David Harrower’s BLACKBIRD to run at the new Ohio Theatre in NY September 14th - October 3rd

Aug 27, 2021 387

BLACKBIRD, a play by David Harrower will run at the New Ohio Theatre, (154 Christopher Street #1E) September 14th through October 3rd. Directed by Kim T. Sharp, the production stars Francesca Ravera and Lenny Grossman. Fifteen years ago, twelve-year-old Una and forty-year-old Ray's sexual relationship ended abruptly. Now Una finds him again. BLACKBIRD is a tense, riveting play that examines the aftermath of abuse.

“I am beyond grateful and honored for the opportunity to play Una. It’s an incredibly demanding role, physically and mentally,” says the show’s star Francesca Ravera. “I’m drawn to meaningful material, and to challenges: if something is easy, then it’s not for me! This is definitely challenging material, not only for an actor, but also for the audience sitting in the intimate space of the theatre.

They witness disturbing events of the past unfold, and uneasy emotions arising from the abuse. Such a traumatic experience occurring at a very early age left Una scathed, possibly for the rest of her life. She didn’t have the luxury of a new start. This was not the case for her perpetrator.”

Originally from Italy, Francesca Ravera is a N.Y.C. based, award-winning actress. She has starred in Taxi Tales at Marylin Monroe Theater, Rules of Love, and A Thousand Clowns. Off-Broadway she has played the lead in Two Rooms, by Lee Blessing at Access Theater, North of Providence, by Edward Allan Baker, and The Nina Variations, by Steven Dietz, at Chain Theatre. She also starred in two productions directed by Kim T. Sharp, at Urban Stages Theatre: Espresso, by Lucia Frangione, and The Way We Get By, by Neil LaBute which, following its successful run, embarked on a tour in Italy. Francesca has acted with Danny Glover and Udo Kier in the feature film Ulysses: a Dark Odyssey. She played the lead in Claire, a dramatic short film, for which she received ‘Best Actress’ awards from numerous festivals including Oniros Film Awards, Care Awards, Diamond Film Awards, Best Actor Awards festival, Milestone Worldwide Film Festival, Mindfield Film Festival Albuquerque and Five Continents International Film Festival. She starred in several short films, including Creature of the Night directed by Kaya Tone; Osiris, a Sci-Fi directed by Tamara Hansen and Windows to Nowhere, another film by Tamara Hansen.  www.francescaravera.com

Lenny Grossman was last seen as Otto Frank in Steel River Playhouse’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank before the production had to close because of the pandemic. He also played Jonas Fogg/ensemble in their production of Sweeney Todd. Work at additional Philadelphia area theaters includes Ray in White Guy on the Bus, Efram in The Nance, Harpagon in The Miser (Best of Philly Theater 2017: The Philadelphia Inquirer), and Mick in Any Given Monday, all at The Stagecrafters. Additionally, he appeared at Montgomery Theater, Forge Theater, and Playcrafters. As an actor in Chicago he performed with Lifeline Theater, Center Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Oak Park Festival Theater, Baliwick Repertory, and The Raven Theater (Italian American Reconciliation – Joseph Jefferson nomination, lead actor in a play). Lenny has done numerous short films and roles on TV. This December he will appear in the recurring role of Deputy Chief Thomas Brooks in NTDTV’s production of A Good Cop.

David Harrower (Playwright) lives and writes in Glasgow. He has written several plays including Knives in Hens, Kill the Old Torture Their Young, Presence, Dark Earth, A Slow Air, Ciara, and Blackbird which won the Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland and the Olivier Award for Best Play. Knives in Hens and Blackbird are performed regularly across the world and both have been translated into more than twenty languages apiece. He has adapted many plays including Buchner's Woyzeck, Chekhov's Ivanov, Brecht's The Good Soul of Szechuan, Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, Gogol's Government Inspector and Ibsen's An Enemy of the People for, among others, the National Theatre, the Young Vic, the Royal Lyceum and the National Theatre of Scotland. 

Kim T. Sharp (Director) brings vitalizing material to the stage. He directed two productions starring Francesca Ravera, at Urban Stages: Espresso by Lucia Frangione and The Way We Get By, by Neil LaBute. The latter, was also performed in Italy, in Turin, Genova and Milan. Other directing efforts include the NYC premier of Will Snider’s Death of a Driver, at Urban Stages, and Ronan Noone’s The Atheist starring Wolfgang Novogratz. He directed numerous virtual readings over the last year and a half including Act of Contrition by Kelley Nicole Girod featuring Tonya Pinkins. Recently he has worked at Urban Stages on several video presentations including directing, taping and editing several of the videos.

Set Design is by Amy Gallacher.

About New Ohio Theatre: New Ohio Theatre is a two-time Obie Award-winning theatre under the leadership of Robert Lyons, Artistic Director, and Marc Stuart Weitz, Producing Director. The New Ohio serves New York’s most adventurous theatre audiences by developing and presenting bold work from today’s vast independent theatre community. They believe the best of this community, the small artist-driven ensembles and the daring producing companies who operate without a permanent theatrical home, are actively expanding the boundaries of where American theatre is right now and where it’s going. From their home in the West Village’s historic Archive Building, the New Ohio provides a high-profile platform for downtown’s most mature, ridiculous, engaged, irreverent, gut-wrenching, frivolous, sophisticated, foolish and profound theatrical endeavors. The theatre is accessible from the #1 train to Christopher St. or A, B, C, D, E, F or M train to West 4th St. For info visit www.NewOhioTheatre.org 

Performances of BLACKBIRD are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9/14-18 and 9/28-10/2, at 7:30 pm, with matinee performances at 2:00 pm on Saturdays. There are also 2:00 pm matinees on Sundays, 9/19 and 10/3.

Tickets are $28 and can be purchased online at https://ci.ovationtix.com/34708/production/1076055

Student and senior tickets are $20.

Check The New Ohio Theatre website for the most current information on Covid restrictions. Currently, to attend a performance you must show proof of vaccination for admittance into the theatre. Masks are required for all audience members. However, performers will not be masked.

SOURCE: Francesca Ravera

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