“What Was Mine To Do” by Dustin Spence is well-intentioned, well-researched and, well, kind of a mess. In an uneven premiere by Strangeloop Theatre Company, Spence’s many ideas about war, journalism, and honor never escape the lumpy, half-formed script that presents them. And it doesn’t help that the production’s hit-or-miss performances and limp direction only add the feeling that this show needs some more time in the developmental oven to become fully baked. With very little room to maneuver within the cramped confines of The Side Project, Spence toggles back and forth between a TV newsroom in Chicago and a Taliban holding cell in Afghanistan, where well-known photojournalist Frank Berhardt (Colin Reeves) resides following his capture. Back in Chicago, an idealistic producer, Claire O’ Donnell (Kate Black-Spence), decides to run a feature story on Frank’s capture: a piece that will either help save his life, or doom him to lose it (depending on who you ask). As Frank engages in a series of mind games with his thoughtful, charismatic captor, Kamil (Gustavo Obregon), Claire quickly finds that the consequences of her actions impact far more then she could have ever imagined. Obregon is wonderful as Kamil, by far the play’s best-conceived and executed character. Also very good is Andy Quijano as Toons, Frank’s fellow prisoner and a powder keg of desperate, impotent rage. And while Black-Spence is fine as Claire, though she’s given little to work with, the rest of the cast range from middling to poor. They are additionally hampered by cramped staging, inert direction and a script that, while promising, settles too often for tired arguments instead of drama or simply lets scenes wander to and fro like sheep idly grazing in a field. ‘What Was Mine To Do” was developed as a part of the “Incubator” Series by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. In the director’s note, they describe as length that research they did to heighten the play’s authenticity. Unfortunately, it looks like Strangeloop lost sight of the ultimate goal: Research is great, but a finished script is better.