Two Rooms

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Two Rooms
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Two Rooms says
by Lee Blessing

Joel Coady

February 12 - 27, 2016

Olubaja Sonubi
Candace Mabry
Aaron Goodson
Aretta Baumgartner

Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms focuses on the relationship of Michael, an American professor kidnapped by political terrorists in Beirut, and his wife Lainie, who has imprisoned herself in a bare room to share in his captivity. Blindfolded Michael dictates love letters to his wife (Candace Mabry) as she struggles to deal with her loneliness and fear in the wake of his uncertain return. Government policy prevents negotiation for his life, and this inaction is what crusading reporter Walker Harris (Aaron Goodson) tries to leverage to get Lainie to speak out against government policy. Despite the attempts of her State Department handler Ellen VanOss (Aretta Baumgartner) to keep her in check, Lainie eventually lashes out, striking unpredictable events into motion.

Two Rooms explores what it means to be an American at war on foreign soil and the American legacy, as well as the role of the media in releasing information to the public while withholding information from military enemies. Written in 1988, Blessing’s play is sadly still relevant. In an interview with the playwright, he notes, “The reason the play continues to feel relevant is that the problems in that part of the world are so chronic. While “hot spots” continue to shift and revolve, the reasons they’re hot remain largely the same.” Director Joel Coady added that, since the writing of Two Rooms, over 73,000 US citizens have been kidnapped or taken hostage by terrorists.

The two rooms are staged as one shared room, where conversations real and imagined take place among the four characters. A bare mat adorns the floor, allowing the actors to focus on the emotions and characters of the play without anything coming between the audience and the story. Coady calls his cast “one of the most dynamic and unique casts in Atlanta right now,” adding that each cast member carries with them a deep, personal attachment to the piece that is unmistakable in their performances.

Out of Box chose Blessing’s play because, as Coady puts it, “Out of Box [is] a hub for emerging and established artists to push the envelope, a place where you can challenge yourself as well as your audience.” That is exactly what he hopes to accomplish with this moving production of Two Rooms. “I hope this play upsets people, gets them angry, and pushes them to ask questions,” Coady says.

The compelling play Two Rooms by Lee Blessing runs February 12-27, 2016, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8PM and Sunday matinees at 3PM. There will be an additional show on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 8PM. Out of Box Theatre is located in the Artisan Resource Center at 585 Cobb Parkway South, Marietta, GA 30060. Tickets are $17-$25 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 678-653-4605.
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By: Out of Box Theatre