USAO Drama Fills ‘Two Rooms’ With Emotion, Suspense

USAO Drama Fills ‘Two Rooms’ With Emotion, Suspense


CHICKASHA – Worlds collide and international tension mounts when the drama department unveils “Two Rooms” at the University of Science and Arts. The spring semester production hits the Davis Hall Theatre stage Feb. 8-10 at 8 p.m.

Under the direction of Katie Simons, assistant professor of drama, “Two Rooms” tells the story of a kidnapped American professor in Beirut. Widely produced following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York, the script explores the competitive relationships that develop between the State Department, the media and the wife of the capture victim. Intertwined in the mess is the powerful devotion between the husband and wife that seems to defy distance and terror.

“This production is a step in a different direction for the USAO drama department,” Simons said. “The play was written in the 1980s, but it has characters in conflicts that definitely address current political issues. The production is designed for a mature student and adult audience, with ideas that we hope will come up in heated discussions in political science classes, communications classes and over lunch. It's theatre at its best: human, compelling, emotional, thoughtful, challenging.”

The play, written by Lee Blessing, features a cast and crew of USAO students.

Duncan drama and communication sophomore C.W. Bardsher tops the cast as Michael, the kidnapped professor. Bardsher recently led the cast in the fall production, “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”

Diana Steinhauser, deaf education and drama senior, stars as Michael’s wife, Lainie, who must keep the home fires burning in the absence of her terrorized husband. Steinhauser has appeared in multiple USAO productions and hails from Guyton, Ga.

Ninnekah drama freshman Russell Thompson represents the media interest in the story as newspaper reporter Walker.

Finishing out the cast is Angela Jones, political science and drama senior from Frisco, Texas. Jones’s character Ellen works for the State Department and manages the affair from a governmental perspective. Jones starred in last semester’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and several other USAO productions.

Crew members include Chickasha drama freshman Tiffany Quillin as assistant to the director, Wetumka English freshman Kasey Sams as stage manager and Moore communication junior Ryan Bell as costume designer.

Theater facilities manager John Morgan provides technical direction and scene and lighting design.

Admission is free for USAO students, faculty and staff with a valid USAO ID. Tickets are $3 for other high school or college students and $5 for general admission. Due to content, the play is aimed at adults and teens.

Additional information is available from Katie Simons at (405) 574-1310.