posted November 21, 2006

Hope College Theatre to Present "Two Rooms"

Hope College Theatre's production of "Two Rooms" will open on Friday, Dec. 1, in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

The play will continue on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Wednesday-Saturday, Dec. 6-9. Curtain time will be 8 p.m. for all performances.

"Two Rooms," a Pulitzer Prize-nominated work by Lee Blessing, follows the story of a husband and wife torn apart by world conflict. In the midst of horrific and terrifying conditions in the Middle East, the Wells couple had made their life teaching at the American university in Beirut. But when Michael Wells is kidnapped, his wife Lainie is sent back to the States, where she fights for his release. Lainie can only speak to her husband through her imagination, yet she encounters real battles with indifferent government personnel and the ruthless press.

The department of theatre has chosen to present "Two Rooms" because of its concrete relevance to present-day foreign policy and its potential to spur discussion about contemporary conflicts, according to John Tammi, who is the play's director and a professor of theatre at Hope. "We as a department responded to the play so positively because it touches on something that we're all aware of but very few of us have experienced first-hand," he said.

Tammi is joined by other faculty on the production staff including Perry Landes, lighting designer; Richard Smith, properties designer; Michelle Bombe, faculty costume design supervisor; and staff member Paul Anderson as technical director. Students on the production staff include senior Katherine Finkbeiner of Haslett, assistant director; junior Stephanie Gavin of Granville, Ohio, scenic designer; senior Michael Olson, of Holland, assistant lighting designer; junior Nicole Schrier of Muskegon, stage manager; junior Amanda Spaanstra of Grand Rapids, costume designer; and freshman Glennyce Paetzmann of Fishers, Ind., assistant stage manager.

The cast includes sophomore Cory DeBoest of Chicago, Ill., as Ellen Van Oss; senior Cody Masalkoski of Lansing as Michael Wells; junior Jonathan Sprik of Grand Rapids as Walker Harris; and junior Whitney Thomas of Granville, Ohio, as Lainie Wells.

Tickets for "Two Rooms" are $7 for regular admission, $5 for Hope faculty and staff, and $4 for senior citizens and students, and are available at the ticket office in the front lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse. The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890, but will be closed on Thursday-Friday, Nov. 23-24, because of the Thanksgiving holiday. On theatre performance nights the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center will be open one hour before the curtain rises.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located facing Fairbanks Avenue between 9th and 11th streets, and the DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.