Everyone knows more than they have put at the top of Tina Satter’s imagination and directed “Is This A Room”. This includes listeners who are probably familiar with the proven story of the reality winner, a former NSA contractor who was arrested and imprisoned for leaking government secrets.
A voice in the dark clearly tells us what we’re going to hear: August, 201 on Augusta, oral, chronological transcript of Guy’s arrest at his home. The judiciary reacted with astonishing speed: the allegation was brought against the winner just an hour after the NSA’s dirty laundry hit the air. (The winner, who received the longest sentence for such an offense, was released in June for good behavior.)
The content of the Slim Envelope winners went to the press and how they came out in public – details with a fatal development here – is almost entirely on the side of the dot. (Google and you can find out: Classified reports on electoral interference by Russian workers, online news source The Intercept.) This retrieval process explores something deeper.
Consider “Is this a house” a tear-jerker story that floats under the ink, dripping so close to events that their details go out of focus. What is under the shutter microscope is not true, but their cosmic resonance and worldly imprint on the body: sweat behind the knees, mild but endless cough, conscience, strength, proof of truth.
A humorous and restless dance begins to the tune of a shameless innocence after three FBI agents come to the door of the winner. From a twist to a strange and strange nature of Emily Davis, the winner is much like a normal 25-year-old-somewhat anxious, flying, even, dedicated to her anxious rescue dog, curb-crazy cat, and competitive fitness.
He is, of course, a trained Air Force officer and cryptographer who has just committed a major federal crime. A young woman, denim cut-off, white oxford, and canary-yellow Converse, blonde hair in a neat bun, could be all of this, and at the same time be in the central discourse of the play.
The FBI transcript, and the drama that runs it on stage, is a mash-up of similarly significant and general. Plain clothes with a deceptive aw-shucks car by Pete Simpson have good cops, Agent Garrick, played by Agent Taylor (Will Cobbs), so irrational that sometimes he makes statues on the walls that are behind the winner. And Becca Blackwell is the third, least verbal and most terrifying agent (referred to in the text only as ‘unknown men’) who almost wanders around the scene with sexual threats.
The title suggests, “What a house it is” applies as much as the words about the atmosphere. The dense, moist air on the winner’s front lawn floated with lazy cricket. Distorted scream from a walkie-talkie sound, distorted, steady, almost extroverted. Darkness acts as a punctuation mark.
The set design of Parker Lutz offers a long interrogation room, almost empty but for a slightly elevated platform on either side and a row of plastic chairs at the back. The light of Thomas right, and the stage of Lee Kinney and Sane Yamada (who also composed the original music) swelled with an ominous expectation, which is sometimes very touching.
Sattar, who works as the artistic director of the theater company Half Straddle, performs an impressive nap in the hand, cocking suspense from a predetermined decision like a rabbit from a hat. The saturated choreographic staging is characterized by interesting tables, as the agents rotate their prey with a coolness – which is slow and then at once.
Originally presented in the fall of 2001, Downtown, and now the Vineyard Theater, playing repertoire with another documentary from Lucas Hunter’s “Dana H”, has once grown significantly for close production Broadway. But in a quick 655 minutes, “What a house it is” can seem like a particularly heartwarming entertaining bouch, a taste of formal innovation, and thoughtful provocation that arouses even more appetite.
If any element of production is worth the uptown price tag, it is a dynamic and magnetic debut Davis. His winner is not “some big bad mastermind”, as Agent Taylor said, but he is a skilled unskilled artist – responsibility, competence and even a kind of purity.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. (“Obviously, yeah, stupid,” she says, when the agents finally deal with why they came.) It’s the thought of not being able to keep her two pets alive, whose fragile bestiality animates the steaks from the start. Come for the temporary drama; Stay in the dog-parent short talk during the interrogation.
The winner is extraordinary, not just for his offense, but for the spread of his talent and achievement. But he is just like anyone else. In his position, who wouldn’t do the same?
“If I’m sitting and getting helpless, why would I have this job,” the winner finally blurred out his emotional motives. It is a confession that illuminates the human condition.