few ideas…

  • Build a birdhouse — from scratch or using a kit.
  • Paint a bird at your local pottery painting joint.
  • Write poems about some of your favorite birds.
  • Take a walk to look for birds in your neighborhood.
  • Cut bird pictures out of old magazines, then use them to create a collage on canvas or poster board.
  • Use stencils to create whimsical bird designs along a wall in your child’s bedroom.
  • Plant a bird friendly plant in your garden.
  • Draw birds you see on exhibit at the Phoenix Zoo.
  • Look for birds in art exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum or Heard Museum.
  • Take a sketchpad and pens/pencils along to draw birds you see at the Desert Botanical Garden or Rio Solado Audubon Society.
  • Make bird designs by tracing your child’s spread out palm (a favorite with kids at Thanksgiving time).
  • Sew simple birds using felt and embroidery floss, then use them to create a hanging mobile.
  • Fold paper to make origami birds.
  • Use bird puppets or plush (like those from the Audubon Society or Folkmanis Puppets) to create puppet shows full of birds.
  • Read books about birds, then write your own bird stories.
  • Draw birds that start with thumbprints made using colorful ink pads.
  • Take photos of birds in your neighborhood or natural settings.
  • Observe different birds, then make up dances that mirror their movements.

If you’ve got an idea for a bird-related craft or activity, please comment below to let our readers know. Or send photos of some of your family’s bird-related artwork so I can add them to this post for others to enjoy.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about the Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix — which offers summer camps for children, as well as other programs for children and adults. Learn more about John James Audubon from PBS and the National Gallery of Art — and the National Audubon Society.

Coming up: Memphis meets movie theater

Update: The Arboretum at Flagstaff will hold “Saturday Morning Birdwalks” led by bird experts from local chapters of the Audubon Society during May, June and July. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. Learn more at www.thearb.org.