Senior thesis Five Flights grapples with spiritual identity – Kenyon Collegian

The Kenyon College Drama, Dance, and Cinema Club kicked off their 2020 season at the Hill Theater last Friday with a senior thesis production of Adam Bocks Five Flights. Lights went up on Henry Ratliff 20, who played the role of Ed, displaying a diorama with what would soon become the most divisive element of the show: an aviary.

The aviary is sought after by many. Jane (Maggie Perkins 20) is Eds sister-in-law who wants to sell the property. Adele and Olivia (Hannah Johnston 20 and Sarah Dailey 20), Eds sister and her best friend, want to convert it into a church for Olivias new religion, the Church of the Fifth Day.

Ed himself is in a state of uncertaintyeventually wanting to let the ground bury it while it still breathes.

The aviary was built by Ed and Adeles recently deceased father for his late wife, whose soul, he believed, had become a bird. This belief of their fathers becomes controversial among Ed, Adele and their brother Bobby years later, as they try to decide how to deal with the aviary. Five Flights explores familial conflict in a time of mourning and distress.

Through religious preaching, the pursuit of Eds love interest, professional hockey player Tom (Teddy Fischer 22), and comic relief from his best friend Andre (Caleb Stern 23), the characters distract themselves from facing their fathers death head-on.

Adele, due to the tight-knit nature of her relationship with her father, finds herself reminiscing about the way that her father dealt with her mothers death: obsessing over the birds he would bring into the aviary and doing whatever he could to keep her spirit alive.

Johnston believed that Adele using Olivias interest in repurposing the aviary is an act of Adele remembering how she used to believe in her dad and that since hes died, it shows hope and gives her a reason to believe something else.

While Adele and Olivias pursuit of the aviary seems to be the most unwavering, every family member expresses their desire for the aviary equally through argument filled dialogue, which, to members of the cast, was a reason why they selected Five Flights for their senior thesis.

I thought it was perfect because its by Adam Bock, who really focuses on a group protagonistso even though the show is Eds play, it really explores every character pretty much evenly, Johnston said.

Five Flights explores themes of intense familial conflict, the crossroads of spirituality and death, and the navigation of love and vulnerability. The cast guided the audience through powerful displays of passion and loss with continuous banter throughout the show.

My character struggles a lot with what to believe in and why you should believe in it, Johnston said, and this guided narration of siblings coping with their fathers death she feels provokes the question of wondering, what can religion offer us, how can it hurt us, how can it help us.

Originally posted here:

Senior thesis Five Flights grapples with spiritual identity - Kenyon Collegian

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