Birds of A Feather

Artwork by Claudia Davila. Sarah and Violet spread their wings with the ocean in the background.

While on vacation with her grandma in Hawaii, junior birdwatcher Sarahmakes a new friend in Violet who introduces her to the world of the Laysan albatross, anative species of bird that has a different kind of family from many othersViolet suggests they create and act out a story about Makani and Kainoa, two albatross who are working together to hatch an egg. Through their exploration they learn about compromise, believing in yourself and that family – in all its varieties – is made up of the people who love you. The birds rejoice when their egg finally hatches and the play concludes with Sarah hugging her grandma tight, secure in the knowledge that her family is the perfect one for her.

Grades K-4

Curriculum Connections: Language Arts, Drama, Social Studies
Character Education Connections: Cooperation, Friendship, Teamwork
Themes: Family, Diversity, Imagination, Identity



Bria McLaughlin, a woman with dark brown skin, dark brown eyes, and big black hair raised up. She is smiling and wearing diamond earings.
Bria McLaughlin

Bria McLaughlin - Violet / Grandmother

A Toronto based Caribbean-Canadian actress and writer, Bria grew up in the suburbs of Whitby, Ontario. Since graduating from Ryerson Theatre School in 2015 she has performed across Canada. No stranger to theatre for young audiences, her credits include: In This World (Youtheatre), P@ndora (Youtheatre) and a workshop and staged reading of Amaryllis (Theatre Direct). Recent: Swan (Filament Incubator/Little Black Afro) and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Wolf Manor - Now Magazine’s critic’s pick). Other selected credits: The Dumb War (Newborn Theatre), Balm in Gilead (Ryerson Theatre), La Ronde (Ryerson Theatre). An emerging writer, Bria is currently developing a web series exploring women of colour in comedy. She is thrilled to be working with Roseneath Theatre on such a beautiful and relevant premiere. 

Michaela Di Cesare. A woman with light skin and long brown hair and brown eyes. She is smiling.
Michaela Di Cesare

Michaela Di Cesare - SarahMichaela is honoured to be helping Roseneath to premiere this heart-warming and important new play. Recent credits: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Humber River Shakespeare). State of Denial by Rahul Varma (Teesri Duniya Theatre), staged readings of Andrea Scott’s Eating Pomegranates Naked and Leah-Simone Bowen’s The Hallway (Black Theatre Workshop). Michaela performed her one-woman show 8 Ways my Mother was Conceived in Toronto, Montreal, New York City, Ottawa, Hudson, Winnipeg and Stratford. Michaela spent one year as the Playwright-in-Residence at Imago Theatre where she wrote In Search of Mrs. Pirandello, an official selection of the 2016 WildSide Festival at Centaur Theatre. Her latest play, Successions, was developed with Infinitheatre and received a staged reading at Centaur Theatre.

Robert Watson, a middle aged white man with short blonde hair and blue eyes.
Robert Watson

Robert Watson - Playwright

Robert is a Victoria-raised theatre artist who has called Toronto home for the past 15 years. Having worked as an actor, producer, publicist, makeup artist and sound designer for various theatrical productions, it is playwriting that gives him the most artistic satisfaction. Robert received a 2015 Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination for Outstanding New Play for The Money Tree. Selected writing credits include the sold-out Fringe hit Chasing Margaret Flatwood at Toronto’s Campbell House, Desperate Housepets at the Montreal and Toronto Fringe Festivals, adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories and Phoebe Gilman’s The Balloon Tree (Toronto Fringe). Robert is playwright-in-residence at Theatre Awakening, where he developed The Ladies Room and Chasing Margaret Flatwood, and is a graduate of the George Brown Theatre School.

Andrew Lamb. A middle aged white man with very short hair, glasses and blue eyes. He is wearing a pale blue plaid shirt
Andrew Lamb

Andrew Lamb - Director

Andrew Lamb is the Artistic Director of Roseneath Theatre and Theatre Awakening in Toronto. Andrew spent five seasons as the Director of Education at Tarragon Theatre and was part of the 2009 Director’s Lab at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York. Selected directing credits: The Money Tree, Outside, La Maleta-The Suitcase (Roseneath) Chasing Margaret Flatwood (Toronto Fringe), In This World (Roseneath/Tarragon) – Dora nomination for Outstanding Direction, Dib and Dob and the Journey Home (Roseneath/National Arts Centre), The (Post) Mistress (Thousand Islands/Neptune/Ship’s Co.), With Love and a Major Organ (Next Stage/Toronto Fringe), BURIED (Next Stage), My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (Mirvish/Fringe). Andrew serves on the board of directors for the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres.

