Two Rooms Remains Relevant, Entices Opening Night Audience

James Williams
The Paw Print

The Adams State College Theatre department opened the 2010-11 season this past weekend with the opening performances of “Two Rooms,” a dramatic love story surrounded by the complications created by international politics and terrorism.
Written by Lee Blessing in 1988, “Two Rooms” is as relevant today as it was more than 20 years ago, especially when taking into consideration the anti-U.S. fervor and complex international relations in the Middle East.
The play opens with hostage Michael Wells (played by Jacob Sorling), a history professor at American University in Beirut, Lebanon, blindfolded in his room, a small, windowless holding cell. The other room is across the world, in the professor’s study back in the United States.
As the months turn into years and her husband’s fate hangs precariously, Michael’s wife, Lainie (played by Kaitlyn Perham), strips the room to the bare walls in order to feel closer to him and what she envisions his current living conditions to be like. A small floor mat she has dragged into his office represents “all the corners of the room,” and she presents herself an opportunity to converse with her husband half a world away through this arrangement. In one particularly touching scene, the two rooms become one as husband and wife converse with each other.
The play implies three perspectives to every similar hostage situation: the perspective of the public, the perspective of the government, and the perspective of the individuals who are directly affected by the crisis, and each of the four actors give solid performances in their respective roles.
Lainie, as a wife of a hostage, receives regular visits from Ellen Van Oss, a State Department official (played by Eleanor Smith), who explains the government’s position while also revealing a certain amount of sympathy. Additionally, Lainie is talking to Walker Harris (played by Mason Miller), a crusading reporter who wants to publicize the Wells’ case while simultaneously securing himself a great story.
As the pages of the calendar turn, Lainie becomes more and more frustrated by the excuses and rationalizations given to her for why the government refuses to negotiate for the release of Michael, and in turn prolonging her family’s ordeal. Walker convinces her to go on television for an interview to make her own statement about the situation, and ignore the government’s wishes of silence, ultimately triggering a tragic series of events which brings the play to its startling conclusion.
“Two Rooms” is two hours long and includes one fifteen minute intermission. Additional performances are scheduled for Oct. 7-9 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. Call 587-TIXX (8499) for reservations. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet