Already closed | 1h 15m | Gramercy

Is This A Room

From 149 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.

1h 15m | Already closed | Vineyard Theatre (Gramercy)

Member Reviews (149)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense
79
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

90
Clever, Anger inducing, Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You have any interest in current political affairs. What on its face seems like an FBI story is most definitely one of politics.

Don't see it if Your stomach can’t take another example of proof positive that we have an orange criminal sitting in the White House.

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.

73
Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if A play about the FBI and how they interrogate. Deals with Russian foreign interference.From Coney to McCabe we see how criminal the fbi is

Don't see it if If you dont like political drama.

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

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

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.

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

80
Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you like real-life situations-this one with disturbing professionals, portrayed by good actors, working unscrupulously. Good sound & lights.

Don't see it if you don't like characters talking over each other & acting to "script" that is constantly distracting. Difficult hearing all due 2 side seat

83
Riveting, Resonant, Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if the overlapping of reality and drama draws you. It is unlike anything else, breathtaking.

Don't see it if you prefer light theatricals. I have never been so uncomfortable at a performance which is a tribute to how very well done this piece is

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, esp sound, brings transcript 2 life, but it's the raw acting by Emily Davis as Reality that grabs u by the throat

Don't see it if word for word rendering of transcript omitting redacted parts: bad: missing context; good: turns into type of foreboding mystery

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

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

62
Banal, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You want a verbatim re-enactment of Day 1 of Reality Winner's FBI interrogation. You like natural dialogue. You like slice of life dramas.

Don't see it if You want more theatrical dialogue w/out "ums" & awkward phrasing. You want Winner's story on-stage: you won't know see her whole story here.

Also This is a literal slice-of-life drama. If you want real, it doesn't ge... 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.

80
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Clever

See it if Transcript comes to life about Reality Winner.

Don't see it if you want a musical or a happy go lucky show. You looking for deeper information.

Also I felt sorry for Reality Winner and being animal lovers the thought of... Read more Read less

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.

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

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

83
Injustice on the stage-- made my blood boil

See it if Brief, verbatim staging of FBI interrogation of Reality Winner. Outrage simmers as you watch her beinf intimidated. Emily Davis is great.

Don't see it if The theatricality of this feal life drama may not appeal to everyone. Very relevant to impeachment. Why is Reality in jail and Trump not?

Also Why didn't she demand a lawyer? Or at least shut up?

90
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want a tight, moving, terrifying look at our government in action.Script is taken verbatim from FBI transcript.Chilling.

Don't see it if you want to keep your head in the sand & support an administration that has kept a whistleblower imprisoned for 3 years

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


October 24th, 2019
for a previous production 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
for a previous production 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
for a previous production "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
for a previous production "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)