Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rabbit Hole

Before I went to Denver, I had the chance to see Peppermint Creek's Rabbit Hole.

It was a very touching, very moving story, one that constantly had me asking myself what I would do (God forbid) in their shoes. It also sparked some interesting discussions. A friend of mine complained that the play had no point. It was an interesting actor study, but didn't have a point.

A co-worker of mine who saw it talked about how it didn't really have a resolution, though he felt that made sense given the nature of the work and its dealing with grief.

Does a play have to have a point or a moral? I think a play needs to be about something and in the best cases, it inspires people to think. Rabbit Hole qualifies in both cases. It helps to provide a vocabulary to talk about the difficult subject of grief. It doesn't offer a script about what to say to someone who is grieving, but rather warns against grasping at trite phrases that will have little meaning to those who are hurting. In that sense, I think it serves a valuable purpose.

It also encourages us to connect with our own mortality and fragility without being maudlin or sentimental.


Anonymous said...

Not having seen Peppermint Creek's production, I can't comment on it. But Meadow Brook Theatre's excellent production a short while back did indeed have a point: HOPE! That no matter what life throws at you, there's hope you can work through it if you want to bad enough. And in MBT's production, the ending - mostly through body language and facial expressions - did telegraph that; that this couple wanted to put their separate paths to healing back on one, single track.

Bridgette Redman said...

I like that.

At intermission, I turned to the friend I was with and said of the couple, "They're not going to make it. They're going to separate."

I was wrong, obviously, and I appreciated the subtlety with which the ending was handled. You didn't get that everything was going to be fine from that point on, but you did walk away feeling that they were going to survive and that they would survive together.

It's a beautiful show, isn't it?