16 inches of snow? Pandemic? No theater? No problem!

What does a group of actors do on the night of their final performance, during a pandemic, without a theater, after a big snow storm? The answer is, they perform.

Nothing was going to stop the cast of David Lindsay-Abaire’s show, Rabbit Hole. Colorado Academy Upper School actors Czarina Yuffa, Charlotte Smith, Annelise Agelopoulos, Christian Barnard, Nathan Truong, stage crew Natalie Rumsfeld and Ry Barthels, and director Maclain Looper put in approximately eighty-eight hours of rehearsal in order to present this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama to students and faculty. Also in attendance were the parents of the Senior actors, who braved the weather to attend. Because Jefferson County is now permitting small gatherings, we were able to invite an audience to campus for the first time this school year.

Rabbit Hole is an emotional piece, and these actors captured the complexity of each character with such sophistication and skill, even through their masks. I sat with multiple faculty members, and we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were at a high school production. We felt like we were at the DCPA.

I was tearful on multiple occasions, watching characters Becca and Howie Corbett navigate the grief of losing their young child in a tragic accident. I also realized that my emotions were heightened this year, because of the situation we are all in. I was reminded as the stage went dark, and the music was cued, that I was having a shared experience with my fellow audience members, something that has been missing this year. I was reminded how impactful live theater can be.

The impact of shared laughter and tears are what make us feel alive and keep us coming back for more. Not only did the actors bring us a show-stopping performance, the set they performed on could have been featured on Airbnb’s Luxe list. Technical Directors Steve Scherer and James Meehan, along with their technical theater students, constructed a home in the Schotters Music Center choir room. Yes, a house. Food played a large role in the story, so there had to be an operating kitchen. They did not disappoint.

This group of artists demonstrated how deeply they care about their work. Pulling off such an incredible production, especially under unusual and challenging circumstances, is something the audience and the actors will remember for many years to come.