First play in Brunner Center is student led 'Rabbit Hole'

After extensive remodeling to Augustana’s College Center, the Kim and Donna Brunner Theatre Center presented its first play, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Rabbit Hole”, directed by senior Joseph Oliger.
“I think (was) a wonderful start for the new area,” said sophomore Jaryd Whitmore, who played the role of 17 year old Jason Willette. “I (was) excited to be part of the first of many, many fantastic productions yet to come in the new space.”
Rabbit Hole tells a story about a couple coping with and internalizing the grief felt after losing a child.
“Even though it does deal with grief and loss, the play is written so well that it very much reflects real life,” said Oliger. “There are a lot of funny moments within the show, but throughout that humor, there are sad and serious scenes which make a powerful and realistic contrast.”
Providing the audience with a cathartic release was a large focus for the actors and the play itself.
After seeing the play a few years back at a local high school, Oliger felt he could manipulate and change parts of the stage production to make this play immensely important to Augustana students and the community.
“I think the show (was) really relevant because it (brought) up a lot of questions about moving on, what do you do after college, and where do you go,” said senior Josh Pride, who played Howie Corbett in the production.
“The show touches on so many diverse emotional topics. I want the audience to cry, I want them to laugh, and I want them to be uncomfortable,” said Oliger. “I want them to be confused when they leave.”