SALT LAKE CITY — Waiting for the World to End takes an interesting look at the nuclear apocalypse, as told through the lens of two rabbits. Twinkie (played by Jared Greathouse, who also wrote the script) and Sno-Ball (played by Tiffany A. Greathouse) seem an unusual pairing: one a test lab rabbit with salacious intent, and one a pedigreed, primped out priss. The two stumble upon each other and Twinkie immediately proposes that the two copulate and replenish the earth’s rabbit population. Sno-Ball, already engaged to another (presumably dead) rabbit, refuses, though indulges his company for a little longer. The two reveal a richer history and discourse on their lives before the end of days, with occasional ventures into the necessity of having sex with one another. Their company stands as a moment apart from the trials of the apocalypse, forging what promises to be a pleasant friendship. The rabbits’ story parallels a meeting of people, presumably in modern day. Their story is untold but foreshadowed by the rabbits’ little tale.
Overall, I liked the tone of this piece and of Elise C. Hanson‘s direction. It balanced the heaviness of a war-torn world with humor very well, and the snappy dialogue and pace of delivery kept it engaging. I loved the interaction between Twinkie and Sno-Ball, finding it very authentic and grounded as they traversed a great number of topics. Natural chemistry made them an easy pairing, and a comfort with the more physically suggestive components of the script completely obliterated any possible discomfort with the subject matter. For the most part, the script remained light and playful while touching on heavier subjects without being too on the nose. I thought that the show progressed nicely, although there was an abrupt shift right at the very end. A prolonged audio intermission lead me to believe there would be a second half, though the rabbits re-emerged as people for an extremely brief interaction. I found this a little hard to digest and thought the play might have better wrapped without this moment.
As an introduction to The Hive Theatre Company, however, I find myself looking forward to the further work this company will bring. It was an interesting take on the plethora of dystopian ideas, and the focus on interrelationship, versus the society itself, made for an emotionally compelling piece. I would suggest audiences take time to watch this fun performance.
Full disclosure: The director of this production (Elise Hanson) is a volunteer staff member for Utah Theatre Bloggers Association. Hanson had no involvement with the writing or editing of this piece. Honest criticism was encouraged.