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On October 6th I was able to attend a Cardinal Stritch theater production of the show ‘Rabbit Hole’.   I had been working on the set as part of the crew building and painting the set for weeks before the show opened, so I was excited to see my work on the stage again.  I was looking forward to how each section of cabinetry would be used and how the floors and different parts of the set would look under the professional technical lighting.  How the actors looked on the set was also something I was looking forward to.  I also knew that the show was supposed to be sad; about a couple who lost their son in a car accident, meeting the young man who was driving the car, and dealing with the grief of the whole situation.

It was great to watch our minimal set come to life on the stage.  The simple color scheme made more sense because the actors brought so much color to their characters.  This show was highly emotional due to its content, so the large black areas on the set played up the grief and helplessness that they were feeling.  The set was made up of three different rooms and demonstrated the idea of actual ‘rabbit holes’ existing in real life.  I also liked how the dialogue the actors were saying also played up this idea as well.

I got to see all of the different details that I would have normally missed just viewing it as a spectator.  The fact that the counter tops were painted to look like marble, the candles on the cake were actually lit, the food the actors ate was real.  I do believe though that it does change how you see a show if you work on the set and know what things are made of.  I knew that the couch was hard as a rock; I knew that the cabinet drawers stuck shut due to the paint; I knew that the crème caramel didn’t turn out like it was supposed to.  Knowing some of the secrets of the craft in a way brings you into the theater world, but also pulls you out of the show itself, makes it harder to be sucked into the shows time and place and feeling.

There are still three shows left in the Nancy Kendall Theater at Cardinal Stritch’s Milwaukee Campus!  If you can I highly recommend this show.  Tickets are on sale now: $12 adults, $10 seniors and $6 students (Stritch students get in free).

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