In a tense St. Louis Actors

John Pierson, an actor of such benign aspect that he looks perfect for the role of a minister, seems to favor parts that take him in exactly the opposite direction.

At the St. Louis Actors’ Studio, where he’s an associate artistic director, he’s played such characters as a bigamist (“The Ride Down Mount Morgan”), a dermatologist involved in elaborate sex games (“Closer”) and an architect in love with an animal (“The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”).

Now, in the troupe’s new production of David Harrower’s “BlackBird,” things are even more disturbing. Pierson plays Ray, a child molester.

Ray doesn’t see himself that way, of course. Strangely, his victim, Una, doesn’t exactly see him that way, either. Fifteen years after everything happened, when she was 12 and he was 40, Una has chanced upon…

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