October 31, 2011

Second Stage Production Offers Political Drama

by Rachel Judy

Chris Bookless and Debbie Wright
Photo courtesy of School of Communication & the Arts
Regent University Theatre opens its first show of the 2011 Second Stage season with the Pulitzer Prize-winning political drama, Two Rooms. The show runs Oct. 28 - Nov. 6 with both evening and matinee performances.

Based on true events, Lee Blessing's Two Rooms tells the riveting fictional story of a woman named Lainie whose husband Michael is taken hostage in Lebanon during the Beirut hostage crisis. As he waits blindfolded in a prison cell, she struggles with an icy representative from the government and a pushy journalist. When she finally takes her efforts public, complications arise triggering the tragic series of events that brings the play to its startling conclusion.

Though written in 1988, the issue of terrorism is  clearly still relevant. "Islamic extremism took on a whole new meaning for us in the United States after September 11, 2011. It's one thing for us to hear about terrorism overseas," commented guest director Hannah Graham '11 (Communication & the Arts). "It's something completely different for us to experience it first-hand."

The play examines moral questions concerning the ethics of war and the value of human life. "I think people will find it extremely thought-provoking and surprisingly relevant," said Graham. "It's a tough story but one that needs to be told," adding that the intimate performing space of Theatre 128 lends itself well to the difficult subject matter and the small, four-person cast.

The play earns it title from the two rooms of its location: the room where Michael is being held hostage, and the room where Lainie fights to free him. "The rooms serve a two-fold purpose," Graham explained. "In reality, Lainie and Michael are both isolated in their respective rooms. In the end, however, you realize they aren't so far from each other after all."

Hannah Graham returns to the Regent stage after graduating this past May with a directing concentration from the MFA in Acting program. "I've always been proud of the caliber of our productions at Regent, so being asked to direct here is both humbling and challenging," she said.

Two Rooms features the acting talents of both Regent's undergrad and graduate students. Senior English major and theatre minor, Debbie Wright, takes on the role of the show's protagonist. Her counterpart and husband in the show, played by Chris Bookless, is a second-year MFA in Acting student. Undergraduate theatre majors Dan McGary and Tianna Downey complete the cast.

Two Rooms will be performed in Theatre 128 Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 3-5 at 7:30p.m., and Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-6 at 2:30 p.m.

Purchase tickets from the Regent University Box Office.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Hannah,

    Thanks so much for a wonderful evening. We saw "Two Rooms" Friday night and found it provocative, insightful, informative and moving. We laughed and we cried. I very much appreciate your skill as a director. Also, please convey our gratitude to the actors and support folk.

    God is good!