Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Christmas Carol - Reviews

Did you see LTA Board Member Rachel Alberts and cast members from A Christmas Carol yesterday morning on Fox News!? If not, check out this link! Make sure to choose the 3rd video (under the main video screen) to see the LTA segment!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Director Robin Parker on 'A Christmas Carol'

The cast of the 2011 LTA production of A Christmas Carol (photo by Shane Canfield).  Due to overwhelming turnout, The Little Theatre of Alexandria has added a performance of the beloved Christmas classic "A Christmas Carol," Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m.  Tickets are available at

A Christmas Carol was the first play in which I ever performed. Although I was only 12, it made a huge impact on me and it continues to be one of my favorite stories. The rich characters are more to me than just characters - they serve as examples of what could have been or what could be.

Of course there is Scrooge - synonymous with all things curmudgeonly. Scrooge is the "villain" of the story. But why? He was neither dishonest nor a cheat. He worked hard, minded his own business, paid his taxes and avoided many of the vices over which we spend so much time obsessing. Scrooge's villainous flaw is that he had shut himself off - closed his heart. A Christmas Carol delves into the "whys." There is more to Scrooge than can be fully appreciated from the surface.

Scrooge's nephew, Fred, and Bob Cratchit provide another angle. While most of the characters in the story choose to avoid Scrooge for what he is, Fred loves him for who he is, beneath teh layers of regret, fear and loneliness. Fred demonstrates unconditional friendship when many of us would not. Fred and Bob Cratchit refuse to speak badly of Scrooge and, in the end, play a large role in Scrooge's redemption.

A quote from H. Jackson Brown, Jr. translates the spirit of their empathy into everyday life, "Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something." Perhaps one more kind word or shred of understanding (or bitten tongue) can make a difference. After all, it took Fred, Bob and four persistent ghostly apparitions to reach Scrooge, but reach him they did!

Robin Parker
Director, A Christmas Carol

The LTA production of A Christmas Carol runs through December 18. Tickets are available online at

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Actor Joseph Machosky Talks About 'A Christmas Carol' and His Character, Tiny Tim

Actor Joseph Machosky as Tiny Tim and Marcus Fisk
as Scrooge in the LTA production of A Christmas Carol.
Photo credit: Shane Canfield,

What attracted you to A Christmas Carol?
I knew that Tiny Tim was a nice kid and I really wanted to be Tiny Tim. I also knew the play happens in London and that it would have English accents. I really like talking in English accents.

What do you find appealing about your character?
Tiny Tim is so nice and kind and even though he is really sick he is still very happy and loves his family.

What do you want audiences to take away from the play?
I would like them to feel the true meaning of Christmas. It helps you remember that Christmas isn't about presents. It's about being kind to others and giving to those who don't have anything. It's also about loving your family.

And as Tiny Tim would say "God bless us All, God bless us everyone."
The LTA production of A Christmas Carol, directed by Robin Parker, runs through December 18, 2011. Tickets available online at

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christmas Carol - Show Photos

Thanks to Shane Canfield for taking these amazing pictures of A Christmas Carol!  A full gallery can be seen on our  LTA Facebook Page

The Fezziwigs, (Janette Moman and Larry Grey) prepare to celebrate the holidays in the Little Theatre of Alexandria's "A Christmas Carol," which opens tonight and runs until Dec. 18, 2011

The Ghost of Jacob Marley, played by Robert Heinly, warns Ebeneezer Scrooge of the fate that awaits him if he does not change his ways.
Marcus Fisk breathes life into Charles Dickens's Ebeneezer Scrooge as his nephew Fred, played by Jerry Casagrande, appeals to his better nature. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Actor Robert Heinly Talks about 'A Christmas Carol' and His Character, Marley

Actor Robert Heinly as Marley in LTA's 2011 production of A Christmas Carol.

