AUBURN — You can trust director Linda Britt to pick a meaningful play, assemble an excellent cast and tell a story with a full range of emotion. All those pieces come together just right in Community Little Theatre’s production of “Rabbit Hole.”

With truthfulness and candor, a cast of five excellent actors convey the different ways members of a family deal with a tragic accident and the death of a young boy.

The portrayals of the boy’s parents by Victoria Machado and Ryan Adair are outstanding. It has been several months since 5-year-old Danny died, and each of them has developed somewhat different ways of handling their intense sorrow. Mostly, the pain is under control, but it’s obvious that the process of healing for them will be long and delicate.

Machado’s role as Becca Corbett is delivered with skill and understanding. She knows the journey to normalcy will be difficult, and her efforts are sometimes derailed.

Adair brings a brilliant scope to the role of Howie Corbett, the father who is holding his feelings in until matters reach a boiling point for him.

Machado has been seen recently in CLT’s “Almost, Maine” and in Out of the Box Theater’s productions of “Hamlet” and “Chosen: Adoption Stories.” Adair also appeared in “Hamlet” and “Chosen,” as well as CLT productions of “Deathtrap” and “Inspecting Carol.”

The award-winning “Rabbit Hole,” by David Lindsay-Abaire, digs deep into the dynamics of grief, and it is just as much about the effects on others in the family as it is on the mother and father. That’s where the play’s power grabs the audience and expands the view beyond the primary sufferers.

Those others are trying to balance their own reactions with attempts to console the parents, with unintentional blunders that are connected to each one’s past and still unresolved issues.

Danielle Eaton’s portrayal of Izzy, the younger sister of the grieving mother, is excellent. Izzy is a vivacious young adult whose immaturity gets in the way of her compassion. Eaton has performed ably in numerous musical productions on the CLT stage, and her fine dramatic talent is now becoming evident. She moved from musicals to an outstanding dramatic debut last year in the role of Mayella Ewell in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Carmela Castro has the role of the maternal grandmother. Her good intentions at sympathy get wrapped up in her own incomplete feelings about the death of a son years earlier.

Castro is making her first appearance with CLT, and it is a pleasant introduction to her high-quality talent. She has been active in theatrical presentations in the Freeport area.

Christopher Dowling plays the young driver of the car involved in the accident. He gives a fine performance with his low-key but extremely honest look at his own grief.

Dowling, who is also making his CLT debut, has studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Britt’s direction keeps the appropriate focus on all five actors and their individual places in the healing process. She explained that the play is not about the tragedy itself, but rather about the way people cope with it and move toward the light at the end of the tunnel through the “Rabbit Hole.”

Remaining shows

WHAT: “Rabbit Hole”

WHO: Community Little Theatre

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 8-9; and  2 p.m. Sunday, June 10.

WHERE: Great Falls Performing Arts Center, 30 Academy St., Auburn

TICKETS: Call 783-0958 or visit to www.laclt.com


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