Press Release for Monday, January 26, 2009

Cirque Mechanics' Birdhouse Factory From Off-Broadway to Jacksonville, FL

Cirque Mechanics’ Birdhouse Factory
From Off-Broadway to Jacksonville, FL
Super Stars from the World of Cirque Nouveau Share the Stage During Exclusive Engagement
Tickets Start at Just $32
Friday, March 27, 2009

Roll right up and see before your very eyes how a woeful widget factory becomes a frolicsome funhouse in Birdhouse Factory, which will run at (THEATER NAME) on (DATE). Created and directed by Chris Lashua, the originator of the German Wheel act in Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam, and featuring veterans of the Pickle Family and Moscow Circuses, Birdhouse Factory uses a decidedly fresh aesthetic to showcase their high-flying, mindboggling talent. Birdhouse Factory recently wowed audiences during a critically acclaimed off Broadway run.

Assembly workers become ecstatic with aerial ambition, crane operators twist and transmute into strange and silly shapes, and gravity-defying mechanics ignite endless "oohs" and "aahs" when unexpected inspiration flies into their world. Much more than just cogs in a wheel, the powerful performers in this off-the-wall production exact a seamless blend of physical prowess and colorful creativity in their 90-minute production. Birdhouse Factory was inspired in part by the masterful industry murals of Mexican artist Diego Rivera, the outrageous illustrations of cartoonist Rube Goldberg, and the slap-stick style humor of Charlie Chaplin’s film “Modern Times.”

Birdhouse Factory creator and director Chris Lashua is hailed worldwide for his daring and inventive expertise with the German Wheel (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The Academy Awards, The 1996 Atlanta Olympics). Chris’s obsession with wheels began over 20 years ago when he achieved success as a professional freestyle bicyclist in the early 80s. Shortly thereafter, he joined Cirque du Soleil, where he performed for several years. After close collaboration with friends and former colleagues to develop what they’d consider to be the ultimate cirque show, Birdhouse Factory was born.

Co-director, choreographer and costume designer is Aloysia Gavre. All Birdhouse Factory machines and circus props were designed and fabricated by Chris Lashua and Chris Taylor, Tony Roan and fellow artist, Michael Redinger. Set design is by Sean Riley, lighting design is by Heather Basarab with additional designs by lighting director Blake Manship, sound design is by Rex Camphuis, and musical composition is by Cody Westheimer and Julia Newman.

The cast of Birdhouse Factory includes character artists Jesse Dryden and Patrick McGuire and acrobats Michael Redinger and Lindsay Orton.

Birdhouse Factory was originally produced by the Circus Center of San Francisco and the Pickle Family Circus. The original production was directed by Chris Lashua and co-directed by Rex Camphuis, Sandra Feusi, Aloysia Gavre and Sam Payne. The Jacksonville performance is proudly sponsored by Winn-Dixie.
Birdhouse Factory is for all ages, but best for children over four years old.

Tickets and Information:
Individual tickets are $42, $36, and $32 for the general public and $10 for students. For complete information about any shows or to purchase single tickets, visit www.unf.edu/fineartscenter or call the UNF Ticket Box Office at (904) 620-2878. Patrons can visit the Box Office in person at the University of North Florida, Building 45, Room 1400, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224. Hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 90 minutes prior to show time.

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About The University of North Florida Fine Arts Center
Established in 2001, The University of Florida Fine Arts Center has built a rich tradition of showcasing an eclectic series of world-class performers, commercial entertainers, ethnic music and dance, cutting edge performances, and children’s programming as well as the premiere of new works to support upcoming artists. The Center’s goal is to enhance the academic programs of the University and to complement the cultural offerings within Jacksonville, building new audiences, and contributing to the quality of life and economic development of the city.

About Winn-Dixie
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. is one of the nation's largest food retailers. Founded in 1925, the Company is headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. The Company currently operates 521 retail grocery locations including more than 400 in-store pharmacies in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. For more information, please visit www.winn-dixie.com.