By David Harrower

Directed by Karla Hartley

Sep. 11 – 28, 2008

Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm

Tickets: $24.50

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

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Creative Loafing Best of the Bay

What It's About

The southeastern US premiere!

Una and Ray had a relationship that resulted in disastrous consequences. Ray moved on with his life, ensuring that they would never set eyes on each other again. Fifteen years later, Una has found Ray.

Never has a more thought-provoking play been written about such a taboo subject. The play explodes with unresolved and possibly irresolvable concerns that make it one of the most daring new plays in recent theater. Blackbird is a brilliant, unnerving and controversial play that taunts us with the limits of our own language and our conceptions of love, abuse and that much-abused neologism “closure”.

Blackbird was commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival and premiered at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, in August 2005. The production transferred to the Albery Theatre, London, in February 2006, and went on to open at the Manhattan Theater Club, New York City, in April 2007.

Age Recommendation

18+: Contains adult language, situations and subject matter.

A searing theatrical experience. – The Guardian

Paul J. Potenza and Caitlin Eason in Jobsite's Blackbird. (Photo: Brian Smallheer.)

Critic Reviews

.. the superlative acting elevated the subject matter to a shameful level of enjoyment ... Eason and Potenza spun gold from the detritus of their characters' lives. Slogging through the muck of abuse, their performances were riveting. – Tampa Tribune

[Blackbird] offers its audience a host of uncomfortable questions, and ends intriguingly without answering any of them. So its power endures, and even grows, after you've left the theater and started to think about what you've seen and heard. – St. Petersburg Times


Cast & Crew

  • Karla Hartley – Director
  • Xylina Golding – Stage Manager


  • Caitlin Eason – Una
  • Paul J. Potenza – Ray


  • Scott Cooper – Scenic Designer
  • Betty-Jane Parks – Set Design Assistant
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer

Patron Reviews

As uncomfortable and excellent as The Goat, which was also directed by Karla Hartley, Blackbird also intimately investigates a different kind of love. It is creepy, and dirty and very wonderful…. One man, one woman, one room, throwing up accusations, hurts and regrets that have simmered for 15 years. Both actors, Paul Potenza and Caitlin Eason are excellent…. After the show ends you will be not only entertained by first rate acting, you will have your conceptions about relationships and what is appropriate challenged. – David Hood

I heartly recommend people take the time to see Jobsite’s production of Blackbird. It is a compelling night of theater that is told with the utmost commitment and stellar talent of Caitlin Eason and Paul Potenza. Karla Hartley’s direction of this production is just another example of her intelligence and strength as a director. Bravo! – Brian

I strongly recommend people see this production. It is truly a compelling night of theater. Caitlin Eason and Paul Potenza share with the audience a thought provoking story with their stellar performances. Karla Hartley’s direction has enforced her already solid reputation as being among the Tampa Bay area’s finest directors. This show will be among the top 5 best productions of the Tampa Bay area’s 2008–09 theater season. – Brian Shea

We are recent season ticket holders, deciding to do this when we saw your A Dream Play production in June. Boy what a great play to start your season. Please tell the cast of this show how much we enjoyed their performances … Kudos to all and we really look forward to all of your future productions. We will tell our friends too. What a great value for the money! – John and Lori

Just returned from seeing Blackbird. The acting was SO profound. TOTALLY impressed. Thanks again for a job well done. – Rachel Lisi

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