What attracted you to A Christmas Carol?
I think the first time I experienced A Christmas Carol was in an animated version on TV when I was no more than nine or ten years old. It was just stark black and white images. I can still picture Marley's jaw dropping all the way to the floor, although it may just have been to his chest. And the Ghost of Christmas Future was terrifying too. I remember feeling so relieved and happy that Scrooge was okay the next morning. 

The themes of redemption, of living life to its fullest, of taking the opportunity - the risk - of being truly happy in this world, these are universal themes in literature. Plus, this is a story that speaks to all of humanity. Scrooge specifically is a Christian tale, but merely referentially, this character is iconic, and exists in one form or another in every culture and religion.

What do you find appealing about your character, Marley?
As a character, as in the novel, Marley is a tragic, desperate fellow. One wonders if he was as crusty as Scrooge is and they were kindred spirists, perhaps with Marley as the elder, after whose death Scrooge becomes worse and more crusty. Marley has the chance to convey his regret to an earthly man (I always remember a quote from Full Metal Jacket, "The dead know only one thing: It is better to be alive.") This is a pretty miraculous thing: what would you do with that kind of chance, and whom would you single out to speak to?

As a role onstage, he is a character actor's dream. (Mine too.) You have makeup and hair possibilities as well as costume and prop choices with which you can really go wild. You can go places with voice and movement that still requires the same honesty as the living characters, but can have a "surrealism" to them also. I tried to think of a way to do the jaw thing onstage like in the animated TV version. Any ideas?

What do you want audiences to take away from the play?
I think the most important thing for the audience to take away is Scrooge's arc, his transformation. I loved this story because I was so scared of and for this man, and therefore, so relieved the next morning when he woke up and everything was okay and he became a better man. That will be our job as actors - do you dislike Scrooge at the start? Do the people in the story make you feel negatively toward him? Do we show you how he go the way he is? Do we show you good in the world for him to see? Do we offer him a chance at redemption? And, does he make the best of it?

What do you think is different about this year's production?
I appeared in the LTA production of a A Christmas Carol in 2004, 2005 and 2006 with Mike Baker as Scrooge and Donna Farragut directing. I have played several characters, a Gentleman, Fezziwig, Spirit of Christmas Present and a Gossiper. I had a total blast doing these shows every year. This year's director, Robin Parker, has done less doubling up of roles than previous shows, in which a few actors took on several parts. So, this year's cast is larger. The street sequences and dance at the Fezziwigs looks amazing. The main differences between the earlier shows and this year's model are in the technical department. Where as Donna's show was more like a traveling troupe type show, with wonderful accompaniment on piano, Robin's production is darker, more gothic, with more of an almost hybrid reader's theatre meets Tim Burton sort of feel to it, with lots more material from the Charles Dickens' novel included in the narrative and dialogue. Music and sound effect cues abound, and we fly in bits of scenery. Donna's show had the cool practical trap door for ghostly entrances and exits. Robin has the ...oops, almost gave away some stage secrets.

I'm also glad Robin was looking for an actor to play only Marley. In Donna's show, the actor playing Marley also appeared in the mistletoe scene as Topper and had to sing. While I can sing well enough in a choir, I'm no soloist. I'm a much better growler and shrieker.

The LTA production of A Christmas Carol, directed by Robin Parker, opens December 8 and runs through December 18. Tickest available for purchase at,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Actress Janette Moman Reflects on Her Two Roles in 'A Christmas Carol'

Actress Janette Moman plays two roles in LTA's 2011 production of A Christmas Carol. She took some time outside of rehearsals to share her perspective on her roles and the play.

What attracted you to A Christmas Carol?
A Christmas Carol is a timeless story with amazing characters. Who wouldn’t want to be in it? Each character adds a richness to the story of this heart-change that Scrooge undergoes. Dickens has richness in his writing that allows the audience to experience Victorian England and the troubling economic and social issues, yet, we all still relate because of our need for a life with purpose.

