08 09 Season

Blackbird Poster

By David Harrower
Directed by Joel Greenberg

In association with Canadian Stage

March 9 – April 4, 2009

Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs

Fifteen years ago, Una and Ray had a relationship. They haven’t set eyes on each other since… Now she’s found him again.

Winner of the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Play, David Harrower’s explosive work was the hit of the Edinburgh International Festival in 2005 and a smash on London’s West End and off-Broadway. In 2009, Studio 180 presented the Canadian premiere of this gripping, surprising and utterly unforgettable drama. Blackbird marked the beginning of our exciting partnership with Canadian Stage as part of the Berkeley Street Project.


Written by David Harrower
Directed by Joel Greenberg
Featuring Jessica Greenberg, Hardee T. Lineham, and Samantha Somer Wilson
Stage Managed by Robert Harding
Set and Costume Designed by Michael Gianfrancesco
Lighting Designed by Kimberly Purtell
Sound Designed by Michael Laird
Production Managed by Nathaniel Kennedy


David Harrower

David Harrower


David Harrower 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.

Joel Greenberg

Joel Greenberg


For Studio 180: Stuff Happens, Arab-Israeli Cookbook, Passion of the Chris & The Laramie Project. A co-founder of Studio 180, Joel is a Chalmers and Dora award–winning playwright and director who has directed productions across Canada. Elsewhere: Ain’t Misbevain‘, What the Butler Saw, Taking Sides, Vanities, Bells Are Ringing, Second City (Toronto and Chicago), Dames at Sea (too many times), Tonight at 8:00…8:30 in Newfoundland (all three editions), The Foreigner, Alice, Drink the Mercury and The Nuclear Power Play. Joel taught at Humber College Theatre School from 1984 to 1989 and the Drama Department at the University of Waterloo from 1991 to 2014, also serving as the Chair of each department.

Jessica Greenberg


For Studio 180: Offensive Shadows & Passion of the Chris. Jessica (she/her) is an actor and artist educator who has worked on and off stage with Studio 180 since 2004. As an actor, she has appeared in our productions of Indecent, King Charles III, NSFW, Cock, Our Class, Parade, Blackbird, Offensive Shadows and The Passion of the Chris. As the Director of Youth and Community Engagement, Jessica creates our production study guides and lobby exhibits, runs our Studio 180 IN CLASS and Beyond The Stage programs, and contributes to Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT and AT HOME programming. She has acted on stages across Canada and the United States including Canadian Stage, Crow’s Theatre, Project: Humanity, Magnus Theatre, YPT, The Citadel, MTYP, Passe Muraille, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Theatre New Brunswick, Willow Cabin Theatre and Theatreworks/USA. She has appeared on The Handmaid’s Tale, Murdoch Mysteries and Being Erica as well as the animated series Fish ‘n Chips. Jessica has more than 20 years of experience as a guest artist and educator with children and youth of all ages from preschool to post-secondary, was Education Coordinator for ARCfest: Toronto’s Human Rights Arts Festival, and is the Director of Child Engagement for the Child-ish Collective. She holds an Honours BA in political science and women’s studies from McGill University and completed her classical acting training at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York and as an apprentice at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky.

Hardee T. Lineham

Hardee T. Lineham


For Studio 180: Stuff Happens. Hardee’s recent stage credits include Dying To Be Sick (Pleiades Theatre); Crave (Nightwood Theatre); Omnium Gatherum, Proof, Richard III (Dora Winner), Henry VI, Edward VI, Tempest, Spring Awakening, Summerfolk, Plenty (Canadian Stage); Streetcar Named Desire, Macbeth, School for Wives (Playhouse Theatre, Vancouver); Scary Stories, Madboy Chronicles, Six Degrees (Alberta Theatre Projects); Love and Anger, White Biting Dog, As You Like It (Stratford Festival). He also received Dora Nominations for Crackwalker, Lie of the Mind and Science Fiction. Hardee’s film & TV credits include Cary in The Jane Show, Loving Loretta, Santa Baby, Shoemaker (Genie Nomination), Top of the Food Chain, The Big Hit, The Italian Machine, Dead Zone, Puppets Who Kill, Traders, P.S.I. Factor, Twice in a Lifetime, Little Mosque on the Prairie and Murdoch Mysteries.

