Thunder River Theatre Company (TRTC) opened its 2023-2024 season on Sept. 15 with “Rabbit Hole” by David Lindsay-Abaire. Directed by TRTC Artistic Director Missy Moore and running until Oct. 1, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama tells the story of the Corbett family, a couple who are living the dream until a tragic accident claims the life of their young son.
“Rabbit Hole” stars TRTC newcomer Brittany Crooke as Izzy, VOICES alum Toddy Walters as Becca Corbett, TRTC veteran Libby Rife as Nat, Mark Millhone making his TRTC mainstage debut as Howie Corbett and newcomer Ricky Perez as Jason Willette. The cast of this raw and groundbreaking production have strong feelings about the play.
“I feel terrified, but in a good way. The process has been surprising. It’s like I was invited to a potluck dinner. I had a bite, thinking it was going to be like a small appetizer, but it was, instead, half of an apple pie,” Millhone stated. “It’s much more than I thought I would be chewing, but that is the beauty and the gift of challenges.”
Following “Rabbit Hole,” the season will include three more plays ranging the genres of dark comedy, absurdism and farcical material. Audiences will be in for a treat with Tracy Letts’ “The Minutes,” a new comedy that turns the tables on some of the most closely held American values. It opens Nov. 11 and runs through Nov. 26 and will also be directed by Moore.
“I started the choosing process with a political play in mind as we are headed into an election season in 2024,” Moore told The Sopris Sun. “I think the state of our political culture right now is interesting, to say the least. But I also think that fear can act as a vehicle that can cause some levity and insight.”
The third production will be Samuel Beckett’s existential drama, “Endgame,” running Feb. 16 through Mar. 3, 2024, and directed by Renee Prince. And closing out the mainstage season, June 14-30, will be “POTUS: or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive” directed by Broadway veteran Beth Malone with an all-female cast.
“I hope the audience experiences things this season that challenge them,” Moore explained. “I don’t want people to come to Thunder River just to be entertained. I want them to talk about what they shared with us, what sort of experience they had, and challenge others who might not attend the theater to come see it for themselves.”
When it came to picking the opening mainstage production, Moore stated that she was drawn to this play because she is currently going through her own process of grief after the passing of her mother, Wendy Moore, in 2022.
“I find that Western cultures shy away from what can be a beautiful experience that changes you as a person. With grief, grace follows,” she said. “You know, grief is also a shared experience on a community level, but the healing from it is very individual. I think that David Lindsay-Abaire nailed it in this play.”
Along with the mainstage productions, the TRTC annual gala is on Oct. 7, featuring the talents of acclaimed drag performer Dixie Longate. The cabaret series will continue on Dec. 17, showcasing the talents of Toddy Walters. And for those looking to ring in the new year in style, TRTC will host an immersive performing arts experience,”House of Voodoo” on Dec. 29-30, directed by Amy Kimberly and inspired by New Orleans.
TRTC is also hosting a “Theatre for Young Audiences” show on April 13-14 called “Monster in Me” directed by Cassidy Willey and focusing on navigating big feelings as a youth. Consensual Improv, which was born under the TRTC umbrella, will also be performing at the theater on May 3. Additionally, Stage of Life Theatre Company will host many shows with kids of all ages at the theater.
“It’s just a lot of exciting things happening at Thunder River Theatre Company,” Moore said. “We live in such a beautiful valley, and aren’t we lucky to do what we do here?”
To purchase a season pass, individual tickets or to receive updates, visit www.thunderrivertheatre.com or call 970-963-8200.