What do you find appealing about the two characters you play, Mrs. Fezziwig and Mrs. Dilbur?
I love the juxposition of these characters. Mrs. Fezziwig is a benevolent soul, adoring her husband and family. She desires to bring joy and happiness to all she has the ability to touch. Even with as little as she has to offer monetarily, she endeavors to show a good time to all her friends and family and celebrate life’s special moments. Mrs. Dibur, the laundress, is the one who steals Scrooge’s bed curtains in Christmas Future. She is a worn-out, penniless woman, who will use the moment to cash-in on a chance to make a buck off of a dead man. This is an opportunity to stretch myself and play roles on both ends of the spectrum – characters of contrasting social classes, and even use different English accents.

What do you want audiences to take away from the play?
Christmas is a time to reflect on your beliefs and values. It is a time when we live more for others than ourselves. It’s something Scrooge learned for the first time that night; and it’s something worth us remembering every Christmas.
The LTA production of A Christmas Carol, directed by Robin Parker, opens December 8 and runs through December 18. Tickets available for purchase at

Friday, November 25, 2011

Actor Marcus Fisk Talks about 'A Christmas Carol'

Actor Marcus J. Fisk, left, pictured with the Ghost of Christmas Past Rachel Gray,  talked to LTA about A Christmas Carol and his character, Scrooge.

What attracted you to A Christmas Carol?
I have been involved in theatre for nearly 45 years. My father was a founding member of one of the oldest summer stock theatre companies in the country – the Huron Playhouse – while he was attending Bowling Green University on the GI Bill after WWII. My mother was a ballerina, too, so I guess theatre is in my blood. Later we were stationed in Germany when my father was in the Army and I remember my mother giving me $1.00 to go see a GI production of A Christmas Carol on Base when I was 10 years old. I got there early and sat in the front row and watched as the production crews set up for the evening’s performance. I was bowled-over. The show was terrific and after four decades of seeing theatre productions, it is probably the best show I have even seen. Until now. This production team is extremely gifted and they are adding all the Victorian, historic, and Dickens touches that will really register with the audience. Combined with a cast of great depth and talent – we hope this production will stick with audiences long after the curtain runs down. It will be one for the books.

What do you find appealing about the character Scrooge?
Dickens wrote characters – not stock figures. In his novels, the antagonists are mean, nasty or evil, but not without an underlying current of understanding of why they were the people they were. He captures the bleakness of his age, the darkness of the environment and the times in such a manner that we see what effect they had on his characters to make them that way. Scrooge is a great character and is appealing to any actor because in the beginning we see a bitter, conniving, mean-spirited person. Throughout the story we see the events that made him that way and as an audience we are able to witness the slow unraveling of that character and his evolution into a new, re-born soul. I love the many, many levels of his character and if an actor is careful, and aware of all the layers that are peeled-off as the story unfolds, the audience grows to wrap its arms around this tortured man and experience his new-found joy of Christmas.

What do you want audiences to take away from the play?
Much like today’s tough times, we face similar economic and moral woes as the Dickens’ characters did in A Christmas Carol. Scrooge helps to shine a light on those darker edges of our own characters to allow us to focus on the things that are truly important in our own lives – family, friends, the less fortunate –rather than on monetary status or social or professional station in life. As we watch Scrooge slowly unravel, reflect, then re-connect with humanity, we get to take the journey ourselves – to a place where, as Scrooge says we will “keep Christmas in our hearts and strive to keep it all the year!”

The LTA production of A Christmas Carol, directed by Robin Parker, opens December 8 and runs through December 18. Tickets are available for purchase online at

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Noises Off

Thanks to Shane Canfield for these great pictures from Noises Off! 
To see more, visit the Noises Off photo gallary on our Facebook page:

Kat Sanchez as Brooke, Gayle Nichols-Grimes as Dotty, Ron Bianchi as Selsdon,
John Crowley as Timothy, and Rachael Hubbard as Belinda
Adam Downs as Garry and Kat Sanchez as Brooke

 Rachael Hubbard as Belinda and Lars Klores as Frederick

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Noises Off - Rehearsal Photos

Thanks to LTA member Peter Hyde for taking these photos of Noises Off in rehearsal right now!  More photos can be found from our gallery on the LTA Facebook Page

Gayle Nichols-Grimes as Dotty.

