Photo Flash: RABBIT HOLE Opens 4/10

By: Apr. 03, 2009
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Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, under the leadership of Executive Director Stacie Burgua, presents Rabbit Hole, by David Lindsay-Abaire. The production, directed by Chris Fisher, features Max Cole-Takanikos, Patricia Duff, Tom Harris, Jill Johnson, and Melissa McAlerney. Performances will begin at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Avenue, on Friday, April 10 and continue through Saturday, April 25.

Tickets range in price from $12 to $16, with discounts available for students and groups, and are available from www.WICAonline.com or 360.221.8268 - 800/638.7631.

Becca (Patricia Duff) and Howie Corbett (Tom Harris) have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. Rabbit Hole charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places and for a path that will lead them back into the light of day.

The origin of this play is as ordinary and remarkable as the play itself. David Lindsay-Abaire had become known as the author of a series of successful absurdist comedies. Yet, he wanted to depart from that comfortable style and challenge himself to write a naturalistic play. Searching for a subject, he remembered what his playwriting teacher, Marsha Norman, had told him once, "if you want to write a good play, write about the thing that frightens you most in the world." It took years, and becoming a dad, for him to understand her advice. "When my son, Nicholas, was three years old, we heard a really sad story about friends of friends whose child had died very suddenly," he said. "Hearing that story, I put myself in the shoes of the parents. I thought, ‘This is what Marsha Norman is talking about.'"

This beautiful play takes us on a journey of a family who is struggling to connect with each other, but it is written with such artistry, humor and insight that we emerge more whole. The Greeks believed that theatre is a seeing place, a healing place. They felt that coming together in the theatre to see stories that portray our worst fears gives us solace, enlivens us, connects us. David Lindsay-Abaire's surprisingly unsentimental play seeks to do just that by balancing tragedy and laughter in a searing portrait of people like us who deal with the unthinkable and survive.

David Lindsay-Abaire (Playwright) is an American playwright and lyricist. He was born (1969) into a family of five he describes as "very blue collar." He attended Boston public schools until the seventh grade, when he received a six-year scholarship to Milton Academy. It was there that he first became interested in writing for the theatre. He went on to concentrate in theatre at Sarah Lawrence College, and later studied at the Julliard School, where he wrote under the tutelage of Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang.

Walking a fine line between grave reality and joyous lunacy, the world of his plays is often dark, funny, blithe, enigmatic, hopeful, ironic, and somewhat cockeyed. "My plays tend to be peopled with outsiders in search of clarity."

His works include Fuddy Meers, about a wife who suddenly leaves her husband and hops a bus in search of freedom, enlightenment, and the meaning of life; Rabbit Hole, produced in 2006 with Cynthia Nixon and Tyne Daly, earned him the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, Dotting and Dashing, Snow Angel, and A Devil Inside.

Lindsay-Abaire has written two screenplays, "Robots" and "Inkheart" (2007); and provided the book for Shrek The Musical.

Chris Fisher (Director) has been directing, acting, writing and teaching theater on ‘the other side' as faculty with Shoreline Community College, Artistic Director of The New Space Theatre, and stage director for The Other Company. She received an MFA in theater from Rutgers University. Her directing credits include Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchill, Lady from the Sea and A Doll's House by Ibsen, Travesties by Tom Stoppard, The Skin of Our Teeth and Our Town by Thornton Wilder, and The God of Hell by Sam Shepard. Her plays have been workshopped or produced at Broadway Performance Hall, New City Theater, the Seattle Rep, Princeton Rep, and the Douglas Fairbanks Theater in NYC. In the 1980s, she co-wrote and directed the musical Charley Parkhurst: One Woman's Masquerade for Life at the Clyde Theatre and is delighted to be working again at home -- Whidbey Island.

Max Cole-Takanikos (Jason) has appeared in WICA's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Rosencrantz), Sweeney Todd (Anthony) and The Good Doctor. Amongst his favorite roles are Yoshi in The Magic Fan, Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass, Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance, Long John Silver in Treasure Island, and Vasiliy Solyony in WICA's Three Sisters.

