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‘The Birds and The Bees’ comedy brings sex and pollination to the stage in Red Deer

It opens on Thursday, March 7, at Festival Hall
‘The Birds and the Bees,’ staged in partnership between Central Alberta Theatre and Sylvan Lake Theatre, will run March 7-16 at Festival Hall in Red Deer. The comedy will also be staged in Sylvan Lake on April 5 and 6. (Contributed photo)

A comedy about love, sex and climate change is coming to Red Deer next week.

The Birds and The Bees will be staged through a partnership between Central Alberta Theatre and Sylvan Lake Theatre from Thursday, March 7 -16 at Festival Hall.

This bawdy comedy by Mark Crawford isn’t your usual rom-com.

Set against the backdrop of adjoining bedrooms on a modern Canadian farm, The Birds and the Bees will take audiences through “the awkward, the unexpected, and the downright funny moments of life, love, climate change and the artificial insemination of turkeys.”

The central character is a no-nonsense divorcée and beekeeper named Gail (played by Roxzane Armstrong). Her world is thrown into chaos when her daughter, Sarah, moves back in after separating from her turkey farmer husband.

With Gail’s bees dropping like flies from some mysterious illness, the beekeeper has scant time to provide Sarah (Ash Rose) with the requisite sympathy. She also has little patience for the flirty advances of her neighbour Earl, considering that Ben, a Masters’ student who’s keen to study her collapsing bee population, is about to arrive.

Despite these four characters’ repressions, diversions and cross-purposes, it soon becomes obvious that love — like insects — is in the air, and several people are about to get more pollination lessons than they’ve bargained on.

Director Tanya Ryga said she chose this play because it’s “uproarious” and compelling on multiple levels. “The show entwines laugh-out-loud comedy with dramatic tension that will keep you on the edge of your seat,” she explained. Crawford tackles sex, love and nature in a unique and funny way that is “both literally and figuratively about the birds and bees.”

Ryga considers this production “a dream” to direct. In many ways, it was like a homecoming since Earl is played by her former Red Deer College Theatre instructor colleague Tom Bradshaw. Rose, Armstrong and Everett Dool (who plays Ben), are RDC alumni. And former RDC set designer Carrie Hamilton is also lending her technical talents to this production.

Since Crawford’s previous comedy, Stag and Doe was a hit when staged by CAT last spring, Ryga expects The Birds and The Bees to strike a similarly resonant note with local audiences. Its far-reaching themes reinforce that humans are part of chaotic nature, she said — and even though many of us strive to assert control of our lives, “everything does not always go to plan…”

The Birds and The Bees is appropriate for ages 14 and older, and is available as play only, dinner or brunch theatre. For tickets and more information, please visit or call the CAT box office at 403-967-1769.

This same show will also be staged in Sylvan Lake on April 5 and 6 at the Stevenson Performing Arts Centre at H.J. Cody School.