Theatre and Dance in the News

Down the Rabbit Hole and on to D.C.

By Anika Dokes, Staff writer.

Thursday, February 11, 2010—Reprinted from Monitor.

Poster for Rabbit Hole production at Ohlone College.

Students in last semester’s Dance and Theatre Department had an outstanding fall theatre production of the Rabbit Hole.

Rabbit Hole is a five-character play that focuses on the tragic death of a 4-year-old named Danny who was killed in an automobile accident. Danny’s parents are trying everything in the power to put their lives back together.

The play explores the quiet and painfully realistic grief that a husband and wife experience after losing their only son.

However, the play not only focuses on the parents’ grief but their lives become even more complicated when the young driver who killed their son contacts them to seek his own closure.

The play is humorous, keeps its audience on its toes and there is never a dull moment.

Rabbit Hole won a Pulitzer Prize for best Broadway drama from 2006 and was acknowledged and honored by the Kennedy Center.

In January and February of each year, the Kennedy Center has the American College Theatre Festival, which hosts a nationwide conference in Washington, D.C.

The organization encourages, recognizes and celebrates the finest and most diverse quality work produced in universities and college theatre programs.

Furthermore, the festival encourages students to produce new plays that they have written to showcase.

This is an opportunity for all theatre students throughout the eight geographic regions in the United States to share their work.

Students will also be given the opportunity to share their creative processes as well as learn new material, develop their own theatre skills and achieve professionalism in their field.

Tom Blank, the director of the Theatre and Dance Department at Ohlone, said the, “Mission of the organization is to promote theatre and communication dialogue between schools and just allows an arena specifically dedicated to college theatre programs.”

“In addition, each region has their own regional conference and each school can enter as many shows they want.”

Blank also said, “If you want to participate, you enter your production that you’re doing in the organization.”

“They send judicators to look at your show and respond to the work of the students and then they pick the number of student to represent school in this conference as an example of quality.”

The Theatre and Dance Department has not participated in the American College Theatre Festival for over 10 years.

Each play that has been produced would need to be able to tour.

However, the fall production of Rabbit Hole was a smaller production, which suited the festival better.

Six students from Ohlone’s Theatre and Dance Department will be competing in this year’s Festival, along with students from Alaska, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Wyoming.

This is an opportunity for the Ohlone Theatre Department to engage and demonstrate their own creativity and theatre skills at the annual Theatre Festival.

The Festival will have over 50 various workshops for students to attend over the week, such as physical comedy, line design, dialogue, stage managing and theatre.

This is a special and exciting place for anyone who wants to see the material of other students, learn new techniques and become a bigger and better theatre student.

Ohlone's production of Rabbit Hole: two happy women and one sad woman in kitchen.Ohlone's production of Rabbit Hole: a sad couple sitting on a couch.