Embedded is a political satire about the Iraq war, with actors wearing masks to play characters modeled on Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and others in the Bush administration. The play also features soldiers (including a young woman named Private Ryan, meant to resemble Jessica Lynch) and embedded journalists who covered the war. Interestingly, President Bush himself is barely mentioned.
Tim Robbins, who wrote the play and premiered it in 2003 with his company, the Actors' Gang in Los Angeles, got slammed for his didactic style. Jobsite Theater in Tampa, which has done its share of political theater, takes what director David Jenkins says is "a less heavy-handed approach'' in its production, which opens tonight and runs through Aug. 31 at the Shimberg Playhouse of Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. $24.50; $10 rush tickets are available 30 minutes before curtain for seniors, students and military. (813) 229-7827; jobsitetheater.org.