SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film opens their 2014 – 2015 Theatre Season with David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play
By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán
“Rabbit Hole” is the season starter at San Diego State University. It is directed by Peter James Cirino who is also Director of the San Diego Asian American Repertory Theater.
A shocking and sudden loss leaves young couple Becca (Katie Rich) and Howie (Christopher Yarrow) redefining their existence as they grow apart. Eight months into their loss, Becca’s younger sister Izzy (Courtnee Stagner)—a not too stable girl who loves to party—announces her unexpected pregnancy, adding a bitter-sweet ingredient to the already complex mix.
“Rabbit Hole” is a tough piece of work to put together and perform, especially with young actors. In this case, Cirino’s direction shines through the talented portrayals of its cast. Stagner’s quirky interpretation of Izzy, booted up in Sarah Coombs costume design, brings balance between the emotional–let me have a Kleenex– and more upbeat scenes. Nat (Samantha Willard), the sisters’ wine-loving mother also helps balance the story’s moods.
Katie Rich and Christopher Yarrow take you through the plot, leaving their feelings in each scenic corner designed by René Nielson and delivering all of the impacts of a professional theatre company.
When Jack Holdeman comes onstage as unwanted guest Jason Willette, the emotions gear up again– get another box of tissues. His version of 17 year old Willette is a very moving one.
Although the scene changes get a little chaotic from time to time in an effort to have all the props and sets ready, it is reassuring to see how the cast and staff carry it out in such a professional manner.
“Rabbit Hole,” originally commissioned by the South Coast Repertory Company almost ten years ago, received its first New York production in 2006, and was the recipient of a Tony Award in The Best Actress in a Play Category (Cynthia Nixon) and the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2007.
“Rabbit Hole” is running its last performances, ending this week on Sunday October 5, in SDSU’s intimate Experimental Theatre. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $16 for general admission, and $14 for students and seniors, and are available through the online box office at ttf.sdsu.edu.