The remounting of Michael Knowles’ ROOM 314 marks
the inaugural production for a new and intimate downtown space, The Bottle
Factory Theater. The spare performance area, just about big enough to house
the stage and very limited seating, feels very much like being in a hotel
room, or at least here, the writer-director’s vision of ROOM 314.
The play is actually five unrelated stories or vignettes
depicting adult encounters that all take place in the same hotel room. Less
sexual than emotional, the scenes are about types of interactions. We meet a
tenuous couple, co-worker adulterers, a long-wed pair, et cetera. Not so
much enthusiastic, generally, than just living life, they end up where they
are, be it for vacation, a tryst, or something darker.
An interesting idea, employing the setting as the only
constant character, the execution of ROOM 314 should have been
better. The scene changes are especially awkward, as there are many slammed
doors with all of the comings and goings, but the real thorn in this
production’s side is the timing. Some scenes are written too long, while
others are too short. There are extended silences for no apparent reason,
and some glaring repetition.
What can we say about The Bottle Factory Theater and
ROOM 314? New space. Good idea. Flawed production.
- Kessa De Santis -