INDEPENDENT PLAYERS presents Lee Blessing’s TWO ROOMS
The wife of an American kidnapped by Hezbollah in Beirut in the 1980s struggles to get him freed. With no help or commitment from her own government, she returns home and forges an imaginary link with him in the room she presumes he is being kept.
Independent Players will open its 45th Season by presenting Lee Blessings’ provocative and compelling drama entitled Two Rooms directed by Larry Boller and starring Jake Murphy, Justin Green, Krista Krauss Miller and Ann Keen September 16-18 and 23-25, 2022 at the Elgin Art Showcase, in the Professional Building at 164 Division St., Elgin. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays are at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 PM.
It has been a number of years since Independent Players produced a play by Lee Blessing whose Eleemosynary graced its stage in 2017, where its sensitive treatment of the relationship between three remarkable women—a young girl, her mother and her grandmother—was very well received. Since that time, we have entertained the idea of producing another play by Blessing in the current season. In view of events which have happened internationally in the past few years, Two Rooms is an ideal choice for us at this time.
Because Blessing is so keenly aware of what is in the minds of contemporary society, Two Rooms resonates with viewers because it centers on the taking of innocent hostages by political terrorists. The two rooms of the title are a cubicle in Beirut where an American hostage is being held by Arab terrorists and a room in his home in the United States from which his wife has removed everything so she can, symbolically, share his ordeal. The same room serves as both and is also the locale for imaginary conversations between the hostage and his wife, and the setting for the real talks she has with a reporter and a State Department official.
The reporter is an ambitious person who hopes to develop the situation into a major personal accomplishment as he tries to prod the wife into taking issue with what he calls government ineptitude and inaction, while the State Department official is coolly efficient in her attempt to treat the matter with professional detachment. It is her responsibility to try to make the wife aware of the larger picture of which the taking of a hostage is only one aspect. As months pass, it becomes more and more difficult to remain patient. The official ultimately prevents the reporter from returning to Beirut and the wife speaks out against government policy which triggers the events which brings the play to its startling conclusion.
In the end, people of good will realize that logic, compassion and fairness have become meaningless when dealing with those who would willingly commit such barbarous acts. The play illuminates both the numbing agony of the one detained and also the helpless fury of those who are left behind—loved ones impatient for something to be done, and officials who feel they must be guided by logic rather than emotion.
Two Rooms will have a two-weekend run September 16-18 and 23-25, 2022 at the Elgin Art Showcase on the 8th floor of the Professional Building, 164 Division Street, Elgin. Performance times are: 7:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 PM on Sundays. Tickets are $20.00. Senior Citizens (65 & +) and Student (14-21) are $15.00.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.independentplayers.org. Tickets purchased at the door before each performance are cash and personal check only.