With the fall play fast approaching, the KO community is gearing up for one of the most unique performances yet. The show, called “Rabbit Hole” will be performed in the Black Box Theater on Nov.15 and 16, and is about a husband and wife named Howie and Becca. It tells the story of how a tragic accident flips this happy couple and their family’s lives upside down, revealing their perfect American dream to be not so perfect.
Unlike KO performances in the past, “Rabbit Hole” will be in the Black Box, which immensely changes the dynamic of the performance. “Some plays demand a certain intimacy,” said theater director Kyle Reynolds, “and some proscenium theaters just don’t offer that.” The cast agreed that the play tells a very deep and intimate story, so it fits the Black Box perfectly. “I think it’s a much-needed challenge and change for our cast because I think we’ve gotten used to being in Roberts.” said senior Charlie Coxon, who is playing the character of Jason on the 15th. “Now we have to adapt to this new setting, and it just feels really exhilarating to see it transform into such a great set.”
Also new this year is two different casts, one performing on the 15th and the other on the 16th. “To create the most amount of opportunity,” said Mr. Reynolds on the decision. “I thought that we had so much talent in the cast that deserved to be featured that we would do two performances and two different casts, two different sets of people who I really trust to tell this story.” Senior Liv Coxon, who is playing Becca on the 15th, is excited to be acting with a group of people she is so close to. “Almost everyone in the cast I’ve worked with in the past,” she said. She added that junior Spencer Schaller and sophomore Molly Carroll, who are playing Howie and Izzy on the 15th, are both amazing actors Liv has especially enjoyed working with.
In rehearsals, senior Katie Brough said that the most difficult part of “Rabbit Hole” is memorizing and evaluating so many lines. “The biggest challenge is probably breaking down the script and analyzing why each character says what they say, and reacting to what the character says to you,” she said. “ Every line is there for a reason and it’s our job as actors to figure out why and to send that message to the audience.” Mr. Reynolds also puts a lot of emphasis on delving into a character’s thoughts and emotions. “Motivation is everything,” he said.“Motivation and intention, and in the family, the husband has a different intention than the wife and the wife has a different intention than her mother.”
As a new member of KO, Mr. Reynolds has already hit the ground running in improving KO theater. “Mr. Reynolds has really transformed the theater department in the few months he’s been here,” said sophomore Madeline Arcaro, who plays the understudy for both the first cast’s Nat (Elsa June Ciscel) and the second cast’s Becca (Maggie Eberle). “I’m very excited to see what he does not only this year with the musical, but in future years as he continues to make the KO theater department better than it’s ever been before.” Charlie is also enjoying working with Mr. Reynolds, especially with how involved he is in every aspect of production. “He’s really thorough and proactive with how he’s approaching the show’s production,” he said. “He is making sure that we’re all prepared as early as possible so we can give our best performance possible.”
Mr. Reynolds is very eager to boost the theater program at KO. “What I’m trying to do more than anything is create a thriving arts program that entices students to be more successful with artistic training,” he said. One of his main focuses is not only on just acting, but also singing and dancing. “It’s been exciting more than anything to create a new flare for the theater department,” he said. “And get the students to think outside the box and sing, dance, and act instead of just strictly act.” He has really enjoyed working with new students and being able to nurture their passion for the arts, and is hoping for even more people to audition for the winter musical.