Black Bird .001.jpeg

by David harrower

A 27-year-old woman tracks down the man who sexually abused her 15 years prior. Since then, he’s done his time in prison and has started to rebuild his life. In 80 minutes in real time, two people relive the past and fight for their lives as they try to figure out how to move on—if that’s even possible.

"Both [of the characters] have read deep in the psychological literature of sexual abuse, and it doesn’t begin to encompass what they experienced. The miracle of “Blackbird” is that it does." - The New York Times

Directed by Elyse Dolan

MARCH 7-31, 2019

City Lit Theatre, 1020 W Bryn Mawr Ave.


This production contains discussions of childhood sexual assault and is intended for mature audiences only. If you have further concerns or wish to know more specifics, please feel free to contact us at

No refunds or exchanges. Latecomers will only be seated at the discretion of house management. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before the schedules start time of the performance.


Director: Elyse Dolan

Lighting Designer: Liz Cooper

Costume Designer: Jos N. Banks

Scenic Designer: Jeremy Hollis

Fight & Intimacy Designer: Zack Payne

Props Designer: Aaron Mann*

Stage Manager & Asst. Director: Jackie Bowes

Producers: Dustin Rothbart* and Danny Kapinos*

* Denotes Blank Theatre Company Member


Una: Betsy Bowman

Ray: Jim Poole


For Una: Alisha Fabbi


Betsy Bowman (Una) is grateful for the opportunity to tell Una’s story with Blank Theatre. Most recently she starred in the world premiere of The Condition of Femme with Circle Theatre. She’s currently working on a podcast with a friend entitled “Stereotyped” - where they discuss how women have been written in cinema over the years and ask how we can do better. She’s grateful for the love and support of her life partner - Aaron, es tevi milu. She’s represented by Grossman & Jack Talent.  

Jim Poole (Ray) is an ensemble member of Steep Theatre where he performed in Linda, Birdland, and Hinter - all in 2018. More of his favorite productions on Steep's stage are Earthquakes In London, The Knowledge, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Dealer's Choice and The Hothouse. Recently seen as Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing and Sir Toby Belch in 12th Night in Shakespeare in the Park, other Chicago stage appearances include Victory Gardens, Strawdog, Route 66, Sideshow, Akvavit, Theatre Wit, 16th Street, and the Annoyance. At the Key West Fringe Theatre, Jim played Orson Welles in Orson’s Shadow. Jim has leading roles in the short films, Priest to Priest, Death Did You Part, and Nicki which will begin screening at film festivals this spring. A voice actor for a few animated series, Jim is also an accomplished film & video director behind the camera.

Alisha Fabbi (u/s Una) couldn’t be prouder working with Blank Theatre Company as the understudy for Una. Favorite credits include: Holding the Man, Barney the Elf (Pride Films and Plays) Love’s Labours Lost (Invictus Theatre Company), Music Man, Noises Off (Utah Shakespeare Festival), Future Echoes (Wildclaw Theatre), Oliver! (Citadel Theatre), and At Mr. Kelly’s (Three Cat Productions). She would like to thank her friends, family, and her dog Lucy for their love, support, and occasional face licks. Follow her adventures on Instagram @leachafab 


Elyse Dolan (Director) is thrilled to be working with Blank Theatre Company for the first time! Elyse is the Associate Producer at American Blues Theater, where she is also an Ensemble member. Her directing work has been seen across Chicago at The New Colony (where she is also the Director of Education), Broken Nose Theatre, Prop Thtr, Commission Theatre, Babes with Blades, 20% Theatre Company, Pride Films & Plays, and more. She has also served as Assistant Director on Six Corners (dir. Gary Griffin) and on Little Shop of Horrors (dir. Jonathan Berry) at American Blues Theater; and on productions at Raven Theatre, The New Colony, Oracle Theatre, 16th Street Theater, and Redtwist Theatre. Elyse holds a B.A. from Denison University.  

Jackie Bowes (Stage Manager/Assistant Director) is thrilled to have worked on this challenging, moving play. Many thanks to Blank Theatre, Elyse, and the entire team for their bold, generous work. Credits & resume at

Liz Cooper (Lighting Designer) is happy to be working with Blank Theatre Company. Some of her lighting design credits include Evil Dead, Nightmares and Nightcaps, Nevermore, Shockheaded Peter (Black Button Eyes), Prometheus Bound, London Assurance, The Sundial, Bloodhound Law, Father Ruffian and Peyton Place (City Lit), Bard Fiction (Commedia Beauregard), Marisol, Winter's Tale, A Study in Scarlet and Henry V (Promethean).