Verne Goode. A white middle aged woman with long hair. The photo is in black and white.
Verne Goode

Verne Goode - Sound Designer

For Roseneath Theatre, Verne has created sound for Outside and In This World. Other sound design credits include: Pericles, Hirsch (Stratford Festival), The 39 Steps, The Heidi Chronicles  (Soulpepper), Up The Garden Path (Obsidian), Our Beautiful Sons, The Birds and The Bees (Blyth Festival), Was Spring, Communion (Tarragon), Queer Bathroom Stories (Buddies in Bad Times), The Odyssey (Driftwood), sound design and original music for Tick (Carousel Players), The Normal Heart, You Will Remember Me (Studio 180), The Atomic Weight of Happiness (StandUp Dance), Stockholm, The Red Queen Effect (Seventh Stage) and others. Upcoming: Sound designs for The Grand Theatre and Stratford Festival. Verne studied at Bishop’s University, National Theatre School of Canada and Humber College. She is also a certified personal trainer and poet.

Sandi Becker. A white young looking woman with long light brown hair. She is looking over her shoulder
Sandi Becker

Sandi Becker - Stage Manager

Sandi Becker is a Toronto based stage manager. She is a graduate of York University’s Theatre Studies Programme. Selected credits include: The Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy (Eldritch Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Driftwood Theatre), Ultrasound (Cahoots/Theatre Passe Muraille), Man to Man/Licking Knives (Headstrong Collective), Hamlet (Driftwood Theatre), La Maleta-The Suitcase (American Tour, Roseneath), Frankenstein’s Boy (Eldritch Theatre), Ubu Mayor (One Little Goat), The Tempest (Driftwood Theatre), Dib and Dob and the Journey Home (Roseneath), Tick Tick Boom (Angelwalk Theatre), The Odyssey (Driftwood Theatre), Miracle on 34th Street (The Grand Theatre), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood Theatre), Stockholm (Seventh Stage/Nightwood). Upcoming: King Lear/Twelfth Night (Canadian Stage)

Beth Kates, a middle aged woman with light skin and long wavy hair that goes past her shoulders. She's wearing red lipstick and a red top.
Beth Kates

Beth Kates - Set / Projection Designer

Beth is a mom and an award-winning Lighting, Projection, Set, and Costume designer who started designing rock and roll at 14. She co-created the interactive installations LightSpanNight Light Travels, and The ToyBox. She co-designed projections for RagtimePygmalionLight up the Sky, and Peter Hinton’s Alice in Wonderland at the Shaw Festival, and for all the Ross Petty Pantomimes since 2011.  Recently at The Blyth Festival, Beth co-created The Last Donnelly Standing with Gil Garratt & Paul Thompson, which she also designed. Highlights: Truth Be ToldSEEDS (Blyth), MacHomerBigger Than Jesus, (Wyrd), The Road to Mecca (Soulpepper), SPIN(Buddies in Bad  Times), Vigilante (Catalyst), Dora the Explorer (Koba), Brimful of Asha (Tarragon).  Visit &


Melanie McNeill. A mid aged white woman with light brown hair in tight curls that go to her shoulders. She's wearing glasses and smiling wide.
Melanie McNeill

Melanie McNeill - Costume / Prop Designer

Melanie is a Toronto based set and costume designer who has worked extensively with Eldritch Theatre, Théâtre français de Toronto, Videocabaret and Driftwood Theatre. Other companies include Theatre Gargantua, Soulpepper Theatre, Young People’s Theatre, Obsidian Theatre, Mirvish Productions, Theatre 20, ProArte Danza and many more. She also does some work in TV, mostly creating very cool things for TfO. Melanie has received a Prix Rideaux (for le fa le do with Théâtre français de Toronto), two Dora Awards, 3 other Dora nominations and a nomination for the 2015 Prix d’Excellence artistique (Arrière-Scène). Her designs have been described as “simple yet striking” and “highly evocative”. Melanie is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School and is a member of Associated Designers of Canada (ADC).










Curriculum Connections:


Grade 1

Social Studies

A2.1 formulate questions to guide investigations into some aspects of the interrelationship between events, people, and/or places in their lives and their own roles, relationships, responsibilities, and identity/sense of self (e.g., brainstorm with their peers to formulate simple questions related to an event that has affected their self-concept, to changes in their responsibilities since they started school, or to how they behave in different places)


A2.2 gather and organize information on significant events, people, and/or places in their lives that contribute or have contributed to the development of their roles, relationships, responsibilities, and identity/sense of self (e.g., a birth or death in the family, their first day at school, a friend getting hurt at the park, getting lost in a shopping mall, their family’s place of worship), using primary and/or secondary sources that they have located themselves or that have been provided to them (e.g., photographs, family and other stories, interviews, artefacts, newspapers and magazines)


A2.5 evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about some aspects of the interrelationship between events, people, and/or places in their lives and their own roles, relationships, responsibilities, and identity/sense of self  


A3.2 identify some of the significant people, places, and things in their life, including their life in the community (e.g., people: parent, teacher, Elder, doctor; places: school, friends’ homes, the library, parks or playgrounds, their place of worship; things: pets, culturally specific items in their home, toys and comfort items), and describe their purpose or the role they have


Health and Physical Education

C2.3 demonstrate the ability to recognize caring behaviours (e.g., listening with respect, giving positive reinforcement, being helpful) and exploitive behaviours (e.g., inappropriate touching, verbal or physical abuse, bullying), and describe the feelings associated with each [IS]

Teacher prompt: “Caring behaviours are found in healthy relationships. How might you feel in a healthy relationship?”

