Sunday, January 8, 2012

In the Wings: Rabbit Hole. Meet Steve Martin.

Steve Martin directs Rabbit Hole, the third show in the 2011-2012 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The Pulitzer Prize-winning script is by David Lindsay-Abaire.

Question: Why did you want to direct Rabbit Hole?
Steve Martin: The script is wonderful. First, Lindsay-Abaire gives each of the characters so much personality and dimension, I knew rehearsals would be a lot of fun. Second, he doesn't give any adverb-style stage directions, "… he said, ironically" for instance. Finding the right tone was going to be a challenge, I thought. Third, the script allows for moments that are lively, sad, serene, painfully honest, angry and hopeful – often in the same scene. It's a tremendous script that I have grown to love.

Q: Where is the show set? Who are the characters?
S.M.: We are in the home of Becca and Howie Corbett, played by Kate Martin and Neil Radtke, in present day Larchmont, New York, a town with a population of about 6,000 northeast of Manhattan. The eight scenes take place between February and May. Becca and Howie are a married couple whose only son, four-year-old Danny, was killed in a car accident eight months before the play begins. They're grieving and coping with this loss in different ways, which may be pushing them apart. Izzy, Becca's sister played by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, has unpleasant information to share with Becca and Howie; Nat, Becca's mother played by Mary Anne Cecil, tries to help Becca but in a self-serving way. Things grow more complicated when high school senior Jason Willette, played by Asher Trout, who drove the vehicle that killed Danny, asks to meet with the Corbetts.

Q: What will the audience remember most about this production of Rabbit Hole?
S.M.: These characters are full of such a variety of emotions and needs; all of them have virtues, all of them have flaws. They go through so much, changing from how they were at the beginning. I think the audience will most remember these journeys, these characters and the actors portraying them.

Rabbit Hole opens Friday, January 20 and runs three weekends through Sunday, February 5 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows begin at 2:30 p.m. For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre's website.

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