Topical subjects broached in 'Two Rooms'
Mask & Mirror Community Theatre will wrap-up its sixth season with a staging of "Two Rooms" by Lee Blessing at The Tualatin Heritage Center.
"Two Rooms" is a love story, albeit one with a doomed ending.
In a room in Lebanon, Michael has been held hostage for more than three years. In the United States, his wife, Lainie, has stripped a room bare to represent Michael's cell, and tries to share her husband's suffering. A reporter tries to get Lainie to publicize her actions, while a representative of the State Department tries to keep Lainie quiet.
Although written in 1990 about the Lebanon hostage crisis, the situation as described could take place today. Playwright Lee Blessing — best known for "A Walk in the Woods," the 1986 play about nuclear disarmament — balances the plotlines of love, government bureaucracy and freedom of the press without making judgments.
"We did not select 'Two Rooms' to make any policy statement," said Gary Romans, director of "Two Rooms" and a Mask & Mirror founding member. "It is a well-written play by a famous author and a challenge for a group such as Mask & Mirror to stage — which are the criteria we use to select our UnMasked shows. We'll let the audience decide what to interpret from the subjects raised in the play and we'll close each performance with an open group discussion where the audience can share their opinions with the cast and crew."
Michael Allen, a frequent actor in Mask & Mirror and other local productions, plays the prisoner. His wife is played by Leslie Inmon, new to Mask & Mirror, but a frequent actor in the Portland area for the past 20 years. Lesley Nadwodnik, who plays the reporter, has appeared in more than 50 plays and films in Michigan and Florida. This is her first stage appearance in Oregon.
Sharon Gavin, an award-winning playwright and former U.S. Navy band vocalist, plays the government official. Producer Cindy Green, one of Mask & Mirror's backstage members, leads a creative crew of lighting designer Brian Ollom and costumer Viola Pruitt.
"Two Rooms" is a part of Mask & Mirror's "UnMasked" series. The theater company has an agreement with the Heritage Center of Tualatin to return to that venue twice each year and produce two plays in addition to their traditional mainstage three-show season at Calvin Church in Tigard. While the mainstage shows at Calvin are family friendly light comedies and dramas, the Mask & Mirror UnMasked shows at the Heritage Center are edgier. Mask & Mirror will announce its full seventh season on Aug. 1.