Rachael Hubbard as Belinda and Lars Klores as Frederick.

Rachael Hubbard as Belinda, Gayle Nichols-Grimes as Dotty, Adam Downs as Garry, and Kat Sanchez as Brooke.

Kat Sanchez as Brooke and Adam Downs as Garry.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Noises Off Coming November 5th!

Lloyd Dallas (Director), played by Bruce Rascher, right, is the temperamental director of the play, Nothing On.  A classical director, he's only directing this play to help out his old friend Dotty, left, played by Gayle Grimes. When not fixing the blocking and working out the tech issues, he's having an affair with one of his actresses and his assistant stage manager. 
Kat Sanchez, rear left, plays Brook Ashton, a young, inexperienced actress making her stage debut. 

Noises Off runs from Nov. 5th to the 26th at the Little Theatre of Alexandria. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Noises Off Will Soon be "On" at The Little Theatre of Alexandria

Join us for this "play within a play" written by Michael Frayn.  This hilarious backstage farce follows an acting troupe as they stumble from calamitous dress rehearsal to disastrous closing night. An LTA favorite that always leaves audiences hysterical with laughter.

Noises Off will appear at LTA from November 5th to the 26th. For more, visit us at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


"It was a mash up of theater and psychology," tweeted psychologist Robin Haight, PsyD, above center,  about Rabbit Hole Talk-Back Night at The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA).

After the September 16 performance of Rabbit Hole, director Joanna Henry and cast members Andy Izquierdo, Karen Jadlos Shotts, Rebecca Lenehan, Collin Chute and Rebecca Phillips returned to the stage for an informal discussion with guest psychologist Dr. Haight, moderated by journalist Alix Spiegel of National Public Radio who works on the science desk covering psychology.

Audience members had an opportunity to learn how the cast prepared for their roles and how director Joanna Henry approached this challenging drama. In addition to sharing their insights on the characters and their relationships within the play, the cast as well as audience members, talked to Dr. Haight about the story line and the stages of grief that each character experiences and how it compares to real-life situations.

Rabbit Hole, the Pulitzer-Prize winning play written by David Lindsay-Abaire, is a touching story about the different ways a couple overcomes the accidental death of their child. Set eight months later after the loss of their son, this delicate and poignant narrative explores blame, grief and resilience.

The LTA production of Rabbit Hole has been lauded by DC area theater critics. The play runs through October 1st. Tickets can be purchased online,


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Fall Classes for Adults & Youth Begin; Free Talk-Back Event on Friday, September 16

Classes for Adults and Youth
Still figuring out what types of weekend and after-school activities to enroll your kids in? The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA) offers a variety of classes for youth of all ages, including Singing for Musical Theatre (grades 2 -10);  Creative Movement and Acting for Little Stars (grade kindergarten); Acting for First & Second Graders; Animals in Action Theatre (grades K- 2);  After-School Creative Dramatics (grades 3 -5); Shakespeare Shenanigans (grades 3 - 8) and High School Improv. Details and a listing of additional youth class topics are available on the LTA website,

LTA offers a host of adult classes too, including improv, playwriting, and beginning and advanced acting. Information on adult classes is available on the LTA website,

Talk-Back Night, Friday, September 16 at 10pm (FREE EVENT)
Join The Little Theatre of Alexandria for a conversation moderated by National Public Radio reporter Alix Spiegel with Rabbit Hole director Joanna Henry, the cast and guest psychologist Dr. Robin Haight as they discuss overcoming and processing loss and how the director and cast approached the subject matter and roles. Rabbit Hole cast includes an award-winning ensemble of actors: Andy Izquierdo, eight-time nominee and three-time winner of the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH); Rebecca Lenehan, also a WATCH recipient; Karen Jadlos Shotts, two-time WATCH awardee for Best Actress; Rebecca Phillips and Collin Chute.

