An intimate look down the “Rabbit Hole”

Lorrie Reyes / Roundup

Pierce College’s theater department will be performing David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Rabbit Hole” beginning Dec. 4 in the Dow Arena Theater at Pierce College.

“Rabbit Hole” takes place in an upscale area outside of New York and focuses on the couple Becca and Howie (played by Trina Marguerite and David Klane) and how they deal with the loss of their 4-year-old child Danny through each other, family members, friends, neighbors and humor.
Director Valorie Grear, who has been teaching theater at Pierce since 1988, was moved by Lindsay-Abaire’s writing and his ability to work different angles into the play.
Lindsay-Abaire explores Becca’s relationships with her rebellious sister Izzy (played by Naomi Nektare), who announces she is pregnant only eight months after her son’s death, her “borderline alcoholic mother” Nat (played by Marilyn Plowman) and even a parallel universe with a teenage neighbor Jason (played by Joshua Kahn) who takes Danny’s death very hard, and lastly, her husband.
Although the play’s premise is based on a tragic situation, “Rabbit Hole” is relatable to anyone who has faced an awful position and shows the different ways people cope and overcome them.
“It is about a very serious subject that’s very moving, but the author has infused humor all throughout the play,” Grear said.
Grear, who experienced a car accident that left her paralyzed from the mid-waist down, can identify with having to “come back to a positive place.”
“In my own case, I can remember you have to find ways to lighten it up,” she said. “(Humor) is just human nature that becomes a way of coping with tragic circumstances.”
Michael Gend, a first-year professor and former Pierce College student, helps bring a fresh concept to the set design of “Rabbit Hole.”
Gend gives new meaning to an actual rabbit hole by having Danny’s room constructed into the stage, while in most interpretations the room would be raised on a platform.
“His concept of the set is a really interesting, not totally realistic, more stylistic approach to (the play),” Grear said. “The presence of the child is there throughout the whole play.”
“Rabbit Hole” will be performed in the smaller, more intimate Dow Arena Theater.        
Sometimes referred to as a “black box theater,” the Dow Arena Theater has only 82 seats and the stage is literally a few feet away from the audience.
“It’s a play that you want to be physically close to,” Grear said. “You are almost in the environment of the play.”
“Rabbit Hole” opens Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. in the Dow Arena Theatre at Pierce College.
The Rabbit Hole Info
Fri and Sat- Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12 (8 p.m.)
Thu Dec. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Sun Dec 6 and 13 (2:00 p.m.)
Prices: General Admission $15
Students/Seniors: $12
Location: Dow Arena Theatre
For reservations please call 818-719-6488