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The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

A family’s search for peace brings audience down the “Rabbit Hole”

Ian Macdonald `24 and Anna Wilson `22.5 as Becca and Howie in “Rabbit Hole.” Photo by Shabana Gupta.

How do we persevere after loss? When grief and pain are overwhelming, where do we turn for comfort? If we can keep these feelings inside, can we convince ourselves they don’t exist? Over the weekend of March 11 to March 13, the theatre and dance department will explore these questions and more in the tragedy “Rabbit Hole.”

“This play has really intense moments and scenes. It also has moments of grace and generosity and humor,” director Craig Quintero said. “I think it really captures the human complexity of our emotional range.”

The show takes place eight months after the death of a young boy and tells the story of his family coping with immense loss. Danny’s parents Becca and Howie, played by Anna Wilson `22.5 and Ian Macdonald `24 respectively, have conflicting ways of grieving for their son. As Becca tries to pack Danny’s life away along with her feelings about his death, Howie wants to keep his memory alive.

“Rabbit Hole” explores themes of love, loss, and grief. Photo by Shabana Gupta.

“It’s a loss that is kind of unfathomable in many ways,” Wilson said. “You know, as a parent, you’re not supposed to outlive your child.”

Wilson describes Becca’s journey as being trapped in her pain and struggling to find the balance between letting go of and holding on to her grief. As Becca lashes out on her husband, mother, sister and even a mom in the grocery store, it becomes clear that no matter how many good days she has, her grief remains raw and powerful.

“That’s her way of processing, and most of the other characters in the show want to hold onto things and their way of getting through it is keeping memories alive by keeping objects and things that remind them of Danny,” Wilson said.

Quintero works to expose students to a variety of theatre styles in his selection of productions. This show follows a traditional structure but speaks to powerful messages about emotion and coping. The script guides the characters through their journey, and the set and costumes bring it into a compelling reality.

“Seeing the set come to life, integrating the set and the costumes –– my favorite moments of the rehearsal process were when we finally put our

Alyssa Argent ’25 as Izzy in “Rabbit Hole.” Photo by Shabana Gupta.

costumes on, and it all felt so real. It’s been really magical to see this gorgeous set,” Wilson said.

The set consists of three main spaces: a living room, a kitchen, and Danny’s bedroom, all sprinkled with beautiful details, from family pictures to Danny’s toys. These spaces bear witness to many emotional moments, from disputes between Becca and Howie in the living room, a pregnancy announcement from Becca’s sister Izzy, played by Alyssa Argent `25, in the kitchen and the packing away of Danny’s belongings with Becca and her mom, played by Katie Hidlebaugh `22.

“I think it’s really been great seeing the performers grow … they’ve really formed a strong community,” Quintero said. “And as you’re dealing with a play that’s dealing with loss, you know, it’s a tough play. They’ve really created a strong support network.”

With a cast of only five people working on this show for the past few months, they have gotten the opportunity to grow together as actors and as people. Wilson says this show changed her perspective on interacting with people who are dealing with grief.

“We’ve gotten really honest about those moments when we break,” Wilson said. “And whether it’s on purpose or on accident, we show those kind of nitty-gritty parts of ourselves. I’m excited for the audience to see that and hopefully be able to connect with it in some way.”

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