Rabbit Hole is a touching story about the different ways a couple overcomes the accidental death of their child. Set eight months later after the loss of their son, this delicate and poignant narrative explores blame, grief and resilience. LTA continues its long tradition of powerful dramas with this challenging Pulitzer-prize winning play written by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by Joanna Henry, produced by Rachel Alberts and Bobbie Herbst.

Talk-Back is a FREE event and starts at 10pm, immediately following performance of Rabbit Hole. The play is from 8 - 10pm.  Tickets are required for the play.

Rabbit Hole runs from September 10 through October 1, 2011. Tickets available for purchase online,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rabbit Hole Receives Strong Accolades from Theatre Reviewers

Director Joanna Henry and the cast of Rabbit Hole - Andy Izquierdo, Karen Jadlos Shotts, Rebecca Lenehan, Collin Chute and Rebecca Phillips - delivered a compelling and touching performance during opening weekend. And, early reviews agreed.

Joe Adcock of Show Biz Radio wrote, “The company’s current production is a nicely calibrated, skillfully acted, effectively staged Rabbit Hole. The play is in no way simple or easy. But director Joanna Henry manages to balance the many dark elements — sorrow, anger, blame, guilt, depression, despair — with startling whiffs of comic oxygen. Her designers provide a versatile single setting, offering opportunities for multi-character coffee klatches, one-on-one living room confrontations and a bedroom for isolation or contemplation. And the actors — for the most part, anyway — manage to shade what could be simple, one-quality sketch characters into strikingly colorful dramatic portraits.” (Full  Show Biz Radio review available online,
According to Joel Markowitz of MD Theatre Guide, "This drama is centered around a tragedy, and depicts how the aftermath affects the emotions and relationships in this family. While most definitely not lighthearted fare, it is extremely real and does involve quite a bit of reviving humor. The performances are terrific and the actors all show excellent range. The direction is also fantastic, and effectively walks the fine line of keeping the play from becoming too somber, while never losing respect for the situation. Rabbit Hole is definitely a worthy night of theatre." (Full MD Theatre Guide review available online,

And Rich Massabny, Arlington Weekly News TV (Comcast Channel 69) said: “The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA) has a powerful five-person drama, Rabbit Hole written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Joanna Henry. I never saw the movie with Nicole Kidman, but I’m darn satisfied with this production on LTA’s stage. The story centers around the recent death of a couple’s four year old son who was accidentally hit by a car. Karen Jadlos Shotts (Becca) and Andy Izquierdo (Howie) are the conflicted, recovering parents. Rebecca Phillips (Izzy) is Becca’s sister and Rebecca Lenehan, their mother. People warned me that Rabbit Hole would be a downer and depressing, however, it wasn’t. As Shotts puts it, “It’s about moving on.” It’s not sad at all and the cast is first-class. A word about Collin Chute who plays the young man, Jason, who was driving the car that killed the four year old boy, He’s someone to watch."  

A Talk-Back night moderated by Alix Spiegel of National Public Radio with Rabbit Hole director and cast and guest psychologist Dr. Robin Haight will be held Friday, September 16  at 10pm, immediately following the Rabbit Hole performance. Talk-Back event is free and open to the general public.

Rabbit Hole runs through October 1, 2011. For ticket purchase, visit

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rabbit Hole - Double Tech

Thanks to William Shotts for capturing Double Tech weekend for Rabbit Hole.  Below are a few pictures from our gallery found on our Facebook page:

Collin Chute (Jason) and Karen Jadlos Shotts (Becca)

Nancyanne Burton (Set Dressing) and Bobbie Herbst (Producer)

Rebecca Phillips (Izzy)

Karen Jadlos Shotts (Becca) and Rebecca Phillips (Izzy)

Rebecca Lenehan (Nat)

Friday, September 2, 2011

WATCH Award Winner Rebecca Lenehan shares thoughts on Pulitzer winning play "Rabbit Hole"

 WATCH-award-winning actress Rebecca Lenehan, right, will portray "Nat" in the upcoming production of Rabbit Hole, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning drama by David Lindsay-Abaire

Rebecca Lenehan, a recipient of the Washington Area Theater Community Honors (WATCH) prize, took a moment to reflect on "Nat," the character she will portray in the Pulitzer-Prize-winning production of Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire at the Little Theater of Alexandria.  