Student: “I might feel happy, safe, secure, cared for.”

Teacher: “How might you feel in a relationship that is not healthy?”

Student: “I might feel sad, scared, angry, confused, hurt.”

Teacher: “What are some situations in which you might feel that way?”

Student: “I might feel that way if someone was being mean or leaving me out, if someone was touching me when I didn’t want to be touched, or if I was left at home alone.”


Grade 2

Social Studies

A1.2 compare their family’s structure and some of their traditions and celebrations with those of their peers’ families (e.g., traditions/celebrations related to rites of passage, holidays, foods).

A3.1 identify and describe different types of families (e.g., families with one parent, two parents, no children; same-sex families; blended and multigenerational families; immigrant families; families where the parents come from different religious or ethnocultural groups)


Grade 3

Health and Physical Education

C1.3 identify the characteristics of healthy relationships (e.g., accepting differences, being inclusive, communicating openly, listening, showing mutual respect and caring, being honest) and describe ways of overcoming challenges (e.g., bullying, exclusion, peer pressure, abuse) in a relationship [IS]

Teacher prompt: “Consider different types of relationships – with friends, siblings, parents, other adults – and think about the kinds of behaviour that help to make those relationships healthier. What can you do if you are having problems with a relationship?”

Student: “I can tell the person how I’m feeling, and we can try to work something out, or if we can’t solve the problem, we can just say we disagree. We could also try to get advice from someone else.”

C1.4 identify factors (e.g., sleep, food, physical activity, heredity, environment, support from a caring adult, sense of belonging, peer influence) that affect physical development (e.g., of hair, skin, teeth, body size and shape) and/or emotional development (e.g., of self-awareness, adaptive skills, social skills) [PS]

Teacher prompt: “There are factors that affect your development that you can control and other factors that you cannot control. Can you give me examples of both types of factors?”

Student: “I can’t control my heredity, which affects my body size and shape. I can’t control my family situation, or my cultural background, or where I grow up. I can usually control how often I brush my teeth, what foods I choose to eat from those that are available, how I choose my friends, and some of the activities I do.”

Teacher: “Having a sense of belonging, of being accepted and understood, is important for emotional development. How can you show acceptance or understanding of students who may be different in some way – in shape and size, ability, background, family, or the way they do things – from others around them?”

Student: “I can stand up for someone who is being teased because they are different. I could try to learn more about people who do things differently than I do – such as learning about how some people who are deaf can talk using their hands, how some people with physical disabilities move with a wheelchair, or what someone who has a different religion from mine believes in.”

C3.3 describe how visible differences (e.g., skin, hair, and eye colour, facial features, body size and shape, physical aids or different physical abilities, clothing, possessions) and invisible differences (e.g., learning abilities, skills and talents, personal or cultural values and beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, family background, personal preferences, allergies and sensitivities) make each person unique, and identify ways of showing respect for differences in others [PS, IS]

Teacher prompt: “Sometimes we are different in ways you can see. Sometimes we are different in ways you cannot see – such as how we learn, what we think, and what we are able to do. Give me some examples of things that make each person unique.”

Student: “We all come from different families. Some students live with two parents. Some live with one parent. Some have two mothers or two fathers. Some live with grandparents or with caregivers. We may come from different cultures. We also have different talents and abilities and different things that we find difficult to do.”

Teacher: “How can you be a role model and show respect for differences in other people?”

Student: “I can include others in what I am doing, invite them to join a group, be willing to be a partner with anyone for an activity, and be willing to learn about others.


Grade 4

Health and Physical Education

C1.3 describe various types of bullying and abuse (e.g., social, physical, verbal), including bullying using technology (e.g., via e-mail, text messaging, chat rooms, websites), and identify appropriate ways of responding [IS]

Teacher prompt: “What is an example of social bullying? Physical bullying? Verbal bullying?”

Student: “Social bullying could include leaving someone out of the group, refusing to be someone’s partner, spreading rumours in person or online, or totally ignoring someone. Physical bullying could include pushing someone, pulling hair, or knocking a person down. Verbal bullying could include name calling, mocking, teasing about appearance, including weight, size, or clothing, and making sexist, racist, or homophobic comments in person or online. Any of these kinds of bullying could cause emotional pain.”

Teacher prompt: “Is it common for girls and boys to bully in different ways? Is one type of bullying any more or less hurtful than another?”

Student: “It might be more common for boys to bully physically or for girls to bully socially by spreading rumours or leaving people out, but that’s not always true. Social or emotional bullying is more difficult to see but it can be just as hurtful.” 




Roseneath Theatre recognizes the contributions of the following people in the creation of this study guide:
Lead - Brittany Kay
Additional support - Marco Castelli, Alison Logan, Katya Kuznetsova, Gretel Meyer Odell, Kathleen Ballantyne, Andrew Lamb
Roseneath Theatre further recognizes Canadian Heritage for financial support for the creation of this Study Guide web application.