Ends Nov 24 | Gramercy

Is This A Room

From 70 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the show

Vineyard Theatre presents a new play staging the verbatim transcript of the FBI interrogation of Russian election hacking whistleblower Reality Winner. More…

From the show:

A true story, still unfolding. June 3, 2017. A 25-year-old former Air Force linguist named Reality Winner is surprised at her home by the FBI, interrogated, and then charged with leaking evidence of Russian interference in U.S elections. Reality remains in jail with a record-breaking sentence. The FBI transcript of her interrogation is the heart of IS THIS A ROOM, conceived as a play and directed by Obie Award-winner Tina Satter, in which an extraordinary human drama unfolds between the complex and witty Reality (Emily Davis), and the agents who question her. As Reality’s autonomy shrinks before her eyes, a simmering real-life thriller emerges, asking what it is to have honor in this American moment, and how the personal can reverberate globally.


Member Reviews (70)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense
78
Avg Score

84
Intense, Relevant, Great acting, Wrenching, Stunning

See it if you want to hear, verbatim, the FBI interrogn of RWinner. My stomach was in knots. Emily Davis is terrific (deserves a solo curtain call!)

Don't see it if you want tradl theater.While there's an arc, ITAR is talky w/simple staging. Redactions aren't filled in. Brings news story to life. Intense

81
Quick, Creative, Fascinating, Absorbing

See it if You are fascinated by interrogations. This is an actual one but staged.. and done well.

Don't see it if You prefer musicals or narrative plays.

90
Great acting, Masterful, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if Verbatim transcript turned into a stunning play. FBI agents do an exquisite job of interrogation. Great characterizations & mastery of text.

Don't see it if You won't enjoy a revealing nonfiction work -- the agents care about RW's pets to gain her trust, while trapping her into lies.

Also It was fascinating to see the facades & senses of humor of RW and the ... Read more Read less

88
Must see, Relevant, Intense, Absorbing, Unique

See it if you want to see a uniquely-staged, compelling docudrama literally ripped from the headlines that offers a rare glimpse into FBI practices.

Don't see it if you don't think that the banality of small talk & official procedure can be arresting theater; ur not interested in political theater.

Also What a tense, taut, smart performance by Emily Davis as Reality Winner... Read more Read less

75
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Overrated, Edgy

See it if Good start. FBI exposed? Nice use of pets. Interesting season for Vineyard

Don't see it if Needs more follow up. Not sure if "roamer" is needed. Set is minimal.

82
Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if Dynamic performances (esp Davis' Reality) & Satter's acute staging propel this docu-drama (actual testimony) into a surreal dreamlike realm

Don't see it if Drawing from the literal transcript for a dramatic mise en scene doesn't allow for any embellishment Dramatic tension is amazing nonetheless

88
Brilliantly played, Spare, Frightening, Topical, Tense

See it if you’d like to engage the question: What constitutes patriotism when the president has gone rogue?

Don't see it if the very idea of actors enacting a verbatim transcript of an FBI interview, with all the banal small talk, bores you.

Also What constitutes patriotism when the president has gone rogue? The 4 (... Read more Read less

77
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if like true stories: here a transcript of an actual FBI interview, want to know more about Reality Winner & FBI's manipulative questioning

Don't see it if you want an evening of character development & closure, easily aggravated by FBI mis-behavior, care for pets, don't care about Ms. Winner

91
Who knew that staging of the transcript of the fbi interrogation of reality winner, russian election hacking whistleblower, could be so compelling? touches raw political nerve in time of impeachment

See it if Kafkaesque; staging brings 2 life the transcript, but it's the raw acting by Emily Davis as Reality that grabs u by the throat

Don't see it if missing items obscure story: omits clarifying redacted items from transcript; omits key reveal SPOILER: Reality sentenced to 5+ yrs prison

Also There are many issues external to the play that the play causes you to... Read more Read less

83
Thought-provoking, Intense, Riveting, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you're interested in American history in the making, or you're looking for something vastly different from anything else you've seen.

Don't see it if you prefer a traditional narrative with a beginning, middle, and end.

76
Thin, Disappointing, Great acting, Relevant, Interesting

See it if You’d find it interesting to watch an FBI questioning and arrest enacted on stage almost exactly as it happened.

Don't see it if You’re expecting to learn about Winner or her crime. The script has very little info, so you have to read up before or after the play.

85
Redacted, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting, Clever

See it if Sixty real-time minutes divulge whistleblower's actual home interrogation."Have you ever discussed classified IranianAerospace information?"

