Okay, gang, the Urban Theater Project of Iowa production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole opens tomorrow night!

This thing won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for a Tony. The New York Times called it “a wrenching new play,” and said, “the sad, sweet release of Rabbit Hole lies precisely in the access it allows to the pain of others, in its meticulously mapped empathy.” The review ends with, “Jokes and cute anecdotes only wound; kindly advice is received as if it were a slap in the face. Family conversations are shaped by a spastic pattern of recrimination and apology, of irritation and misdirected comfort.”

This is the best new script I have read. And, if you follow my blog, you may have read in my post for August 5th, “Rabbit Hole,” how important this experience has been for me.

I’m loving finally acting with one of my good friends, a joy in itself. But the other actors that people this family and the seminal event in their lives really makes this something to see. It’s difficult for me not to watch my acting partners work. I need to force myself away from the set to prepare for next scenes. That is always a good thing.

As per UTP/Iowa’s mandate, we are in a non-theatrical space. It’s gorgeous. Locally known as the Cook House, we are in the brick mansion, just off the Brucemore property: 222 Crescent Street SE.

This brings me to an important topic. Yes: the thing has been made into a movie — a good one, as I hear, though I have been waiting to watch it until after our run. But it’s a movie. And a play is much, much different. And with our beautiful venue, a person in the first row of the audience is so close they could reach out and touch the actors. This closeness affords actors the ability and the opportunity to create a performance that is closer to themselves, more open, more vulnerable. It is a rare treat for both actors and audience.

Finally, again with the UTP/Iowa mandate, each night there are only 30 seats available. Urban Theater is all about presenting powerful shows in non-theatrical venues for small audiences at a reasonable price ($10 tickets) . This one really fits the bill. And to top it off, it puts two actors, Leslie Charipar and I — who are usually directors — into roles they might not normally perform.

I really hope you can come see it. I am as proud of my work in this show as I have ever been.

To reserve seats (remember the limited seating) call 319-431-2110.

Shows run from August 18-20 and 25-27.

Show begins at 8:00, but there is mansion open house that begins at 7:00.