Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Victor Lirio, Curran Connor, Dawn Evans and Bree Michael Warner Set for Diverse City Theater Company’s Production of Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms, August 9-25, 2012

Victor Lirio (Resurrection, The Female Heart), Curran Connor (Julius by Design, 39 Steps), Dawn Evans (The Ladies of the Corridor, The Sopranos), and Bree Michael Warner (Balm in Gilead, Six Feet Under) in the lead role of Lainie, are set for Diverse City Theater Company’s (“DCT”) production of Two Rooms, by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing, directed by Jamie Richards. Two Rooms has a preview performance on Wednesday, August 8 at 8pm, and opens for a limited run on Thursday, August 9th at 8PM at Theatre Row’s The Lion Theatre located at 410 West 42nd Street in New York City. Performances run through Saturday, August 25th. Tickets are $19.25 and can be purchased on or by calling 212-239-6200.

Originally commissioned and produced by La Jolla Playhouse in 1988 and named Best Play of the Year by Time Magazine, Two Rooms is about Michael (Connor), an American professor who is held hostage in a dark room in Beirut. His wife, Lainie (Warner), holds a vigil for him in an empty room in their home outside of DC. As events in the Middle East begin to spin out of control, the possibility of bringing Michael safely back home becomes more tenuous.

Dawn Evans and Victor Lirio in Diverse City Theater's production of TWO ROOMS by Lee Blessing, directed by Jamie Richards. Photo by Carlo Damocles.

Dawn Evans and Victor Lirio in Diverse City Theater’s production of TWO ROOMS by Lee Blessing, directed by Jamie Richards. Photo by Carlo Damocles.

Bree Michael Warner and Curran Connor in Diverse City Theater's production of TWO ROOMS by Lee Blessing, directed by Jamie Richards. Photo by Carlo Damocles.

Bree Michael Warner and Curran Connor in Diverse City Theater’s production of TWO ROOMS by Lee Blessing, directed by Jamie Richards. Photo by Carlo Damocles.

The design team includes set and lighting design by Maruti Evans, costume design by Arnulfo Maldonado and sound design by Elizabeth Rhodes.

Lee Blessing is an American playwright best known for his play, A Walk in the Woods, produced on Broadway and the West End, for which he earned a Pulitzer Prize as well as a Tony Award nomination. His Off-Broadway productions include A Body Of Water at Primary Stages; Going To St. Ives at Primary Stages (Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Best Play; Obie Award for Ensemble Performance); Thief River at Signature Theatre (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play); Cobb at Lucille Lortel Theatre (Drama Desk award, Best Ensemble); Chesapeake at New York Stage and Film at Second Stage; Eleemosynary at Manhattan Theatre Club, and Down The Road at Weissberger Group at the Atlantic Theatre. The Signature Theatre dedicated its 1992-1993 season to his work, consisting of Fortinbras, Lake Street Extension, Two Rooms, and the world premiere of Patient A. He currently serves as Head of the graduate playwriting program at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Jamie Richards directed the critically acclaimed production of Linda Faigao-Hall’s The Female Heart for DCT in 2005, and again in 2007 for the 1st National Asian American Theater Festival. She has directed Stonewall Jackson’s House (American Place Theater), Light Years (Playwright’s Horizons), Klonsky and Schwartz, The Secret Order, District of Columbia, Flight, Heaven Knows, and Hell’s Kitchen Sink (EST). Plays for EST’s Marathon include Little Duck, Brown, Night Rules, Cats and Dogs, Reunions, Real Real Gone, and The 100 Most Beautiful Names of Todd. She has directed and developed plays at Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Stage and Film, Primary Stages, and Youngblood. She is Artistic Director of 9th Ave Theater Project, which produces the new play development program, 9th & Madison. She served as Executive Producer of EST, where she produced premieres of plays by David Mamet, Arthur Miller, David Ives, Paul Rudnick, Lynn Nottage, and many others, as well as the Going to The RiverFestival.

