Mason’s Company-in-Residence Opens Season with Three Hotels

Posted: August 15, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

In Jon Robin Baitz’s Three Hotels the audience meets Kenneth Hoyle, a former ‘60s idealist engaged in the questionable practice of marketing baby formula to the Third World. His disillusionment, and that of his emotionally scarred wife, unfolds over time in three very different hotel rooms in this drama opening the 2005-06 season of the Theater of the First Amendment (TFA) at George Mason.

Called “one of the 10 best plays of 1994” by Time magazine, Three Hotels will run in Harris Theatre from Thursday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 2. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 4 p.m.

“It’s a richly textured story about two people who lose their way in the modern world,” says Kevin Murray, TFA’s managing director. Murray plays Hoyle in this spare, electrically-charged, two-character drama. Intersecting themes in the play include exploitation of the Third World for capital gain, moral ambiguity, and the power of influence. Through a series of monologues, the main characters explore their marriage, morals, and the events that have brought their marriage to the brink.

Murray has been with TFA practically since its inception in 1990 and last appeared onstage here in Vaclav Havel’s The Memorandum. Murray has also performed in several films, including The Day Lincoln was Shot and Runaway Bride. Mary Lechter, who appears as Hoyle’s wife, Barbara, has performed at TFA many times, with roles in The Memorandum, The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay, Sweet Ike, The Living, Cellophane Xerox, and countless First Light Festivals. Both Murray and Lechter serve on the Mason Theater faculty.

The play will be directed by TFA’s artistic director Rick Davis. Davis, who is also associate dean of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and artistic director of the Center for the Arts, joined TFA in 1991. He has staged a broad range of productions for the company, as well as theater and opera across the country. He has worked for American Ibsen Theater in Pittsburgh, Lake George Opera, Capital City Opera, the IN Series, and the Kennedy Center. He also spent six seasons with Center Stage in Baltimore.

Playwright Baitz was born in Los Angeles and grew up there, in Brazil, and in South Africa. His plays include A Fair Country, The Substance of Fire, The End of the Day, The Film Society, Mizlansky/Zilinsky, Dutch Landscape, Ten Unknowns, and a 1999 adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. He wrote and directed Three Hotels as a teleplay for PBS-TV’s American Playhouse, for which he received a Humanitas Award. His most recent work, The Paris Letter, was produced off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theater earlier this year.

Tickets are $30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and $25, all other performances. To charge by phone, call at 1-888-945-2468 or visit

Write to at