UMF presents hostage drama, ‘Two Rooms’ March 11-14

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UMF students Adam Randall and Brittney Blais are featured in the roles of Michael and Lainie Wells in Theatre UMF’s March production of Lee Blessing’s “Two Rooms.”

FARMINGTON – University of Maine at Farmington presents Lee Blessing’s “Two Rooms” as its spring 2010 Theatre UMF production.

Named in 1988 by Time magazine as “Best Play of the Year,” this award-winning drama will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, March 11, 12, and 13; and at 2 p.m., on Sunday, March 14, in the UMF Alumni Theater.

Set in the turbulent 1980s, Blessing’s hostage drama tells the story of a couple’s persistent love against a backdrop of perilous global events. The play opens with Michael Wells, a history professor at American University in Beirut, Lebanon, who has been held in captivity in a single room for three years. In an attempt to feel closer to her husband, his wife, Lainie, has created her own solitary space. She has removed the shades and furniture from her husband’s study and uses this room to talk to him as she tries to imagine what he must be going through.

As the drama unfolds, Lainie becomes the center of a tug of war between the government and the press, both insistent that their own strategies will succeed in bringing Michael home. Throughout it all, she clings to the solitary room where she still feels closest to her husband. This drama is filled with beautiful monologues and scenes between two people a world apart who can still feel each other’s presence.

Directed by Jayne Decker, UMF instructor and director of the Sandy River Players, Blessing’s play is both a potent political drama and a story about love and hope. “I wanted to challenge students with the kind of production that would help them grow as actors,” said Decker. “It’s moving how our student cast has really embraced these characters and made them come alive for themselves and the audience.”

Blessing has been a major force in post-1960s American theater. His plays are noted for revealing the underlying truths that connect people regardless of ethnicity, gender or politics. His work has
received The American Theater Critics Circle Award, the L.A. Drama Critics Award and The Great American Play Award, among others. Three of his plays have been cited by Time magazine’s list of the year’s Ten Best.

Tickets for the performance are $6 for adults, $5 for all students and $4 for seniors. Tickets are available at the time of the performance and can be reserved by calling the Theatre UMF box office at 207-778-7465. This presentation’s content is of an adult nature and suitable for mature audiences only.

The student cast includes: Adam Randall, of Braintree, Mass., as Michael; Brittney Blais, of Garland, as Lainie; Sarah O Blenes, of Salisbury, Mass., as Ellen; and Ian Davis, of Belgrade, as Walker.

The crew includes: Jayne Decker as director; Dan Brunk as scenic and lighting designer; Jeff Watts as costume designer; and students Scott Leland, of Kittery, designing sound cues; Angela Hooper, of Albany Township, as stage manager; and Leah Douglass, of Westbrook, as assistant stage manager.

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