What attracted you to Rabbit Hole?
First of all it struck me as a very intelligent and brave play. The author David Lindsay-Abaire has written a story about a small family at an intersection - not only in their relationships within the family dynamic, but he went out on a limb and created a gutsy challenge for the actors as well.  Each of the characters are absolute individuals - each with their own history, and their own personal baggage - colliding within the tragedy they are trying to manage within the span of play with honesty and humor.  And that dysfunctional inter-dependency can be quite messy to navigate - but with an experienced director and actors to work with - I knew it would be a rich and rewarding experience for me. 

Is the role of Nat harder than others you’ve played?
Yes - particularly because I had to process the grief my character has endured to meet the unsentimental bar that is set in story.  It is very clear - it is in the lines, and the way in which my character Nat - expresses herself.  I fell in love with Nat because she has chosen to not pity herself or her children.  She is a simple woman, and she is so honest and outright hilarious when she tries to make a point because she makes no excuses for her lack of education or how the world works.  Most of all Nat has an inner strength that is so lovable, and so misunderstood.  That complexity makes her vulnerable to being hurt - and ever more tolerant and understanding as the play progresses.  It is my job to pilot that journey. 

What have you learned about yourself playing Nat?
Oh boy - that is tough to share, because for me as an actor a role like this never leaves you - it becomes so personal.  Nat inspires me to never give up - to press on and through whatever life throws at you.  Nat has reminded me that as long as we are really doing our best - there is hope.  Her faith to see past circumstances, tragedy, and accidents - is the little voice in the heart of this play.  As an actor Nat has taught me to look for the truth in the soul of a character - and begin there.

What do you want audiences to take away from this play?
My hope is that I have sparked someone's decision to return to their family, and begin again.  Humility fosters integrity.  I want Nat and the Rabbit Hole family to stir a desire to forgive - even if it is impossible to forget.              

Rabbit Hole Talk-Back Night

Talk-Back Night with Rabbit Hole Director and Cast
Moderator Alix Spiegel of National Public Radio,
includes guest Psychologist Dr. Robin Haight

Rabbit Hole is a touching story about the different ways a couple overcomes the accidental death of their child.  Set eight months later after the loss of their son, this delicate and poignant narrative explores blame, grief and resilience.

Join The Little Theatre of Alexandria for a conversation moderated by National Public Radio reporter Alix Spiegel with the director and cast of Rabbit Hole and guest psychologist Dr. Robin Haight as they discuss overcoming and processing loss and how the director and cast approached the subject matter and roles.

LTA continues its long tradition of powerful dramas with this challenging Pulitzer-prize winning play written by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by Joanna Henry and produced by Rachel Alberts and Bobbie Herbst.


Alix Spiegel, a National Public Radio reporter, works on the science desk and covers psychology.  She is the recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award, Livingston Award, and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

Robin Haight, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Northern Virginia, works with the adolescents, adults and couples, helping them move forward with their lives.  She oversees public education initiatives for the Northern Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists (NVACP).

Joanna Henry, director of Rabbit Hole, has directed more than 65 productions over the past 20 years.  Recipient of two ACT Awards for best director and 2005 nominee for the Alexandria Arts Commission's Alex Award for Education in the Arts, she is also a drama and literature teacher at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria.

