SMC theater invites audience down 'Rabbit Hole'

It has been eight months since four-year-old Danny ran into the path of an oncoming car. His grieving family is left to cope with their loss as they struggle to rebuild their own relationships, and the teen driver of the car that killed Danny must come to terms with his guilt.

This is the story of “Rabbit Hole,” a play marked by comic relief punctuating the heartache of each its complex characters. The torrent of character emotions, the subtexts within their dialogues, and their different ways of handling pain tell a palpable and lurid story.

During the month of November, the Santa Monica Colleget theater arts department will be performing the Pulitzer prize-winning David Lindsay-Abaire play, “Rabbit Hole.”

“It’s so well-written; every scene is impactful,” said director Adrianne Harrop, who has directed more than 40 plays at SMC and has taught theatre for over 32 years.

The cast consists of five SMC theater arts students enrolled in Harrop’s advanced production class.

Becca, the leading role, is played by Amanda Korkunis, who works for Sony and has a degree in economics from UC Davis. Though she already has her degree, she takes acting classes at SMC, and stays active in local theater, as it is her “love.”

“That’s something we talked about a lot, the facets, the many facets – like a diamond – of each character,” Harrop said. Despite the heavy, difficult material, “Rabbit Hole” is not a somber play.

“There are, I hope, many funny parts in the play,” Lindsay-Abaire stated in the author’s notes, printed in the back of the published play. “They are important. Especially to the audience. Without the laughs, the play becomes pretty much unbearable.”

Harrop hopes that the audience will feel “very full” and “enriched” upon seeing the show.

“I don’t think I necessarily want to convey a message as much as to entertain people for a night or an afternoon,” Harrop said. “It’s good, thought-provoking entertainment.”

The Santa Monica Public Library will also be screening the film version of “Rabbit Hole” preceding the opening of the show at SMC. The screening of the 2010 movie starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart will take place on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. at the Montana Avenue Branch of the library.

The SMC production of “Rabbit Hole” will open Nov. 4 at 8 p.m., with additional 8 p.m. shows on Nov. 5, 11 and 12, and 2 p.m. matinee performances on Nov. 5, 6, 12 and 13.

Tickets are $10 for general admission to the 100-seat Studio Stage, and can be purchased at the door, if available, or in advance at the Theater Arts box office, or by calling (310) 434-4319.