Plan your next visit to the National Aviary at!


To help us care for our flock during these challenging times, make a donation to our Vital Care Efforts.

Plan your next visit to the National Aviary at!


To help us care for our flock during these challenging times, make a donation to our Vital Care Efforts.

"For The Birds" is Theater in Flight


PITTSBURGH— “For the Birds” is a visual symphony designed for the National Aviary’s Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theatre in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. Created and directed by Carnegie Mellon University Masters of Fine Arts students Daniel Allende and Tucker Marder, this collaboration aims to inspire a new perspective on and respect for the beauty and power of birds through theatrical performance.

Two performances will take place at 6:00 p.m. Sunday May 4 and May 11, 2014, and are appropriate for all-ages. The National Aviary is offering a special reduced admission of $10 starting at 5:00 p.m. so visitors can explore the aviary before and after the show. 120 seats are available per show and are first-come-first-serve at the door.

“This performance is a completely unique experience that integrates trained birds from the National Aviary with stunning video, live music, performance, dance, and abstract puppetry,” explain the directors, Allende and Marder.

“The birds become part of the creative process - they will conduct live music through their motions, interact with dancers and puppets, and oversee our stage: highlighting the surreal environment, altering our human perspective, and setting performers on level footing with their avian counterparts.”

“For the Birds” features an original score by Pittsburgh musician Anthony Stultz, melodic percussion / marimba by CMU Masters of Music student Colin Pinto Martin, production design by Masters of Drama in Sound Design student Almeda Beynon, local choreographer Adil Mansoor, and Pittsburgh-based dancers and puppeteers.

“For the Birds” is a large-scale collaboration that has been made possible with the support of the National Aviary, the Sprout Fund, and Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Art, College of Fine Arts Dean’s Office.


About The School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University ( considers, in practical and visionary terms, the role of art and the artist in society. Ranked #1 in the nation for its multimedia Master of Fine Arts Program, the school produces artists of exceptional ability and initiative who are able to connect meaningfully with the communities around them. All School of Art degree programs (Master of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts) and its Pre-College Program, incorporate a broad-based approach to art-making, encouraging a coherent, informed understanding of personal, public, conceptual and technical issues relevant to many forms of artistic expression.

About the National Aviary: The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. The National Aviary’s large walk-through exhibits create an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and to meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world. Hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. For admission rates and more information visit

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 11,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon's main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico. The university is in the midst of “Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University,” which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research, and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.



Pam Wigley

Lauren Goshinski