Birdie and Cait and the Book of Life

When her mother dies, Birdie is uprooted from New York City to London, where her older sister Annika lives, works, and grew up, just before Rosh Hashanah and the start of her senior year of high school. There, Birdie meets Caitriona--also a transplant to London, but from Ireland, where her parents washed their hands of her behavioral issues and burgeoning lesbian identity, sending her to live with her sister...
When her mother dies, Birdie is uprooted from New York City to London, where her older sister Annika lives, works, and grew up, just before Rosh Hashanah and the start of her senior year of high school. There, Birdie meets Caitriona--also a transplant to London, but from Ireland, where her parents washed their hands of her behavioral issues and burgeoning lesbian identity, sending her to live with her sister Siobhan. All four women navigate the aftermath of their various traumas and find ways to start knowing each other better, as Birdie wrestles with what the Book of Life means this Jewish New Year.
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

Birdie and Cait and the Book of Life

Recommended by

  • Hayley St. James:
    25 Jan. 2021
    A truly lovely exploration of queerness, spirituality, faith, and connection. The way Audrey Lang writes is stunningly poetic, and Lang has created some exquisite female characters with unique voices I loved every second of reading. I so hope to see it staged someday.
  • The Workshop Theater:
    11 Jan. 2021
    The Workshop Theater is pleased to recognize Audrey Lang as a playwright selected out of a competitive pool of applicants for our Fall 2020 Writer’s Intensive. The Writer’s Intensive is an eight-week long, playwright-driven process geared towards revising an existing play. Birdie and Cait weaves together a story of four young women bound both by friendship and grief. Audrey impressively creates a distinct voice for each character and builds a word where they are able to explore their intimate identities as complex women amidst the backdrop of a chaotic and expansive London. Our congratulations and thanks to Audrey.
  • Nick Malakhow:
    27 Jul. 2020
    This is such a beautifully-rendered examination of four individuals and their relationships to friends, sisters, and (absent) parents. The aching longing for connection is palpable and creates the beautiful tension that sustains the compelling story, and I loved how this piece demonstrated small seismic shifts in relationships rather than relying on overly theatrical or contrived dramatics. Birdie is definitely a compelling focal point for the piece, but the other three characters are just as richly-rendered and have satisfying arcs. I love how identity, queerness, and friendship is explored and that romance isn't depicted as the magic bullet. Gorgeous work!

Character Information

  • Birdie Kaplan
    17,
    Any race / ethnicity, Jewish
    ,
    Female-identifying
    17, female, any ethnicity, born in London but raised in New York City from about age 2. Thoughtful and introspective. It can be hard to know what she's thinking. It's easier if she doesn't care... but she does care. Jewish.
  • Annika Kaplan
    32,
    Any race / ethnicity, Jewish
    ,
    Female-identifying
    32, female, any ethnicity, born in London and raised there. Birdie's sister, emotionally guarded and elegant. An English teacher. Always doing yoga. More similar to Birdie than either of them would care to admit. Jewish.
  • Caitriona O'Reilly
    17,
    Any race / ethnicity
    ,
    Female-identifying
    17, female, any ethnicity, born and raised in Ireland. Birdie's very recent best friend. Talkative a la Amelia Shepherd: it's what she does to be okay since having to leave home.
  • Siobhan O'Reilly
    25,
    Any race / ethnicity
    ,
    Female-identifying
    25, female, any ethnicity, born and raised in Ireland. Caitriona's sister, endearingly awkward and trying really hard. An English teacher alongside Annika. Talks and bakes and talks about baking.

Development History