The Drama Book Shop
PLAY OF THE WEEK
August 9, 2010
by Lee Blessing
An American teacher is held hostage in a dark room after being captured in Beirut. His wife holds a vigil for him in an empty room in their house outside DC. Michael dictates unsent letters to his wife from his cell. Lainie vies between Walker, a journalist intent to tell her story to the public and Ellen, a State Department official who wants to keep her quiet. When Lainie finds out that Walker has written a story about her without her permission, she has to come to terms with her grief in a more public setting and has to reconcile what impact telling her story to the public will have. As events in the Middle East spin out of everyone's control, the characters try to do their best to manage the situation to bring Michael back to the United Stages, but everyone has their own interests at stake.
Two Rooms navigates the real and imagined worlds of the four characters. As they interact with one another in their minds, their imagined conversations affect their real life actions.
Blessing explores what it means to be an American at war on foreign soil, what the American legacy is, not just for the military and the government, but for people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the wrong nationality in the wrong place. He also explores the role of the media and the government in releasing information to the public while withholding information from military enemies.
First performed in 1988, Two Rooms is a classic, relevant play about best intentions and the trouble with fighting an enemy with an entirely different philosophy.
Excellent scenes and monologues for all characters, 2 men, 2 women 30s-40s.
Reviewed by Kate