The Rabbit Hole Cast - An award winning ensemble of actors: Andy Izquierdo, eight time nominee and three time recipient of the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH); Rebecca Lenehan, also a WATCH recipient; Karen Jadlos Shotts, two time WATCH awardee for Best Actress; Rebecca Phillips and Collin Chute.  Additional information about the cast is available online,

Friday, September 16, 2011, immediately following the performance of Rabbit Hole. 
Play is from 8pm - 10pm. (Tickets required for play. Talk-Back is FREE.)
The Little Theatre of Alexandria
600 Wolfe Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rabbit Hole - Promo Video

Rabbit Hole - Voice Over Session

Special thanks to Dean McDonnell for helping the Rabbit Hole team with their voice over!  Below are some photos from the voice over session and more photos can be seen on our Facebook page:

Andy Izquierdo (Howie)

Alan Wray (Sound Designer) and Dean McDonnell

Dean McDonnell

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rabbit Hole Director shares her thoughts

Rabbit Hole Director Joanna Henry, pictured above,  took a moment to reflect on the upcoming drama "Rabbit Hole," opening at The Little Theatre of Alexandria September 10th. 

  • What attracted you to Rabbit Hole?
I love the honesty in this play.  It's about real people who are trying their best - just like all of us.  To be honest, the first time I read this play, I laughed out loud at all of the funny scenes.  That was a surprise.
  • Even though the play is about a family struggling with the death of a child, you’ve said that Rabbit Hole is not a "downer." What is uplifting about this play?
The author, David Lindsay-Abaire, has said that ultimately Rabbit Hole is a "play about hope...Hope of getting through, that there is something down the line."  To me, these characters are highly functional, unsentimental, spirited, and often funny people.  I like that they're presented as normal people trying to do the best they can as they move on in their lives.
  • What has been the biggest challenge in directing Rabbit Hole?
I guess it would have to be finding that balance between the humor in the play and the emotionally dramatic moments.  This cast has been very willing to go to different and sometimes difficult places in the rehearsal process.  It's a delicate play, and I wanted to make sure we didn't overdo the dramatics, but concentrate on the fragility of these characters and their relationships. 
  • What do you want audiences to experience when they see this play?
I hope that audiences connect with these characters.  The family is dealt a blow to their everyday lives.  We've all had that happen to us in one way or another.  One moment has changed their lives.  It brings home that all of our lives are reduced to simple moments in time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rabbit Hole

New photos posted from our Rabbit Hole rehearsals from August 18. 
Thank you to LTA Member Peter Hyde for taking the photos!

To view our entire gallery, visit our Facebook page at:

Collin Chute (Jason), Karen Jadlos Shotts (Becca), Zell Murphy (Assistant Stage Manager), Alexis Rose (Co-Stage Manager), and Joanna Henry (Director)

Rebecca Phillips (Izzy)

Karen Jadlos Shotts (Becca)

Andy Izquierdo (Howie) and Karen Jadlos Shotts (Becca)

Collin Chute (Jason)

Andy Izquierdo (Howie)

Joanna Henry (Director) and Rebecca Lenehan (Nat)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rabbit Hole

Set construction and rehearsals continue for Rabbit Hole! 
See how the show is progressing with photos caputred below:

Andy Izquierdo (Howie) and Karen Jadlos Shotts (Becca)

Alexis Rose (Stage Manager) and Joanna Henry (Director)

Collin Chute (Jason) and Rebecca Lenehan (Nat)

Andy Izquierdo (Howie), Rebeeca Phillips (Izzy), and Karen Jadlos Shotts (Becca)

Thank you to Bobbie Herbst, Peter Hyde, and Tina Barry for taking photos!
To see more photos, check out our facebook page below:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rabbit Hole

Rebecca Phillips plays Izzy, the scrappy younger sister of our protagonist Becca. Unlike Becca, who loves to bake and is always making delicious desserts, Izzy isn’t very good in the kitchen. She can tell you where to find the fridge and the microwave. That’s about it. Here is some thoughtful dining advice from the expert:

Izzy Makes Dinner: Days of the Week Take-Out Menu

It can be hard to find good food on a tight budget, and no one knows that better than me.  Rather than cook, I leave food preparation to the experts.  The experts who make cheap food.


