Fishers Mathias actress embraces role of Bird Woman in ‘Mary Poppins’
Devan Mathias has admitted that she didn’t initially aspire to play Bird Woman’s “Mary Poppins” production in Beef & Boards.
“But it’s a role I’m more than honored to play,” the Fishers resident said. “In such a vibrant story, I love that the whole world slows down for a minute or two to focus on the small bounties of someone who is overlooked by almost everyone who crosses her path. It’s “Feed the Birds “) is such an intimate song that is truly one of my favorite moments of the entire series.
Beef & Boards Dinner Theater will present “Mary Poppins” from May 19 to July 10 at the Indianapolis location.
“The Bird Woman is one of the first to really break through the tough exterior of the Banks kids and see their hearts,” Mathias said. “She finds joy and contentment in simple pleasures, and she reminds us all to look outside of ourselves and care for those around us.”
Mathias said she considers the bird woman to be somewhat magical like Mary Poppins.
“I think both women can see people for who they really are in a kind of mystical way,” Mathias said. “Mary Poppins helps bring the Banks family together through a series of games and experiences, and I think one of them is an interaction with Bird Woman.”
Mathias performed the title role of Mary Poppins in Civic Theater productions of the show in 2015 and 2018, so she has time to consider the role of the bird lady.
“I think this is a woman who in history has been disenfranchised and isolated for a long time without a lot of options, and that definitely has a physical and emotional impact on a person,” Mathias said. “Creating a character is all about empathy, and there are so many opportunities to explore that while playing Bird Woman.”
Mathias said she considered her character probably didn’t get a chance to sit all day and her shoes were probably worn out, so her hips and feet might ache.
“It’s cold and rainy, so his body is sore and tired from trying to stay warm,” Mathias said. “She cares deeply for others but probably doesn’t have many loved ones in her life, so she extends her kindness to the creatures around her, like her sweet little bird family.”