Blackbird

By David Harrower

Directed by Michaela Johnson

Featuring: Sara Marsh* (Una), Luverne Seifert* (Ray), and Kate Regan (Girl)

Presented in production with Myron Frisch and Patti Johnson at the Grain Belt Warehouse (2018)

Photos: Rick Spaulding


“Director Michaela Johnson’s brisk, precise staging takes place in a workplace’s break room, the floor literally piled high with debris…Seifert’s enormous likability as a performer makes him a brilliant choice for Ray. Initially, he makes you want to believe there’s been some sort of misunderstanding…but it also throws the later scenes into relief, making Ray’s protestations hollower and more frightening. Una seems more straightforward but Marsh strips away her teasing intelligence in a painful, emotionally specific monologue…Both actors handle Harrower’s Mamet-y, staccato-rhythmed dialogue deftly, almost as if they’re duetting on a thorny piece of music” — Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune

“Directed with a sure hand by Michaela Johnson, a recent Yale [and] National Theater Institute graduate (this is her first professional directing gig)…Seifert and Marsh are together, explaining, accusing, feinting, deflecting, and recalling very different versions of what happened long ago. It’s an emotional tango, a house on fire…Seifert makes Ray a strangely likeable villain. He’s a complex creature…Harrower gives Una a brutal 1,400-word monologue that’s worth bringing back the Ivey Awards, if only to honor Marsh for getting through it so masterfully…if you’re looking for something that challenges your thinking, treats you like a grownup, stays with you for days after you’ve seen it and fills you with admiration for the actors, ‘Blackbird’ is your ticket.” — Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

“Marsh endows Una with a broken-and-rebuilt sense of toughness. Seifert…brings an ambiguous not-quite-creepiness to his performance…Perhaps [Blackbird is] a meditation on the ugly-but-unassailable fact that some humans do monstrous things and some humans are victims of monstrous things. Assuming we live through those experiences, how do perpetrators and survivors (and even observers) live with those experiences? To what degree to they shape us? What do we tell ourselves to endure the days and the years? And how — how? — do we carry on?” — Dominic Papatola, Pioneer Press


Photo: Megan Engeseth | MUA: Crist Ballas | Design: Kevin Cannon

Photo: Megan Engeseth | MUA: Crist Ballas | Design: Kevin Cannon


*Member, Actors’ Equity Association


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