blackbird Spring 2008  Vol. 7  No. 1


Sami Ben Larbi
Terry Gibson
John Ravenal



 Abraham Lincoln, 1869
 George Peter Alexander Healy
 White House State Dining Room

Terry Gibson’s Illinois has its roots in the playwright’s interest in history and character. As a son of the Midwest, Gibson looks to examine how we arrived there historically, and the play explores the second of two migratory waves—the first having been the travels of the early settlers with their wagons and oxen, the second being that of the surprised extremely rich with their need for tax deductions and affirmation by culture. Gibson’s fascination with history presents itself in an absorption with movement itself—from point A to point B, from the Kentucky territory to Illinois, from bar to table, from the rural to the cosmopolitan.

The play’s genesis was in the conversation between the two characters, David and Elizabeth, and he initially sent only a first act to Blackbird. At our suggestion that it needed a second act, Gibson introduced the third character (variously the Client, the Pediatrician or the Professor) to introduce a counterpoint to the dialogue and circled the play back to Lincoln and his more measured and traditional discourse.  bug

   Scene One  |  Scene Two

   Contributor’s notes
   Introductions Reading Loop
   Tracking the Muse