|Laurel Stroud (standing) as Becca and Cynthia Tupper as Nat: Each deals with loss in her own way.|
Why do bad things happen to good people? If God is merciful and omnipotent, how does He let them happen? And how can such tragedies be part of “God’s plan”? These are some of the hard questions that Laurel Stroud’s character Becca must deal with in Rabbit Hole. Becca lost her son in a car accident she is trying to figure out how to put her life back together. As Laurel says, “It was an accident, so she has no clear place to put her anger and grief. She is angry at God and snips at the people closest to her. I think she is someone who had been used to carefully planning life and successfully working out the plan. This was obviously not part of the plan, and there's nothing she can do to change it, so she doesn't know quite how to deal with it. But she hasn't given up, and I think the audience will see she is still hopeful for the future.”
Laurel enjoys playing Becca because she is “smart and talented. She likes to bake and have things in order, like I do. Family is important to her. She perseveres, even when it's hard. She is a normal person, doing the best she can in a tough situation.” But when Becca lashes out at her family to diffuse her anger, it is a fine line for Laurel to “show that Becca still loves her family, and really wouldn't have gotten through this without them.” If you know Laurel, you know how hard it is for her to say an unkind word about anyone. But as Becca, she must not only be blunt, but also swear. Laurel admits, “At first, it was tough saying the words. That sounds silly, but it's true. Becca also lashes out when she's angry and I tend to get quieter the angrier I get. She and I have different views on how God figures in to the ‘why bad things happen to good people’ issue. I had to come to terms with playing a character like that.”
How did Laurel’s own life experience help her prepare for playing Becca? As she says, “I did lose my dad a few years ago, and that was a big loss for me. But in terms of identifying with Becca, and for me, the whole "why God?" thing, I think realizing that a dream I'd had most of life wouldn't materialize comes closer. It's not going to happen, I can't do anything about it, I just have to deal and figure out what life is like in the new paradigm.”
Laurel has been a member at the Barn for almost 10 years and is currently on the Board as Director of Communications. Some of her favorite roles include, Jennie in Chapter Two, Mom in Leaving Iowa, Essie in You Can't Take It With You and Laura in Whose Wives are they Anyway? Laurel’s day job is to edit the clipsheet for Ford Motor Company.
Rabbit Hole runs from February 15th to March 2nd at the Barn Theater, 32332 West Twelve Mile Road, Farmington Hills. Reserved seats for this drama sponsored by the Center for Financial Planning, Inc. are available now at www.farmingtonplayers.org or at the box office (248) 553-2955.