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''Two Rooms'' Tells Love Story Through Political Drama

Quick Facts

 Lee Blessing's "Two Rooms" was written during the Lebanon hostage crisis.
 The production is student-directed and student-produced.

JT Rider and Ann Marie Calabro star in
Lee Blessing's "Two Rooms."

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Can love thrive in the harshest, most hopeless circumstances? The Department of Theatre and Dance will grapple with this question during a five-day production of Lee Blessing’s political drama "Two Rooms."  

The 1988 play runs Oct. 27-30 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. in Johnson Studio Theatre. Directed by theatre major Katherine Halstensgard, "Two Rooms" takes place, as the play’s title suggests, in two rooms. One is a cell in Lebanon, where Michael Wells (JT Rider of Sumter, S.C.) is the prisoner of radicals. The other is a home in Washington, D.C., where distraught Lainie Wells (Ann Marie Calabro of Greenville, S.C.) awaits news of her husband's situation.

Blessing’s play mixes tense scenes in Lebanon with imagined conversations between Lainie and Michael, both helpless to change their circumstances but able to stay connected. Also starring are Kashaad Kraus (Columbia, S.C.) as Walker, an enterprising reporter, and Julia Benfield (Fort Mill, S.C.) as Ellen, who doles out limited information to Lainie about her husband’s situation.

Halstengard noted that although "Two Rooms" was written during the Lebanon hostage crisis, the play is "overwhelmingly relevant to today's world."

"The play may be even more relevant to today's audiences in light of our current position in the Middle East," according to Halstengard. She added that this is the first full-length play she has directed. Halstengard discovered "Two Rooms" as a freshman and she "fell in love with the author's beautiful language, authentic characters and complex circumstances based on contemporary issues."

"Two Rooms" contains mature content. Seating is limited, and no late seating will be permitted after performances start.

Tickets for the Oct. 27-28 shows are $5 w/ Winthrop I.D. and $10/general public, while tickets for all remaining shows cost $8 w/ Winthrop I.D. and $15/general public.

Contact the box office at 803/323-4014 or for tickets.

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