Patricia Duff (Becca) was last seen at WICA as the Woman in The Good Doctor, Lady Caroline Bramble in Enchanted April, Kit Kat Club dancer Texas in Cabaret, and in Seven Keys to Baldpate in the role of Mary Norton the reporter. Her experience includes ten years as a working actor in Chicago playing such roles as Perdita in The Winter's Tale, Lady Anne in Richard III, Isabel in The Razor's Edge, Rose of Lima in Richard's Cork Leg, Salem in La Turista, and Masha in The Seagull. She wrote, co-directed and acted in her play The Dimmed Heart, which won a "Best of the Fest" award at the Bailiwick Director's Festival in Chicago and went on to a six-week run there.

Tom Harris (Howie) last seen at WICA in The Good Doctor. Previous WICA productions include Art, The Laramie Project, School for Scandal, Accomplice, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

Jill Johnson (Nat) has appeared on the WICA stage as Sister Laserian in This Child, Aunt March in Little Women, and as May Arkwright Hutton in Barnstorming. She was a guest instructor for the 2007 WICA Youth Conservatory and taught storytelling and drama in elementary, middle, and high schools. Her one woman storytelling presentation, Little, But OH My!" premiered at WICA in March 2003 and has since been performed throughout Western Washington. In 2006, a CD of the performance received an "Honors" designation from the annual national "Storytelling World" awards. Jill is a member of the National Storytelling Network's Press Committee, which has produced two books, A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling and Telling Stories to Children. Her essay about telling stories in French in Africa appeared in "Storytelling Across Language Barriers" published by Libraries Unlimited.

Melissa McAlerney (Izzy) has appeared in WICA's Three Sisters (Natasha) and Little Women (Beth). Regional credits include Steel Magnolias; The Phantom Tollbooth, Fools, Cotton Patch Gospel; and Twelfth Night.

Opening Night Reception

Friday, April 11 following the 7.30pm performance.

The Edgecliff Restaurant will host the Opening Night (post-show) reception at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. The Edgecliff Restaurant and Lounge is Langley's first choice for tasty meals and an amazing atmosphere. The Edgecliff has a full bar and lounge that stays open late!

Post-Play Talk

Sunday, April 21, 4pm

On Sunday, April 15, the Production Team and Company will engage in a discussion following the 2pm matinee performance; the event will be free and open to the public. Additional information about the discussion, including speakers and other participants, will be announced at a later date. Patrons interested in attending only the discussion should arrive at WICA at 4pm.

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Avenue, Langley, Washington.

All Performances: April 10 - April 25, 2009
Evening (Friday - Saturday) performances at 7.30pm
Matinee (Sunday) performances at 2pm
CREATIVE TEAM:
Chris Fisher (Director)
George Cribbs (Scenic Design)
Katie Woodzick (Costume Design)
Rob Scott (Stage Manager)

Cast:
Max Cole-Takanikos (Jason)
Patricia Duff (Becca)
Tom Harris (Howie)
Jill Johnson (Nat)
Melissa McAlerney (Izzy)


Tickets: Tickets range in price from $12 to $16, with discounts available for students and groups, and are available from www.WICAonline.com or 360.221.8268 - 800/638.7631

Special events:

Friday, April 10, 10pm: Opening Night (post-show) Reception
Sunday, April 19, 4pm: Post-Play Talk

2008/09 Season sponsors: City of Langley; 2008 Producers Circle; Friends of WICA; Intermec Foundation; Puget Sound Energy; Washington State Arts Commission; The NEA; Whidbey Telecom; Boeing; Glaser Foundation; US Bank Foundation; Westaf; Target; The Inn at Langley; The Edgecliff/Beachfire; Whidbey Coffee; Whidbey-SeaTac Shuttle; The Law Offices of Kelly and Harvey; Catherine DeWitt Custom Picture Framing; The South Whidbey Record; Dr. Ric Prael, the Dentist; Boomerang Korner; and Island Asphalt.

Photo Flash: RABBIT HOLE Opens 4/10

Melissa McAlerney

Photo Flash: RABBIT HOLE Opens 4/10
Jill Johnson



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