Grief and its effect on family dynamics are the focus of “Rabbit Hole,” which opens tonight at the Regional Theatre of the Palouse in Pullman.
The show kicks off the theater’s second season of the After Dark Series, which features adult-themed subject matter. Jasper Barbosa-Rodriguez, the show’s director, called it “gritty theater” and an opportunity to take on more mature topics and ideas than can be explored in the family-friendly regular season.
With its five-person cast, “Rabbit Hole” centers on a husband and wife (played by Henry D. Johnston, Colfax, and Jenni Zambriski, Pullman) who lost their son in a tragic accident eight months before. In a way that is both emotional and humorous at times, the show explores how they’re doing and if they’re finding relief in the grieving process.
Barbosa-Rodriguez enjoyed the film version of the play, released in 2010 and starring Nicole Kidman, but found the play itself to be even richer.
“The writing in the play is so incredible,” Barbosa-Rodriguez said. “I began to develop ideas of how I could make the play just as real, as beautiful as the film.”
It’s a topic most people can identify with, he said, and he hoped the play will pick up the element of hope that he feels the film version obscured.
“Even though there’s not anything they can do about what happened, there is hope for the future for how the family will survive and perhaps get closer through their loss,” Barbosa-Rodriguez said.
The show is intended for adult audiences due to the serious subject matter and language.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Rabbit Hole”
WHEN: 8 p.m. today, Friday, Saturday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1
WHERE: Regional Theatre of the Palouse, 122 N. Grand Ave., Pullman
COST: $12/adult; purchase tickets online at www.rtoptheatre.org or call (509) 334-0750