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Blackbird
a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by David Harrower

COMPANY : Right On Productions [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Robert Mello Studio [WEBSITE]
ID# 5326

SHOWING : August 03, 2018 - August 26, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Right On Productions is mounting David Harrower’s taut emotional drama "Blackbird" at The Robert Mello Studio Blackbox in Atlanta, Georgia. Fifteen years ago, 35-year-old Ray was convicted of sexually abusing 12-year-old Una. After serving his prison sentence, Ray changed his name and started a new life. Una, still haunted by her past, stumbles across a recent photo of Ray and decides to confront him at his workplace.

Directed by Marc Gowan.
Starring Heather Rule and Jayson Warner Smith.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Marc Gowan
Una Heather Rule
Ray Jayson Smith
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REVIEWS

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Drama
by playgoer
Sunday, August 26, 2018
4.5
"Blackbird" takes place in the grimy break room of a dental supply warehouse. In Bret Brammer’s scenic design, there’s a full kitchenette upstage center, with interestingly angled walls to the sides, the one at stage right containing a door with frosted glass, through which silhouettes of figures outside can be seen in Tom Gillespie’s effective lighting design. The set takes up nearly the full width of the playing space, which gives more than enough room for the action.

Director Marc Gowan uses the space well in the show’s blocking, although most of the play is what could be (and sometimes is) stationary conversation. Even so, Tyler Buckingham’s fight direction gets a chance to shine in one of the most active bits. Bennett Walton’s original compositions enhance the dramatic mood in the story of a young woman confronting the man who seduced her when she was 12 (or was the seduction the other way around?).

The centerpiece of the story is sequential monologues from the woman (Una) and then from the man (Ray) about the events of the night when the police were called and their inappropriate relationship was discovered and severed. Each learns from the other that their assumptions about the night were incorrect. It leads to a sort of resolution, interrupted when his stepdaughter arrives to announce that her mother has come to collect her husband. The play ends abruptly with a blackout, when a slower fadeout would allow greater resonance in how the moment parallels the events of the fateful night.

The performances of Jayson Warner Smith and Heather Rule as the two principal characters are splendid. Their emotions and utterances all ring true, instantaneously involving the audience in their drama-filled interactions. Tai Valdés is also excellent in the tiny role of the stepdaughter (alternating in the role with Molly McInturff).

The after-hours conversation between Ray and Una starts out fairly civil and quiet, then explodes when everyone else leaves the building. The dynamics of the piece are, well, dynamic. Give a strong script strong performances and fine direction and you end up with an engrossing production. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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