The Ohio State University at Newark

The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid Set to Open at Black Box Theater

March 26, 2019

The Black Box Theater at The Ohio State University at Newark is proud to present the gripping drama The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid. Based on history and sprinkled with dry humor, playwright Lee Blessing has stirred up the facts surrounding the death of the famed outlaw.

Set in a one-room shack out west at the turn of the last century, this at times funny and at times chilling play concerns Pat Garrett, the man who shot Billy the Kid. Now, many years after the famous deed, Garrett lives alone with his memories. Enter the man who wrote the dime novel that immortalized Billy and Garrett. He brings with him a man who he claims is the real Billy the Kid, now middle aged and very much alive. Is this man Billy the Kid? And, if he is then who is Pat Garrett?

Appearing in the production are four newcomers to the Black Box Theater stage: Dave Lee, Derek McCarty, Peter Sanders and Bill Sweeney as Pat Garrett.

“Out of all the plays I’ve directed at Ohio State Newark, The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid may be my favorite,” said director Edie L. Norlin. “The themes of fact vs. fiction, history vs. legend are fascinating to explore. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid are iconic American men of the West, the quintessential Lawman and Outlaw. I think our audiences will be riveted by their face-off and shocked by the ending. Four men in a room. All packing heat. There will be blood.”

Performances run from Thursday through Saturday, April 4-6 and 11-13 with a 7:30 p.m. curtain. There are also two Sunday matinees on April 7 and 14 at 2 p.m. General admission is $10 and student tickets are $5. Tickets may only be purchased at the door.

The Black Box Theater is located in LeFevre Hall, 1199 University Drive, Newark, OH 43055. For more information, contact director Edie L. Norlin at This production is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning come to life. Research, education abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.