1 Large 3-topping Hand-tossed Pizza
                Toppings: Italian sausage, bacon, salami

Notes from the food critic: Mondays are the worst.  I hate Mondays.  Pizza makes me happy, therefore I order pizza.  I go back and forth between Mama Rigatoni’s and Leonardo’s Pizzeria because they’re both fantastic (don’t even talk to me about Domino’s or Pizza Hut…those are sorry excuses for pizza).  But right now I have to recommend Mama Rigatoni’s because they have this sweet deal where you can get a large 3-topping pizza for only $7.99!! I’m totally serious!  There is a god.  Load it up with whatever meat you’re craving and thank me later for the satisfying dinner you just had.


Chicken and Bacon Ranch Footlong Sub Sandwich
                Sides: Lays Classic Potato Chips
Notes from the food critic: Yesterday you treated yourself to a meat extravaganza that was well-deserved, but to make up for it you have to make healthier choices today.  Not only is a $5 footlong an incredible steal, this sandwich is loaded with vegetables.  I usually take the onions, green peppers, and tomatoes off, though.  Disgusting.  Replace the discarded veggies with a more delicious and equally nutritious vegetable: potatoes.  Grab a bag of Lays Classic potato chips to complete the meal.  If you get the baked ones you’re hurting no one but yourself.


$5 Buck Box Cheesy Gordita Crunch
                Includes: Cheesy Gordita Crunch, Burrito Supreme, and Crunchy Taco

Notes from the food critic: It is so important to have a multicultural appreciation of food.  Americans do a great job with dinner, but let us not neglect the culinary genius of our neighbors to the south.  Mexican food is so good I basically consider it a category within American food.  Taco Bell is my Mexican cuisine of choice, not only because they are passionate about nacho cheese sauce, but because they have this Fourthmeal campaign going.  Anyone who believes we should have four meals a day instead of three is a friend of mine.


Bacon Cheeseburger with Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo, and Lettuce
                Side: Regular Cajun Style French Fries

Notes from the food critic: It’s no secret that you can get a burger just about anywhere.  And while I’ve been to many a McDonalds and Burger King, the best burger I’ve ever eaten came from Five Guys.  They know that a regular burger should have TWO succulent beef patties.  In fact, they consider a burger with one patty “little.”  Their regular-sized fries are enough for two people, and consequently, the perfect amount for me.  Finally someone gets it.  And remember that something as simple as adding lettuce to your burger is not only a healthy choice, it also serves to keep your sister from harassing you about not eating enough vegetables.


Outback Special 9 oz steak
Sides: Sweet Potato with Honey Butter and Brown Sugar & Aussie Fries

And because you deserve dessert…

Chocolate Thunder from Down Under: I hate when restaurants try to do the brownie and ice cream thing and they just fail.  Who wants a stale and flavorless brownie?  But this thing is the real deal.  And they even put the ice cream in its own styrofoam container so it doesn’t melt all over the brownie when you drive home.  I LOVE Australians.

Notes from the food critic: My stupid friend Reema goes to Outback and gets a salad.  A SALAD.  Sometimes I don’t know why I’m friends with her.  Anyway, a steak at Outback may cost a lot, but you just spent five days at work and you hate your life so celebrate that the weekend is finally here.  Go big or go home.  Oh and when the guy at the pick-up window tells you the total for the food, request that he repeat it in an Australian accent.  They love that stuff.  Also it’s in their contracts that they can’t refuse you.


I chose not to include Saturday and Sunday in this article.  That’s because I believe everyone needs a little variety and you gotta shake things up on the weekend.  I usually go to my sister’s and eat whatever she’s making anyway.

-Rebecca Phillips (Izzy)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hairspray Talk Back with Mink Stole

Special thanks to Mink Stole and the cast and crew of HAIRSPRAY for an interesting, informative, and fun evening last Friday for LTA's Hairspray Talk Back. 

A very special thanks to photographer, Susan Braun for taking photos at the event. 
To see a complete gallery of photos, please visit our Facebook page at: