From the first moments of the show there is an overwhelming feeling that you've stumble into someone's house and you're overhearing their conversations. That atmosphere, aided by the homey set, lends an air of authenticity to the actors' emotions.
"Rabbit Hole" is the story of the intense pain of four very different individuals; a married couple, the wife's mother and her younger sister. Even though their heartbreak comes from the same loss, no one deals with it in the same way. The play has something everyone can identify with; family relationships, spousal tension, life's shattering disappointments and the struggle to overcome them, the ache of not knowing how you will possibly make it through another day.
When people experience pain to this extent it's almost impossible to believe that anyone else's pain hurts as much as yours. They inevitably compare and critique each other's grief in an effort to understand their own.
In one particularly powerful scene the mother, played by Priscilla Lindsay, compares an earlier tragedy with the one they are all currently struggling with. This comparison causes her daughter to balk, but it also demonstrates that grief can consume us all in the same way regardless of its source. It also reminds us that no one else can understand another person's grief, it's too personal, too private.
The IRT's production of the Pulitzer Prize winning drama is restrained in some ways and raw in others, just like grief. James Still's direction blankets the show with an elegance that gives it even more impact. The show includes four incredibly talented actors, all returning players at the theater.
It's rare to see a show that captures all of the necessary elements of a production so perfectly. The casting, direction, drama, humor, set design, all of these elements align in "Rabbit Hole" and the result is a breathtaking look at people when they are the most vulnerable.
Don't Miss the Show
The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. "Rabbit Hole" runs until Sunday, May 10 on IRT's Upperstage, so hurry to get tickets. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252. To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com