Production Pairs Four UNB Drama Students With A Cast of Local Theatre Talent
A carefully distant wife, an easy-going husband, a rebellious sister, a well-meaning mother, and an earnest young man all find themselves rebuilding their new lives after a devastating loss, stumbling and bonding along the way. At times hilarious, at other times heart-wrenching, this poignant play reminds us all what it’s like to be human, and how to navigate the intricacies of the human heart.
Rabbit Hole will be directed and produced as a thesis production by UNB Drama minor students, with a cast of local Fredericton theatre talent.
“This project is our thesis production, and is a requirement in the fourth year class of our drama minor,” said director, Tilly Jackson. “There are eight people in my class, and while there is no class time per se, we will have put up two shows this year – one each term.”
Due to the nature of the course, this production was designed and built almost entirely by a small group of students whose combined talents looked after everything from set design to casting.
“My group is made up of four people,” said Jackson, “a director, a technical director, and two stage managers who also share the duties of props and costumes. The neat thing about this project is that, while we do have two supervising professors, Len Falkenstein and Mike Johnston, mostly we do all the work ourselves. We picked the play we wanted to produce, we applied for the rights, we held open auditions, we designed and built the set, we rehearsed extensively, we designed the lighting, the poster, pretty much everything!
“Sometimes that was a little scary, as obviously for all of us it’s our first time being alone in these roles. But, it’s very much a collaborative effort between myself and the three others on my team – it’s all about communication, and I’m very lucky to have three group members who are all extraordinarily efficient and artistically-minded,” she said.
UNB’s Minor in Drama is usually completed over three or four years of study and offers students an thorough examination of the drama experience from acting to stage management and design.
“I never realized exactly how much planning and hard work and actual physical labour it takes from the people not on stage to pull a show together,” said Jackson. “Being able to sit in the director’s chair and work out how I want the audience to view this complex and lovely play has been incredible, and I’ve got a crazy talented cast to help me out.”