Five Questions with Rachel McNamara

We nabbed some time with Rachel McNamara ahead of Rabbit Hole coming to the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre 26-28 November 2019. She is and has been part of HotHouse Theatre’s programs to support independent theatre practice in the region.

What inspired you to choose this work?

We chose this work for a few reasons. The first is that it’s a brilliant play.  The second is that it’s a text that lends itself to working using the Strasberg method and we wanted Gabriella Rose Carter to direct the work.

I was lucky enough to attend an artist retreat with Gabriella Rose Carter a few years ago – who trained in New York at the Strasberg Institute – and we had been trying to find the right play to work on together. Rabbit Hole is a play that she had always wanted to direct.

Thematically it’s a story that I really want to tell. My father died suddenly just before I began my training as an actor and I’ve always been somewhat drawn to stories about grief. As a mother of a four year old, I feel so deeply for Becca and her circumstances.

And we chose the play because we were able to use the amazing talents of Ben Tari – who I met at channel seven many years ago and who relocated to Albury with his family just at the perfect time – and Gretchen Prowse who is a phenomenal HSC drama teacher….but also an exquisite actress. All three of us had been working as teachers and felt we were ready to return to craft of the right role came up….and David Lindsay-Abaire has written just those characters!

What is this show about?

Rabbit Hole is a love story. It’s about a family growing back together after loss. It’s about how we make space for grief in our own lives and the lives of others.

Why is this story important now?

We have all been touched by loss in some way. Loss of a loved one, a pet, a friendship, a dream… And the way that we move through loss and support each other in the face of loss speaks to the core of our humanity.

This place is a reminder that there is hope, that we can laugh and grow back together and that we all grieve differently.

What is the key learning you are taking away from the theatre making process?

That it’s possible to live regionally and work professionally. That we can create unique models of making work so that we can work with artists that we admire.

What does an organisation like HotHouse Theatre mean to you?

So much!

Outpost, CELSIUS, artist talks, workshops and masterclasses… all these programs have validated and galvinised us as a community of theatre makers.
And the best is yet to come. As someone who wants to make powerful theatre and have great conversations, I’m so excited about the 2020 HotHouse Theatre season.

Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire plays from 26 November at the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre for three performances only.

Bookings can be made here.