Monday, September 12, 2011

"Sugar Birds" Diorama . . . and "The Mormon Bird Play"

I recently removed my beloved "Sugar Birds" Diorama from Pacific Galleries.

This old diorama was once part of the Lynden Pioneer

Museum in Lynden, Washington.  

But I received a call from Pacific Galleries, asking me if I still had it.

Evidently a gentleman named Roger Benington wanted to

acquire it for a play he wrote (with collaboration)

called "The Mormon Bird Play."

Here are some of Roger's comments to me via email:

I am a theatre director, playwright and designer. I wrote a play recently with six of my friends in New York called THE MORMON BIRD PLAY and as I often work in Seattle I decided to stick around here after my last production opened in April to see if I could get my play produced. Luck was on my side and I will be co-producing the show with my colleagues at Washington Ensemble Theatre with a cast of local actors. While looking for a taxidermy bird to use in our publicity photo-shoot I came across your diorama of sugar birds. I was so tempted to buy it then but at that stage I had not raised money for the production and had no clue what my budget would be.

When I first looked at the diorama it was obscured by other objects in your stall, and I had one of the folks at Pacific Galleries move them so I could get a clearer view of the entire diorama. It was only then that the title and description was visible. I could not believe my eyes when I read that it came from a pioneer museum: You should know that the pivotal scene in my play happens when the characters turn into birds that manifest themselves as Mormon Pioneer women. It was very hard for me to turn my back on the diorama that day. 

WELL, you can imagine my glee when I read those words . . . and OF COURSE

I returned the diorama to Pac Gal so it could be included in

Roger Benington's production of:

Here is some additional information about the play.  GOOD LUCK, Roger on this unique 

production to be held October 27 through November 21 in Seattle!!!

* * * *

Washington Ensemble Theatre curates the world premiere of director Roger Benington’s The Mormon Bird Play.
The Mormon Bird Play grew out of a seven month-long collaboration between writer-director Roger Benington and six New York actors. The script had it’s first public reading at New York Theatre Workshop, but Washington Ensemble Theatre will curate the play’s first fully-staged production, featuring an all-male cast of Seattle actors.
Six actors play little girls, who become birds, who manifest themselves as Mormon temple workers and pioneer women. This is the allegoric dream-world of The Mormon Bird Play, a darkly-twisted new comedy in which ten year-old Ivona--ugly and mute--comes to live with her Mormon cousins in Utah. When she finds an injured bird on the grounds of the LDS Temple, Ivona immediately becomes an object of suspicion, dangerously reflecting the ills of the culture that surrounds her. Can that society suffer a mirror of its own imperfection, or must that mirror be shattered? 
The play is directed and designed by Roger Benington recent Gregory Award nominee (Outstanding Director, Outstanding Scenic Design, Outstanding Production) for his work on “O Lovely Glowworm" with New Century Theatre Company. The production features Devin Bannon, Jeremy Behrens, Barry Cogswell, Ash Hyman, Noah Luce, and Parker Matthews. THE MORMON BIRD PLAY begins its run at Washington Ensemble’s Little Theatre on 608 E 19th Ave on Thursday October 27 and continues till November 21. Tickets are $10-$25 and are available at the door or in advance through Brown Paper Tickets. Visit or call 800-838-3006. More information at


Mar said...

How utterly fabulous that Mr. Benington and your "Sugar Birds" came together.Kismet,if you ask me.Wish I were closer, as his play sounds like a winner.

Roger Benington said...

Wow! Thanks for including all that information about THE MORMON BIRD PLAY Debi. Your photos of the sugar birds look fantastic. I will create a link to your blog from my Facebook status update today!

Martha at Authentica said...

Don't you just love SERENDIPITY?!
Mr. Benington was meant to see your display!!! I truly believe there are no coincidences! Gives a mysterious vibe to the message of the play! Can't wait to hear more about it! And blessings for much success to Mr. Benington on the play!

Ormolulu said...

Thanks so much to all of you for the wonderful, positive comments. This is what makes my world go 'round. It's all about the *passion*!!!!!

I'm still amazed at the happy connection. Good luck, again, Roger Benington!!!

Flammable liquid storage cabinets said...

Well, Thanks for including all that information about the mormon bird play Debi. Your photos of the sugar birds look fantastic. I will create a link to your blog from my Facebook status update today!