On November 13, 2006, a Brooklyn mother smothered her 9-year-old son, claiming she'd been overcome by demons. Relatives and friends all insist that Olivia Sadia Jnnoel was a wonderful mother and kind woman who loved her son, and had never shown any capacity for this sort of thing before. This local story last fall brought home the thin, blurry lines between demons, spirits and our own true natures. When the truth of your own demons make it impossible for you to function as a member of society, is it better to suffer the consequences of letting it out, or to suffer the consequences of keeping it in?
These are themes and questions explored in breedingground's production of A Mouthful of Birds, a theatrical collage of 8 stories about possession written by Caryl Churchill and David Lan. Developed with The Joint Stock Theatre Company in 1986, the play explores what happens when you are unable to defend yourself against forces beyond your control, whether those forces come from outside or from within. Director Tomi Tsunoda incorporates the technique of Soundpainting (an improvisation technique developed by NYC composer Walter Thompson) to theatricalize the idea of possession and to weave together the play's 8 unique storylines.