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Theatre Ensemble's fall play a taut drama

Two rooms. One hostage. No negotiating.

 

Albany High School’s award-winning Theatre Ensemble will hold three performances of Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms, a psychological drama that navigates between the windowless cell of a kidnapped American professor and a room in his home back in the United States.

 

The play opens Friday, Nov. 16 with a 7 p.m. performance and continues with performances at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.

 

“I chose this particular play because of its tumultuous political content,” said Director Ward Dales. “It squarely addresses the emotional turmoil that war creates, whether the war is officially declared or not.”

 

The story takes place during the 1985 hostage crisis in Beirut. In it, college professor Michael Wells is taken hostage by terrorists. Back home, his wife Lanie is powerless to bring him home.


Scenes shift from Michael’s cell in Beirut to his office in the home he shares with Lanie. From prison, Michael dictates unsent letters to his wife. Back at home, Lanie has stripped her husband’s office of furniture so that, at least symbolically, she can share his ordeal.

 

Michael’s office also is the setting for imaginary conversations between husband and wife. And it’s where Lanie has real talks: with an ambitious reporter who wants Lanie to go public about her husband, and with a State Department official pressuring her to remain silent.

 

The two competing forces push Lanie further into her fantasy world until the situation spins out of control.

 

“This drama affords us ample opportunity to meet our organization’s mission to bring thought-provoking issues to our student, family and community audience. We will have rich and deep discussions at per formance talk-backs, in classrooms and at student assemblies,” Dales said.

 

Two Rooms opens with a 7 p.m. performance on Friday, Nov. 16 and continues with performances at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors.


(Above, Albany High School seniors Jenette Johnson and Christopher Schuetze rehearse a scene.)

 

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