Rabbit Hole entertains as tragic comedy

The director and cast took time to talk to the audience after the Sunday show. (Christine Illes/Snapper)
The director and cast took time to talk to the audience after the Sunday show. (Christine Illes/Snapper)

Spencer Goodrich
Staff Writer

Down the Rabbit Hole we go. Join Millersville University Theatre for a production with humor, anger, heart, grief and ultimately hope, that is practically guaranteed to make you feel for a cast of inherently flawed characters as though you knew them yourself.
Millersville University Theatre’s “Rabbit Hole” runs intermittently from February 19 to February 28 in the Rafter’s Theatre at Dutcher Hall and is directed by our very own Marion Wood O’Sullivan. It tells the emotional tale of a family torn apart after the tragic loss of their youngest.

The director and cast took time to talk to the audience after the Sunday show. (Christine Illes/Snapper)
The director and cast took time to talk to the audience after the Sunday show. (Christine Illes/Snapper)

Populated by a cast of characters each damaged in their own way, it brings its audience on an intimate journey through their own personal rabbit hole as everyone involved tries to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives.

This production is performed on a frighteningly intimate stage, the audience only a few feet from the performers at any given time and surrounding them on both sides. This is one of the best features of the play, as it makes its audience so close to the turmoil that you almost feel as though you should intervene at times to save someone from the harshness of their attacker, yet find yourself unable to dare pierce the bubble of drama that these performers have created around themselves.

The amazing cast needs to be commended for their work. From the high-strung and grieving Becca (Casey Pry) to the comedic and care-free Izzy (Hannah Meier), all the performers that round out this cast do a fabulous job. The characters move and talk and act as one can only imagine real people would in their awful situation, something

Rabbit Hole’s first show was on February 19. (Allie Remis/Snapper)
Rabbit Hole’s first show was on February 19. (Allie Remis/Snapper)

that couldn’t have been easy to bring to life even with the award-winning screenplay from Linday-Abaire. Nonetheless, it was and is all the more impressive because of it. It’s also notable that, while the intimacy of the seating is great for the audience experience, it could easily be horrible for the performers with so many distractions leering out at them, yet the actors maintain their characters through cellphone notifications and audience fidgeting as though they know no other way.

The effects were nothing to be ignored either. The lighting and stage crews obviously knew their stuff, a particularly heart-breaking scene of a grieving father watching home videos of his son being conveyed mostly through the haunting purple lighting flickering on his face in the dark. Little touches like that make this play more cinematic and professionally produced, creating a clear line between high school and college productions.

Ultimately, it is an engrossing, dynamic emotional journey that Millersville University Theatre is taking its audience on and one that is a must see.