Blackbird Cry

Concordia Student Tackles Serious Subject in New Play

  • Photo by Joseph Ste. Marie

  • Photo by Joseph Ste. Marie

  • Photo by Joseph Ste. Marie

The intensity of the spotlight is well known, but stage fright, it turns out, extends behind the curtain too.

“It took quite a lot for me to accept that I was good enough,” said Mikaela Davies, discussing her decision to direct Shadowbox Productions’ latest play, Blackbird.

The one-act play, produced by Concordia English literature major Sara King-Abadi, tells in real time the sordid tale of former lovers Una (Isabel Farias) and Ray (Jock Macdonald).

The twenty-eight year age gap between the lovers landed Ray fifteen years in prison for statutory rape. Believing that his time behind bars was enough to erase his past, he begins a new life after his release.

Una, however, has not forgotten and seeks him out. The revisiting of the lovers’ past after so many years apart makes for an emotional journey within the confines of Ray’s office.

Davies, one of the co-founders of Shadowbox, was asked to direct the play by the stars of the production and her former theatre coaches. She admitted that at first it was somewhat of a challenge “getting [her] head around the idea of directing [her] acting coaches,” but the role reversals ended up working in the play’s favour.

One of the major draws to the play for Davies was its “racy” content. After all, she says, illicit relationships are often things that “most people don’t want to hear about,” and Blackbird confronts them head-on. However, this is not just your average story of a forbidden romance come undone.

“The play is about letting the characters say anything they want to each other because they are the only two persons who knew exactly how they felt [in the relationship] or what they wanted,” said playwright David Harrower.

The audience feels for both characters as the story makes clear how human they both are; the play forces the viewer to ask questions, as opposed to providing answers, and “tackles the subject of sexual abuse beyond the roles of victim and abuser,” said Davies.
A portion of the proceeds from the production will go to the Canadian Liver Foundation, and on April 15, tickets are 2-for-1.

Blackbird / April 11 to April 21 / Les Ateliers Jean Brillant (3550 St. Jacques St. W.) / 8:00 p.m. / $17.00 regular, $15.00 students, seniors and Quebec Drama Foundation members.

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