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THE RAINMAKER Returns In A New Production From Blackfriars And The Storm Theatre

Blackfriars Repertory Theatre celebrates their 20th anniversary with a new production of N. Richard Nash's The Rainmaker, co-producing with The Storm Theatre Company, opening April 27, 2018 in the Black Box Theater at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture.

Blackfriars Repertory Theatre was founded in 1998 as a revival of Blackfriars Theatre (1940-1972)--the first professional religious theatre ever tried in New York City and the oldest continuous Off-Broadway theatre in American stage history. The Storm Theatre is an Off-Broadway company committed to producing theatre to awaken the awe-inspiring truths of humanity. The Storm Theatre's 2012 season was named by The New York Times as one of the "12 most galvanizing offerings of the year."

In The Rainmaker, a charismatic stranger brings hope to a drought-stricken town and a lonely spinster in this deeply romantic fable of love, longing, hope, and fulfillment set in the American West of the 1930s.

The cast of The Rainmaker will feature Fleur Alys Dobbins (Scapin/Roundabout; Arcadia/Goodman Theatre; The Fight/Storm Theatre,) Ken Trammel (Entourage/HBO; Linnea and Time of Your Life/Storm Theatre), Benjamin Jones (Le Cid and Marius/ Storm Theatre), Sean Cleary (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers/National Tour; Collaborators/Storm Theatre), Matthew Provenza (The Fight/Storm Theatre), Rob DiSario (Death of a Salesman/Bay Street Theatre), and Jim E. Chandler (Saving Faith/Lionsgate).

The production is directed by Peter Dobbins, a cofounding member and Producing Artistic Director of The Storm Theatre Company since its inception. Last spring he directed the Blackfriar Repertory Theatre's and Storm Theatre Company's co-production of Death Comes For The War Poets by Joseph Pearce at The Sheen Center. Dobbins' other directing credits include: T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral; Dion Boucicault's The Shaughraun and Arrah~na~Pogue; Stewart Parker's Spokesong; William Shakespeare's As You Like It, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night; The Karol Wojtya (Pope John Paul II) Festival, including The Jeweler's Shop, Jeremiah, and Our God's Brother.

Other credits include the North American Premiere of The House of Desires by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and the World Premieres of The Last Starfighter by Skip Kennon and Fred Landau, and Linnea by John Regis. Dobbins also directed "The Paul Claudel Project" featuring The Tidings Brought to Mary, The Satin Slipper, and Noon Divide. Other notable productions include the critically-acclaimed revivals of The London Merchant by George Lillo, The President, and The Play's The Thing by Ferenc Molnár, Marius by Marcel Pagnol, Le Cid by Pierre Corneille, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur, Antigone by Jean Anouilh and Gigi by Anita Loos (from the novel by Colette). He received a BA in Communications and Theatre from Temple University. Most recently he directed the world premiere of Jonathan Leaf's The Fight.

The Rainmaker is produced by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P. Scenic Design is by Sheryl Liu (Off-Broadway's Incident at Hidden Temple; The Sound of Music/China Tour). Costume Design is by Danica Martino (The Low Road Costume Asst./The Public Theatre; The Recruiting Officer/Pickled Dog Productions. Lighting Design is by Michael Abrams (I of the Storm/Gym at Judson). Sound Design is by Caroline Eng (CROWNDATION: I Will Not Lie to David/National Black Theatre; Grace, or the Art of Climbing/Art House Productions). Kateryna Turkalo is the stage manager.

In the original Broadway production of The Rainmaker (which opened October 28, 1954 at the Cort Theatre), the role of Lizzie Curry was originated by Geraldine Page, and that of Bill Starbuck by Darren McGavin. Both actors got their start at the original Blackfriars Theatre, which operated from 1940-1972. the company was revived in 1998. In the 1945 Blackfriars Theatre production of Seven Mirrors, Geraldine Page played the role of a college junior. She received a favorable review by Robert Coleman in the Daily Mirror. Page played Mersina in the 1950 production of Armor of Light. She credited Blackfriars with getting her a theatrical agent in New York: "Stephen Draper came to see Armor of Light and wrote next to my name on the program: 'That's somebody I could get work for.' He's been my agent ever since." In the 1947 Blackfriars Theatre production of On the Seventh Day, Darren McGavin starred in the role of a young, disillusioned veteran returned from war. Reviewers had favorable things to say about his performance. McGavin rose to national prominence in the theatre two years later when he assumed the role of Happy in the Broadway production of Death of a Salesman. Geraldine Page was 21 when she played her first Blackfriars' role; McGavin was 25.

Performances begin Friday, April 27, 2018 and run through Sunday, May 20, 2018. Performances will be held Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 2pm. There will be an additional Sunday matinee on May 20 at 2pm.

Tickets ($25) are available online at www.sheencenter.org, by calling (212) 925-2812, or in person at the box office from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

The Black Box Theater of The Sheen Center is located at 18 Bleecker Street in New York City.

For more information visit stormtheatre.com.


About Blackfriars Repertory Theatre

Blackfriars Repertory Theatre, an apostolate of the Dominican Friars of the Province of Saint Joseph, was founded in 1998 by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., as a revival of Blackfriars Theatre (1940-1972)--the first professional religious theatre ever tried in New York City and the oldest continuous Off-Broadway theatre in American stage history. Blackfriars provided the proverbial great first break to several acclaimed theatre artists including playwright Robert Anderson, and actors Geraldine Page, Eileen Heckart, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Darren McGavin, and Shelley Berman. Like the original Blackfriars, Blackfriars Rep carries on the mission of "producing plays of artistic merit that reflect the spiritual nature of man and his eternal destiny." In its twenty years of existence, Blackfriars Repertory Theatre has staged over twenty-five productions in New York City, regionally, and on tour in its commitment to "theatre dedicated to the human drama."

About The Storm Theatre

The Storm Theatre is an Off-Broadway company committed offering a mix of world premieres, established classics, and reviving forgotten theatrical treasures for today's audiences. Founded in 1997, the non-profit is celebrating its 21st season with its second production at the Sheen Center. The New York Times named The Storm Theatre's 2012 season as one of the "12 most galvanizing offerings of the year." For more information, please visit www.stormtheatre.com.

About The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture

The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (www.sheencenter.org) is a New York City arts center located in NoHo that presents a vibrant mix of theater, film, music, art and talk events. An initiative of the Archdiocese of New York, The Sheen Center serves all New Yorkers by presenting performances and artists that reflect the true, the good, and the beautiful. Named for the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best remembered as an inspirational author, radio host and two-time Emmy Award winning television personality, The Sheen Center reflects his modern-day approach to contemporary topics. The Sheen Center is a state-of-the-art theater complex that includes the 270-seat off-Broadway Loreto Theater, equipped with five-camera high-definition TV and live-stream capability and a multi-track recording studio; the 80-seat off-off-Broadway Black Box Theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery.


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