Samantha Somer Wilson


Robert Harding

Robert Harding

Stage Manager

For Studio 180: debut. Credits elsewhere include Divisidero: A PerformanceThis Is What Happens Next (Necessary Angel); Side by Side by Sondheim (The Grand Theatre); “Master Harold”…and the boys (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Happy Days (Theatre Columbus); Another Home InvasionCommunionA Beautiful ViewHow It WorksPast Perfect (Tarragon Theatre); FestenMarion BridgeA Whistle in the Dark (Company Theatre); British Invasion!British Invasion 2: America Strikes Back! (Charlottetown Festival); Seussical (YPT); Carmela’s Table (Centaur Theatre); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Resurgence Theatre).

Michael Gianfrancesco

Michael Gianfrancesco

Set and Costume Designer

For Studio 180: Stuff Happens (2008), The Arab-Israeli Cookbook & The Laramie Project. Michael’s set & costume design credits for theatre, opera and dance include A Few Good Men (Citadel/MTC); Trouble in TahitiIn Good King Charles’s Golden Days (costumes), One Touch of Venus (costumes) (Shaw Festival); Caroline or Change (set, Acting Up Stage/Obsidian); Jack and the Giant BeanstalkThe Wizard of OzSeussical (set) (YPT); Romeo and JulietThe 39 StepsWhite Christmas (set), Fiddler on the Roof (costumes) (MTC); The Drowsy Chaperone (set, MTC/Theatre Calgary); Rodin/ClaudelKaleidoscope (set) (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens); SvadbaBeauty Dissolves in a Brief HourThe Midnight Court – presented at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre); In Colour (National Ballet of Canada); A View from the Bridge (set, Segal Theatre); Rock ‘n’ RollIt’s a Wonderful LifeLittle Shop of Horrors (set) (Canadian Stage). Michael has spent nine seasons at the Stratford Festival and most recently designed the scenery for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He was the 2008 recipient of the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design from the Ontario Arts Foundation, and received the Brian Jackson Award from the Stratford Festival.

Kimberly Purtell

Kimberly Purtell

Lighting Designer

For Studio 180: Stuff Happens (2008) & Blackbird. Kimberly is a Toronto based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance and is thrilled to be working with Studio 180 once again. Her designs have been critically acclaimed across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Prague, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Moscow and Mongolia. She has designed for the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Soulpepper Theatre, Mirvish Productions, National Arts Centre and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Philadelphia, Arena Stage in Washington DC, Tapestry Opera, Hamilton Opera, Edmonton Opera, Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre, Place des Arts, among many others. She has also designed productions for the Pan Am Games and the Vancouver and Beijing Cultural Olympiads. Kimberly has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Pauline McGibbon Award, a Sterling Award, and a Montreal English Theatre Award. She is the Vice President of the Associated Designers of Canada and IATSE ADC659.

Michael Laird

Michael Laird

Sound Designer

For Studio 180: Stuff Happens (2008), Blackbird & Offensive Shadows. Selected Sound Design credits: AnnieCinderellaA Year with Frog and ToadThe Princess and the HandmaidenYou’re a Good Man, Charlie BrownThe Wizard of Oz (YPT); Seussical (YPT/Citadel Theatre); Spamalot!Sound of MusicLittle Women (Citadel Theatre); Great ExpectationsBarber of Seville (Soulpepper); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Legally Blonde (Neptune Theatre); Speaking in TonguesThrough the LeavesFestenMarion Bridge (Company Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); A Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre); Evil Dead: The Musical (Off B’way); and A Beautiful View (da da kamera).

Nathaniel Kennedy

Nathaniel Kennedy

Production Manager

For Studio 180: Stuff Happens (2008), Blackbird & Offensive Shadows. Nathaniel has worked in theatre production across Canada and internationally. Most recently he has worked with Tarragon Theatre, Necessary Angel and Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. Nathaniel is currently a Special Events Supervisor for the City of Toronto.


Jessica Greenberg and Hardee T. Lineham in Blackbird. Photos by John Karastamatis.
Hardee T. Lineham and Jessica Greenberg in Blackbird. Photos by John Karastamatis.
Hardee T. Lineham and Jessica Greenberg in Blackbird. Photos by John Karastamatis.


Heart pounding and surprising.

Globe and Mail

Provocative! Intriguing! Love, loneliness and intoxicating temptation. A terrific play!

CBC Radio

Blackbird wings high. Intense two-hander captures a taboo relationship’s anger and fear.

NOW Magazine

A riveting production of Harrower’s play… Joel Greenberg delivers a taut production on a wonderfully anonymous set by Michael Gianfrancesco.

National Post

Pulls no punches… Jessica Greenberg and Hardee T. Lineham deliver bravura performances. This is live theatre at its best!

The New AM 740 ★★★★