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ACT Play Examines the Limits of Morality


April 26, 2007

By Pat Craig

ACT CONJURES images of Nabokov's "Lolita" and plays by Pinter when it describes "Blackbird," which receives its West Coast premiere beginning with previews on Friday and opening on May 2.

The new David Harrower production was named the top play at London's Olivier Awards this year, beating out Tom Stoppard's "Rock 'n' Roll" and Peter Morgan's "Frost/Nixon." Here, the play will be directed by Loretta Greco, and will feature Steven Culp and Jessi Campbell.

"Blackbird," which is performed without an intermission, is set during one evening in the back room of a warehouse, where Ray works as part of a rebuilt life.

Late in the evening, Una, the young woman with whom he had an affair years earlier, burst into to the room to confront him about what was an underage relationship. The two argue and clash bitterly over the relationship and their need to understand the past in an effort to perceive the truth of the affair.

Greco has said the relationship was a "life-defining moment" for the pair, which has colored every moment of their lives since. But despite the passion and drive to understand and find the truth, it is all elusive, and leaves Ray and Una, along with the audience, still looking for answers.

Harrower said he doesn't believe his play is about pedophilia, but is instead about the gray areas. He said he is more interested in how those involved deal with their actions and how they justify or explain to themselves, rather than what they have done.

Details: Tickets, at $13.50-$56.50 for previews and $17.50-$81.50 for the main run, can be reserved at 415-749-2228 or Because of the nature of the production, ACT is recommending the play for audiences 16 and older.

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