Meet The Artist:
An Interview with Cambria Larson, Stage Manager, Blackbird
Blackbird by David Harrower
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 Olivier Award for Best Play, Blackbird is a deeply complex portrayal of two people whose ruined lives are inextricably intertwined after a sexual encounter.
What is your theatrical background?
I studied theater in college and started teaching at a small non-profit children’s theater in California near my college. I worked as their Operations Manager until returning to school for an MFA in Stage Management. I got my equity card while working as ASM on a regional show and was hired as ASM on the national/international tour of Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan.
What brought you to Fargo/Moorhead?
My husband and I moved to Fargo to settle near his family and join the local theater community, starting with summer gigs at Trollwood. I was interviewed by Theatre B our first year here to stage manage, but the timing didn’t work as I was expecting our first child. I finally got to work on my first project with Theatre B last year on Marjorie Prime, which was an amazing experience and beautiful show. I’m thrilled to be back with several members of that team to work on Blackbird.
What are the themes present in Blackbird?
Blackbird is about sexual abuse and the long-term effects and recovery process for both parties. It delves into the emotions and feelings of “love” of the characters as well as the pain, victim-shaming, and distrust of others.
What is compelling about this show?
I find the playwright’s ability to remain fairly neutral and let the audience come to their own conclusion about the characters to be very compelling. Harrower’s writing is quick and tense, and the information unfolds in such a way that we can take a deeper look at a case like this without casting immediate judgment.
As a stage manager, is there any technical aspect that you find to be especially interesting?
I’m excited by how the designers on this team have interpreted and aligned with our director’s vision. Making the space uncomfortable and “cold” for the audience and actors during this confrontation feels quite appropriate.
Interview by Emily Clemenson