The Eastern New Mexico University theater production “The Rabbit Hole” kicked off production Thursday.
The production, written by David Lindsey-Abaire, was first performed in 2006.
Janeice Scarbrough, the ENMU director of the production, said she chose the play for its realistic and easy-to-relate-to elements.
Scarbrough said the production deals with “real people speaking the way we do, dealing with real pain.”
The production has proved a new type of challenge for many of the ENMU theater students as they dug into playing characters consumed by grief.
Jeremy Gardels, who plays Howie, said the story is meant to evoke a variety of emotions in its audience.
“One of the unique things about this production is it’s not just comedy and it’s not just tragedy,” Gardels said. “It’s a hurricane of emotions.”
Gardels said he feels playing the role of Howie will give him the opportunity to put the skills he has developed from previous roles into action.
“I was really excited,” Gardels said of being chosen for the role. “I’ve always wanted to play such an emotionally complicated character in a stage production.”
Charlotte Quintana, who plays Nat, the mother of Becca, said she was flattered to have been recruited by Scarbrough for the play, because she had not expected to be a part of the show due to being slotted for another production later in the semester.
“It’s been a really great experience. I think it’s gotten to the point that sometimes we forget we aren’t these characters,” Quintana said. “We’ve all worked really hard on this and it will be exciting to see people’s reactions to it. Personally, I look forward to seeing if people will perceive the play in the way we are trying to portray it.”
Robert Garcia plays Jason, the driver of a car that kills Danny Corbett. Garcia said the role steps away from his usual roles in comedies.
“It’s given me a wider range than any other performances I’ve done,” Garcia said.
“It’s a roller coaster,” Garcia said. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. It’s real life. That’s the beauty of this show.”
The performance continues 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the ENMU theater building and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $4 to $7 and are available at the theater.