Jos N. Banks (Costume Designer) is a Chicago-based Actor/Singer, Costume Designer, Creative Director & Teaching Artist. National Tours: INTL: Kinky Boots (Lola), Hair (Hud), The Color Purple (Harpo). Regional Work: Drury Lane Oak Brook, Paramount Theatre, About Face Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Windy City Playhouse, Raven Theatre, Boho Theatre, Black Ensemble Theatre, Theo Ubique, Royal George and Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. Film: Fox 20th Centuries "The Chicago Code" & Rise Against' music video "Make It Stop" (Lead). Jos has also interned with the incomparable Micheal Kors at Teen Vogue Magazine, in NYC & deemed WINNER of StageScene LA’s “Scenie” Award for “Break Out Performance in a Touring Production” as Lola in Kinky Boots. Nominated Best Costume Designer for the 2012 & 2016 BTAA (Black Theater Alliance Awards). Jos would like to thank God, his family, friends and PC for their unconditional love and support. Be FEARLESS. Proverbs 3:5. Proudly represented by: Paonessa Talent Agency 

Jeremy Hollis (Scenic Designer) a Chicago-based theater designer and production manager. He is incredibly excited to work with Blank on this project. Recent credits include Gypsy and Merrily We Roll Along (Weathervane Playhouse), Snowgirls (Hell in a Handbag), The Mousetrap and Boeing Boeing (Metropolis), Man of La Mancha (MadKap), Fuddy Meers (Eclectic), and Fuente Ovejuna (City Lit). Upcoming: Holmes and Watson. He is a company member with Brown Paper Box Co., with whom he most recently designed Little Women. Much love to the company, the Wignall lab and Jason Heyward.

Zack Payne (Intimacy Designer, Violence Designer) This is Zachariah’s second production with Blank Theatre. Favorite credits include Spring Awakening (Blank), Twelfth Night, or What You Will (Writer’s Theatre), Cabaret (Paramount Theatre), In the Next Room...Or the Vibrator Play (Timeline Theatre), Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Theatre Wit), The Burials (Steppenwolf for Young Audiences), and others. He is a certified Advanced Actor Combatant with Fight Directors Canada, and he is certified in Mental Health First Aid. His passions lay with telling stories that will leave an audience moved and changed—focused on character intent and artistic storytelling.

Dustin Rothbart (Producer, Co-Artistic Director) is one of the founding co-Artistic Directors of Blank Theatre Company. For Blank, Dustin directed Songs for a New World: In Concert and appeared as Georg in Spring Awakening. His favorite acting credits include The 25th…Spelling Bee, Funny Girl (Madkap Productions), The History Boys (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre), Chekov’s The Wedding (Red Theatre), Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters (Lifeline Theatre), Oliver! (Citadel Theatre), Hair, Ragtime (Big Noise Theatre), Parade (Harper Ensemble Theatre) and The Rocky Horror Show (Underscore Theatre). Dustin is a graduate of the acting program at Illinois State University.

Danny Kapinos (Producer, Co-Artistic Director) is a Chicago-based director, music director, and accompanist. He is proud to be a co-founder of Blank Theatre Company, where he directed Blank’s inaugural production of Spring Awakening last fall. He is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where directing credits include productions of My Fair Lady and Tony Kushner's Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy and credits as a music director include The Secret Garden, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Songs for a New World, and Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In a Play. He also works as an accompanist for Northwestern's musical theatre certificate program.

Aaron Mann (Props Designer, Managing Director) is an Ohioan who has traveled quite a few places before ending up in what he feels to be his true home, Chicago. He is thrilled to have helped in building what Blank Theatre Company is and will become. Some of his favorite credits include Slide (Chicago Music theater Festival), Oliver! (Citadel Theatre), and “Mr. Mushnik” in Little Shop of Horrors (WTC). Additionally, he has also done multiple national recordings for Music Theatre Intermational (MTI) in New York including Sweeney Todd, The Sound of Plaid, and Miss Saigon. Aaron is a graduate from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a BFA in Theatre Studies.