Hope College Theatre will present "Rabbit Hole" by David Lindsay-Abaire in the DeWitt Center studio theatre beginning Friday, Dec. 4.

Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5; and Wednesday-Saturday, Dec. 9-12, all with an 8 p.m. curtain time.

"Rabbit Hole" focuses on Becca and Howie, a couple trying to cope after a recent accident has irrevocably changed their family. The play explores the different manifestations of grief for the couple and their family. Despite its heavy subject matter, Lindsay-Abaire's play is a balance of comedic moments with the serious themes.

"Rabbit Hole" features the work of guest scenic and properties designer Daniel Stratton. Stratton recently finished Northwestern University's Graduate Stage Design program. He currently lives in Chicago, Ill., where he recently designed "Kill the Old, Torture their Young" at Steep Theatre Company. Other scenic design credits include "R.U.R." at Chicago's Strawdog Theatre Company, and the New York/San Francisco productions of Fools Fury's "The Devil on All Sides." Stratton's course work at Northwestern included the set designs for "Indians," "Peter Pan" and "On the Verge."
"Rabbit Hole" is Stratton's first commission to design for a college other than Northwestern. The production is directed by Daina Robins of the college's theatre faculty.

"Working with Daina is awesome - she's really invested in the play and it is nice to work with a director who has a strong attachment to a piece," Stratton said.
Stratton's design process usually begins with emotional research of the play - looking at art books to understand the characters and the situation they're in to get a sense of the mood. His design for "Rabbit Hole" includes the dominant use of beige in the set with a somewhat "dead" color palette, reflecting the way in which the home in the play has lost the life that it had before the accident.

Other faculty members joining Robins on the production team are Michelle Bombe, costume designer, and Perry Landes, lighting and sound designer. Katie Terpstra, who is a 2009 Hope graduate, is assisting with properties design, and serving as technical director is staff member Paul Anderson. Students serving on the production team are freshman Paige Douglas of Holland, assistant stage manager; and sophomore Amanda K. Van Assen of Grand Rapids, stage manager.

The cast of "Rabbit Hole" includes: senior Alex Martin of Saugatuck as Howie; sophomore Rachel Parada of Harbor Springs as Nat; freshman Ryan Phillips of Holland as Jason; junior Jackie Richards of Worthington, Ohio, as Izzy; and senior Brittany Stock of St. Charles, Ill., as Becca.

Tickets for "Rabbit Hole" are $7 for regular admission, $5 for Hope faculty and staff, and $4 for students and senior citizens, and are available at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and may be called at (616) 395-7890.  In addition, the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center will be open on performance nights at 7 p.m.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Avenue between Ninth and 11th streets. The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.