The Owling Project brings non-traditional theatre to Cornell

As part of a research project on the ways work designed to develop new theater relates to undergraduate theatre education, Cornell College is presenting three short, non-traditional performances in May.

The Owling Project takes its name from excursions where birdwatchers go out at night to see or hear owls. The performances are a theatrical collaboration between professor Mark Hunter (as director) and student Erin Daly (as actor), in which a series of three original short theatre pieces, all of which relate literally or figuratively to owls, have been commissioned and developed for production.  The performances are site-specific and performed in outdoor locations.  One is performed off campus, while two will be on Cornell’s campus.

The pieces are: Bloddeuwedd, adapted from a Welsh legend, about a woman magically fashioned from flowers, who becomes involved in a brutal marriage, a passionate sexual awakening, a savage killing and is transformed into an owl. Performed by Erin Daly, Bloddeuwedd is written and directed by Mark Hunter. The show runs May 3, 4, 12 and 13. Owleyes, about a 13-year-old girl with a terrible secret and a story to tell who seeks comfort in her identification with an owl who lives in her backyard, is written by Lindsay Tornquist, performed by Erin Daly, and directed by Mark Hunter. Bdellovibrio is a poetic exploration of a predatory relationship between two women.   It is written by Cornell alum Megan McKamy, performed by Erin Daly and Maggie Schlundt, and directed by Mark Hunter. Owleyes and Bdellovibrio run as a pair of theatrical offerings on May 5, 6, 10 and 11.

Audiences are limited to a maximum of 20 people for each performance. Reservations are made by contacting Mark Hunter by e-mail ( or telephone at 319-895-4516 and giving him your name, telephone number, the number in your party, and the date (or dates) you want to attend. Both performances will last approximately one hour. Additional details: For Bloddeuwedd performances, people will assemble at 8 p.m. in the Commons Circle. You will need a car (or a seat in one). You will be guided in a caravan to the performance site. Dress to be outdoors. For Owleyes and Bdellovibrio performances, audience will assemble on the appropriate date at 8:30 p.m. in the Commons Circle. You will be guided in a short walk to the first of two on-campus performance sites. Once again, please dress for an outdoor experience.

The performances are part of Hunter’s research into the ways the production of new theatrical works meshes with the ways undergraduates are taught about theatre. The piece he wrote for The Owling Project, Bloddeuwedd, will also be performed this summer by Erin Daly at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.