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THE RAINMAKER Begins Performances Next Week

THE RAINMAKER Begins Performances Next Week

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.Performances begin on April 27 with opening night scheduled for May 5 in the Black Box Theater at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture.

A stage masterwork by N. Richard Nash from the golden age of American theater, The Rainmaker is the story of a charismatic stranger who arrives in town on a hot summer day, bringing hope to a drought-stricken town as well as a lonely spinster in this deeply romantic fable of love, longing, hope, faith, and fulfillment set in the American West of the 1920s.

The cast of The Rainmaker features 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 andMarius/Storm Theatre), Sean Cleary (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers/National Tour);Collaborators/Storm Theatre), Matthew Provenza (The Fight/Storm Theatre), Jim Haines and Jim E. Chandler (Saving Faith/Lionsgate).

The Rainmaker is directed by Peter Dobbins and features scenic design by Sheryl Liu, costume design by Danico Martino, lighting design by Michael Abrams, and sound design by Caroline Eng.

"One of the chief legacies of the sexual revolution to contemporary life has been loneliness. Now, more than ever, The Rainmaker's dramatization of faith and hope triumphing over despair seems desperately needed. It also serves as a refreshing reminder of how strange and varied are the ways of providence," says director Peter Dobbins.

Rainmaker plays at The Sheen Center in The Black Box Theater (18 Bleecker Street).Performances are Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 2pm & 7:30pm.Opening night is Saturday, May 5 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, May 20 at. 2:00pm. Tickets are $25. Tickets/reservations for all events at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture are available online at SheenCenter.org, by phone at 212-925-2812, and in-person at The Sheen Center box office (Monday through Friday 11:00am to 5:00pm and one hour before shows).

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."

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.

Peter Dobbins (director) is 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 andArrah~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.

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 273-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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