Don't see it if Eight flashing fuschia lights&drumbeat emphasise the redacted parts of this brief thriller."Is there something that sent you over the edge?"

Also "Reality, this might be about possible mishandling of classified infor... Read more Read less

96
Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in a brilliant depiction of an actual event that is still ongoing in our nation today ! Political espionage is your thing

Don't see it if You are looking for a light comedy. You don’t enjoy simple staging with very sparse setting and those with just one subject.

100
Gripping, Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful

See it if you are interested in seeing a theatre company stretch their muscles into new territory. A completely novel idea executed beautifully.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy political theatre.

Also It is a shame that this production has a limited run as it is complete... Read more Read less

93
Riveting, Absorbing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if FBI agents question traitor who printed & gave to media top secret NSA methods that could harm our nation. Real time, w/some redactions.

Don't see it if May want to Google words such as TDY, PKI, Fort Meade to get more out of show. Very well acted, great lighting. 70 min flies by.

94
Sobering, Tense, Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if word 4 word portrayal of a true story that is well acted, produced & directed; Emily Davis is brilliant as a woman with a conscience.

Don't see it if you need fiction, sets, color and/or costumes; gut wrenching reality is not your idea of a good evening.

Also I found this play informative and absolutely riveting. My sympathies w... Read more Read less

90
Intense, Banal, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great acting

See it if Effective interrogation, subtle psychological shifts. Not a showdown of masterminds but of uncertain moral agents. Gray area drawn perfectly

Don't see it if you're looking for tear-jerking pathos or commentary—either a partisan slant or a dutiful debate contrived to represent all sides.

Also Some reviews here—even positive ones—led me to think this would be abo... Read more Read less

75
Great acting, Ambitious, Edgy, Shocking, Disappointing

See it if A enactment of a transcript of a woman's interrogation by the FBI. Horrifying and relevant. Hard to believe this occurred here, but it did.

Don't see it if If you prefer your shows to have beginning, middles and ends. If you are uninterested in political drama.

50
Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if You want to learn the story of woman leaking classified government info. Transcript of actual arrest.

Don't see it if You want a long show. Only one hour. Reconfigured theater first few rows moved to oppposite side of stage. Too often someone’s back is

Also facing you so hard to hear. No set.

85
Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you've ever wondered what an FBI interrogation could be like, this is a verbatim enactment. Makes you uncomfortable.

Don't see it if you want a theatrical production. Bare-bones staging lets the dialogue tell the story. Confusing at first, had me hooked by the end.

85
Riveting, Profound, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a timely true depiction of Reality Winner's interrogation by FBI agents. The 70 mins completely held my attention.

Don't see it if you need action. All talk, but what a fascinating reenactment. Superb acting, especially by E. Davis. Her every facial expression rang true.

91
Great concept!, Relevant, Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see BRILLIANT & POWERFUL USE OF THEATER to illuminate issues of power, conscience, & law. Fascinating concept; great acting.

Don't see it if you're not interested in politics, policy, whistleblower issues. Taut and gripping 75 minutes with 4 impressive actors on a bare-bones set.

90
Riveting, Great direction, Masterful, Great acting

See it if You want an absolutely compelling show, with great direction and acting. Uncomfortable yes, but so true to life.

Don't see it if You don't care for the political, and can't appreciate great acting when it comes in the form of quotidian, flat, real life.

78
Relevant, Great sound design, Great acting, Clever

See it if you're interested in Reality Winner's case or want to see a show commenting on real text.

Don't see it if you need a show to have a clear structure.

45
Trite, Slow, Poor acting, Banal

See it if The idea might be OK, but not the performance. Was grateful when it ended.

Don't see it if You are hoping for a gripping true story


October 24th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK "Why’d She Blow the Whistle?: Tina Satter’s remarkable docudrama recreates the bizarrely banal interrogation that led to the arrest of the intelligence contractor Reality Winner."
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October 23rd, 2019
4/5 Stars "The production smartly balances vérité and stylization, offering its own interrogation of the event…But 'Is This A Room' has a movingly human presence at its core. Davis gives a performance of heart-wrenching rawness and lucidity."
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October 22nd, 2019
"When I learned that the show would move to the Vineyard for a longer engagement, I was thrilled to see it again—it contains one of my favorite pieces of performance ever. Pencils down, voting over."
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October 21st, 2019
"Is This a Room Dramatizes the Interrogation of NSA Leaker Reality Winner: Tina Satter's new play exposes the weight of body language in exercises of power."
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Cast & Creatives (2)