Formed in 2003, DIVERSE CITY THEATER COMPANY (“DCT”) develops and produces powerful and thought-provoking works that examine our society’s diversity issues from social, cultural, and global perspectives. DCT advocates the non-traditional casting of actors to reflect the rich spectrum of our national culture and the universality of the human spirit. For its 2009 season, DCT presented the New York Times-acclaimed world premiere of Warren Bodow’s Race Music. The company’s 2008 production of Cassandra Medley’s Noon Day Sun was Time Out New York’s Critics Pick, NBC’s “Best Bets,” and earned several nominations for the Audelco Award including Best Dramatic Production of the Year and Best Play. In 2007, DCT’s production of Snapshots, a festival of one-acts about women, was New York Times Critics Choice calling it “gutsy” and “a quality not often seen in New York theatre.”

DCT is the recipient of Princess Grace Foundation USA award and two nominations for Actors’ Equity Association’s The Rosetta Lenoire Award (2008, 2009) for “outstanding contributions made to the universality of the human spirit in the American theatre.” Now in its eighth season, DCT is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) theater organization. For more information about DCT, visit

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga Leads Stellar Cast in First All-Filipino Concert for Philippine Development Foundation, “PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim” at Alice Tully Hall
Photos of AEA’s Asian Heritage Celebration, featuring the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop
Joan Almedilla, Alan Ariano, Rona Figueroa, Adam Jacobs, Jose Llana, and Orville Mendoza Set for Concert version of Long Season at Ayala Foundation USA Gala in SF
Lily Mariye’s Model Minority, Jayshree Janu Kharpade’s Fire in Our Hearts, Eliaichi Kimaro’s A Lot Like You, Vincent Sandoval’s Señorita, and Liang Cheng’s My Spiritual Medicine among AAIFF’12 Award Winners
George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and Paolo Montalban star in the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical at The Old Globe, September 7 – October 21, 2012
Catch Grammy-winning Drummer Will Calhoun in August at The Iridium, Jazzmobile Summerfest 2012, The Blue Note, Hudson Valley Jazz Festival, and WimBash
Three Year Swim Club, Encounter, TEA, Christmas in Hanoi and Chess set for East West Players 47th Anniversary Season
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Rick Shiomi helms Mu Performing Arts’ Asian American Cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, July 17-August 5, 2012
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Other Articles by Lia Chang
Asian American Civil Rights Groups Angered by Acquittal and Lenient Sentence in Military Hazing Case of Pvt. Danny Chen
AAIFF’12: Richard Wong & H.P. Mendoza’s Yes, We’re Open, starring Lynn Chen, Parry Shen, Sheetal Sheth, & Kerry McCrohan, screens at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on August 4, 2012
AAIFF’12: Knots, written by and starring Kimberly-Rose Wolter, Illeana Douglas, Sung Kang, Mia Riverton, Janel Parrish and Cathy Foy, and directed by Michael Kang, screens at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on August 5, 2012
AAIFF’12: Lily Mariye’s Model Minority, starring Jessica Tuck, Nichole Bloom, Chris Tashima, Helen Slater, Laura Innes and Takayo Fisher, screens at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on August 4, 2012
Daniel Hsia’s Shanghai Calling, Simon Yin’s Supercapitalist & Michael Kang’s Knots to Screen at 35th annual Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) in New York, which runs July 25 – August 5, 2012
35th Asian American International Film Festival Line-up in New York
Janet Yang to receive 2012 Asian American Media Award at AAIFF’12 Opening Night Presentation of Shanghai Calling on July 25, 2012
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Photos: BD Wong, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tom Viola at “Passing It On: An Evening of Mentorship to Benefit Rosie’s Theater Kids”
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (3pm) with Andre Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Philip Kan Gotanda, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (8pm) with Oskar Eustis, Patti LuPone, Lisa Emery, Ann Harada, Paolo Montalban, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, John Weidman and more
Photos: In Rehearsal with Director Bartlett Sher and the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan
David Henry Hwang Set as Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season
Photos: In Rehearsal with BD Wong at Dixon Place for Live Concert Recording of Herringbone
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, Jennifer Lim and Leigh Silverman at WNYC’s The Greene Space
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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