Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill Spread Their Wings in U.S. Premiere of Blackbird

News   Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill Spread Their Wings in U.S. Premiere of Blackbird
The 2007 Oliver Award-winning play Blackbird, by Scottish playwright David Harrower, begins performances March 15 in a new production by Manhattan Theatre Club.
Alison Pill stars in MTC's production of Blackbird.
Alison Pill stars in MTC's production of Blackbird. Photo by Henry Leutwyler

Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill star in the drama, about a woman, Una, who shows up unexpectedly at the office of Ray, forcing him "to come to terms with the effects of their relationship," according to MTC. "Una pulls him into an encounter that is gripping, surprising and utterly unforgettable."

Performances play New York City Center's Stage I. Opening night is April 10.

Two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Love! Valour! Compassion!) directs the production.

Daniels is a Drama Desk nominee (for appearing in Off-Broadway plays in the 1980s) and a Golden Globe nominee (for the indie film "The Squid and The Whale") widely known for roles in the films "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Dumb & Dumber," "Terms of Endearment," "Fly Away Home," "Gettysburg" and more. He appeared in Redwood Curtain, Fifth of July and The Golden Age on Broadway.

He also enjoys a career as a playwright. In his native Chelsea, MI, where he still maintains a home, he founded — and is executive director of — a hugely popular resident Equity theatre, The Purple Rose Theatre Company, which has produced many of his plays. His writing has been produced regionally and in Manhattan as well. Alison Pill played a lovestruck Irish terrorist in Martin McDonagh's dark comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore on Broadway in 2006, earning a Tony nomination as Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Mantello is a two-time Tony Award winner whose directorial credits include Love! Valour! Compassion!, Wicked, The Odd Couple and Three Days of Rain.

Playwright David Harrower was born in Edinburgh in 1966. His first play, Knives in Hens, was first produced at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in 1995. He is also the author of the plays Kill the Old Torture Their Young (1998), and The Chrysalids (1999), adapted from John Wyndham's novel, for the National Theatre's Connections project. Presence (2001), his third original play, was first performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs in April 2001. He has also adapted versions of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author (Six Characters Looking for an Author), first staged at the Young Vic in 2000; Chekhov's Ivanov (2002), performed at the National Theatre in autumn 2002; and Buchner's Woyzeck, performed at the Edinburgh Lyceum in 2002. He has also translated The Girl on the Sofa (2002), a new play by Jon Fosse, presented in a joint production by the Edinburgh International Festival and the Schaubuhne, Berlin. His play, Dark Earth (2003), premiered at the Traverse in August 2003. He also wrote a new version of Odon von Horvath's Tales from the Vienna Woods (2003) for the National Theatre, London, which opened in October 2003. He lives in Glasgow.

The creative team for Blackbird includes Scott Pask (set design), Laura Bauer (costume design), Paul Gallo (lighting design) and Darron L West (sound design).

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Jeff Daniels stars in MTC's production of David Harrower's <i>Blackbird</i>.
Jeff Daniels stars in MTC's production of David Harrower's Blackbird. Photo by Henry Leutwyler
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