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A.C.T. Gets West Coast Premiere of Olivier-Winning "Blackbird"; Culp to Star

(c) Playbill News

March 27, 2007

By Zachary Pincus-Roth

American Conservatory Theater will present the West Coast premiere of the Scottish playwright David Harrower's "Blackbird," which won the Best New Play prize at the 2007 Olivier Awards, from April 27-May 27.

Loretta Greco directs Steven Culp (Rex Van De Camp in "Desperate Housewives") and Jessi Campbell in the production, which opens May 2.

The design team includes Robert Brill (sets), Russell H. Champa (lights), David F. Draper (costumes) and Jake Rodriguez (sound).

Manhattan Theatre Club is currently presenting the play's U.S. premiere, which began performances March 15 and opens April 10 at New York City Center's Stage I. Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill star and Joe Mantello directs.

According to press notes, "Blackbird" takes place over the course of one evening in the back room of an industrial warehouse. Late one evening, as Ray goes about his job in a life he has newly rebuilt for himself, in barges Una, a young woman to whom he has not spoken since the end of their affair more than a dozen years earlier."

Born in Edinburgh, Harrower's plays include "Knives in Hens" (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in 1995), "Dark Earth" (Traverse in Aug. 2003), "Kill the Old Torture Their Young, The Chrysalids, Presence" (Royal Court in April 2001), the adaptations "Six Characters Looking for an Author" (Young Vic in 2000), "Ivanov," (National Theatre in 2002) and "Woyzeck" (Edinburgh Lyceum in 2002) and a translation of Jon Fosse's "The Girl on the Sofa" (Edinburgh International Festival and the Schaubuhne, Berlin).

Culp's theatre credits include Joe Pitt in A.C.T.'s production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Coastal Disturbances on Broadway, Richard III in Central Park opposite Kevin Kline and the West Coast premiere of Nicky Silver's Raised in Captivity at South Coast Repertory Theatre. In addition to "Desperate Housewives," his television credits include "The West Wing," "Star Trek: Enterprise," "JAG" and "C.S.I.," and his film credits include "Spartan," "Nurse Betty," "Fearless" and "Dead Again." He has played Robert Kennedy twice - in the film "Thirteen Days" and in the made-for-television movie "Norma Jean & Marilyn."

Campbell was recently seen in the world premiere of Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen in New York, directed by Greco. Her other stage credits include Inky, Eikon, Twelfth Night, Marisol and Don Juan Comes Back from the War. Her television credits include "The Knights of Prosperity," "Rescue Me," and "Law and Order: S.V.U." She can be seen in the upcoming film "Spinning Into Butter," an adaptation of the Rebecca Gilman play.

In addition to Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen, Greco's directing credits for the Women's Project include Rinne Groff's Inky, Toni Press Coffman's Touch, Karen Hartman's Gum, and Amparo Garcia's Under a Western Sky (with INTAR). Greco directed the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson's Lackawanna Blues at The Public Theater and its West Coast premiere at A.C.T. She has also directed at the New York Theatre Workshop, the Vineyard Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, the La Jolla Playhouse and the McCarter Theatre Center. Greco's international credits include Having Our Say in its U.S. national tour and at the Market Theatre in South Africa.

A.C.T. is located at 415 Geary Street in San Francisco. For tickets visit A.C.T. Ticket Services at 405 Geary Street (near the theatre), call (415) 749-2228 or visit

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