Rabbit Hole: 2007 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Drama at Olney Theatre Center
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The last date listed for Rabbit Hole was Sunday September 7, 2008 / 2:00pm.
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The high-stakes world of middle-school spelling competitions takes center stage in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This musical comedy follows six overachieving would-be wordsmiths and their neurotic parents. The hilariously catchy songs capture teenage troubles at their worst from "Woe Is Me" to "My Unfortunate Erection (Chip's Lament)." And the contest teaches the valuable lesson that winning isn't the only definition of success. With music and lyrics by William Finn and a book by Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was nominated for Best Musical and five other Tony Awards in its original run, winning for Best Book. Learn More
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The Washington–area premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole takes the New Mainstage at Olney Theatre Center. In this drama with light overtones, Lindsay-Abaire explores how a family copes with a tragic loss. “Rabbit Hole is not just a play about grief,” said Director Mitchell Hébert. “Rather it is a play about survival, moving on, connecting anew after a tragedy, and the bravery, passion, and beauty in people needing each other.”
Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Rabbit Hole follows Becca and Howie Corbett, who are ordinary people living in an upscale suburban neighborhood. It seems they have everything, but a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. With honesty and humor, Rabbit Hole is a rich journey that searches for hope, comfort, and forgiveness in the darkest moments of our lives. “This story is human and comedic,” Hébert said. “Grief comes in many colors, shades, and phases that people pass through, and Lindsay-Abaire went straight at it.”
Rabbit Hole will be Mitchell Hébert’s first foray into directing at Olney Theatre Center. He has, however, been seen on stage at Olney in such roles as Dysart in Equus, Salieri in Amadeus, and the title role in Tartuffe. He will appear at the end of the season as Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Other work includes directing The Distance from Here and Savage in Limbo for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company/University of Maryland collaboration and acting in Mrs. Farnsworth at Rep Stage and Treasure Island at Round House Theatre. Mitchell is also Director of the MFA in Performance at the University of Maryland, Department of Theatre.
The talented cast features veteran and fresh faces to the Olney stage. Playing the lead role of Becca Corbett is Deborah Hazelett. She last appeared at Olney in Death of a Salesman. Other regional credits are Bug (U.S. premiere) at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Syracuse Stage; Frozen at Playmaker's Repertory Theatre; and Blue Room at Signature Theatre. Howie Corbett (Becca’s Husband) is Paul Morella who has most recently appeared at Olney in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. His other Olney credits include Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, and Private Lives. His many regional credits include Romeo and Juliet at The Studio Theatre and The Treasure of Ursa Major at The Kennedy Center. Izzy (Becca’s zany sister) is Megan Anderson who is a company resident at Everyman Theatre where she has performed as Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, Joyce in And A Nightingale Sang, and Helen in The Cripple of Inishmaan. Kate Kiley who has appeared all over the country in various theaters including The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, San Diego Rep, and Arkansas Rep, will play the role of Nat (Becca’s well-meaning but off-kilter mom). Playing the part of Jason (the high school student who is the catalyst of the Corbett’s grief) is University of Maryland, College Park student Aaron Blinden. Blinden is pleased to make his first appearance at Olney Theatre. At Maryland he has performed in a variety of mainstage and student productions including The Ash Girl at Kay Theatre and The Physicists.
In addition to Hébert, the creative team for Rabbit Hole includes Scenic Designer Marie-Noëlle Daigneault (National Players Tour 58 traveling set for Othello and The Importance of Being Earnest) who has designed a comfortable house with real working fixtures for the Corbett’s to live in, including a sink and refrigerator, and a revolving bedroom; Costume Designer, Kathleen Geldard (Olney’s Of Mice and Men, In the Mood, and Elephant Man); Sound Designer Jarett C. Pisani (Olney’s Stuff Happens, The Mousetrap, and 1776); and Lighting Designer Charlie Morrison (Olney’s Fiddler on the Roof, Of Mice and Men, and Eubie!).
Author David Lindsay-Abaire was born and raised in Boston’s inner city. The son of a factory worker and a fruit peddler, Lindsay-Abaire attended public school until the age of 12 when he received a six-year scholarship to the Milton Academy, a small, private New England prep school. It was there that he first became interested in writing plays. He went on to concentrate in theater at Sarah Lawrence College, and was accepted into the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School. His career really began to take off with Fuddy Meers in 1999, which earned several awards during this initial run, including the John Gassner Playwrighting Award. Some of his other plays include Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, A Devil Inside, and Snow Angel.
Rabbit Hole was commissioned by South Coast Repertory and first presented at its Pacific Playwrights Festival reading series in 2005. In 2006, after 23 previews, Rabbit Hole opened at the Biltmore Theatre, where it ran for 77 performances. The play was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Play, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Rabbit Hole is the second most produced play in 2008 next to Doubt: A Parable, which was on Olney’s Mainstage earlier this year.
About the Ticket Supplier: Olney Theatre CenterLocated just north of Washington, D.C. in arts-rich Montgomery County, Maryland, Olney Theatre Center for the Arts offers a diverse array of professional productions year-round that enrich, nurture and challenge a broad range of artists, audiences and students. One of two state theaters of Maryland, OTC is situated on 14 acres in the heart of the beautiful Washington-Baltimore-Frederick "triangle," within easy access of all three cities.
An award-winning regional theater, Olney Theatre Center operates under an Actors' Equity Association Council of Stock Theaters (COST) contract, one of only three theaters in the country to operate under such a contract.
In addition to its mainstage season, which emphasizes 20th-century American classics, new works, area premieres, reinterpretations of classics and musical theater, OTC offers a wide range of programs and affiliations including: National Players, America's longest running classical touring company (since 1949), which performs for high school and college audiences in over 25 states; Potomac Theatre Project, which offers experimental and alternative plays that explore provocative and challenging human situations, ideas and visions; special school performances of mainstage shows; a free Summer Shakespeare Festival; and post-show discussions.