2007 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Rabbit Hole, by American playwright, David Lindsay-Abair, will get a makeover when Unitec’s Department of Performing and Screen Arts in Auckland takes it to the stage in August.
“The play is still set in America, but this time with a Samoan family living on the US West Coast,” explains director, Vicky Yiannoutsos, who has taught and worked with some of New Zealand’s best known acting talent.
Rabbit Hole is a moving account of Becca and Howie dealing with the accidental death of their young son. When Becca's sister announces her pregnancy, she and Howie must come to terms with new life in the family, and choose to find a way forward, or fragment beneath the weight of blame and sorrow. The play considers all ramifications in a compassionate, deft and humorous manner.
In this Unitec adaptation, five Pasifika acting students have been cast into the main roles; Joanna Mika-Toloa (Becca), Hans Masoe (Howie), Lynette Itagia Fesuluai (Izzy), Nastassia Bianca Wolfgramm (Nat) and Jeremy Hewett (Jason). They are Unitec’s first cohort of third year performing arts degree majors and graduates from the BEST Training - Pacific Institute of Performing Arts. This is the first year the innovative curriculum development has been trialled, which now provides a solid pathway for aspiring actors of Pacific descent to staircase into a degree qualification. They all take classes with other year groups but also undertake separate projects. Rabbit Hole is their first public performance.
Unitec’s Curriculum leader for Live Performance, John Davies says while it is set in America, the issues the play deals with make it hugely relevant to New Zealand audiences, especially Pacific communities. “These are Samoan characters making their lives in America, as many Samoans in the Diaspora have done. This brings a cultural presence to the play which illuminates themes in a surprising manner,” says Davies.
Rabbit Hole opens at the Unitec Theatre on Wednesday, 1 August at 7pm. Four shows only.
What? Rabbit Hole
Where? UNITEC THEATRE, Entry 1, Building 6, Carrington Rd, Unitec Mt Albert campus, Auckland
When? 1 - 4 August, 7pm
Tickets available at iTICKET.co.nz http://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2012/aug/rabbit-hole or (09) 361 1000
More info on FACEBOOK / Unitec Rabbit Hole