The Ringgold Playhouse (TRP) will open the second show of its 2017 season on Thursday night, April 20, with the David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Rabbit Hole."

After opening with the comedy "Southern Fried Funeral" in February, TRP is shifting gears to this heartfelt drama, which tackles some emotional subject matters and offers a small cast full of talented locals.

"It's a small show, but it has a lot of heart and a stellar cast," said Adam Cook, TRP's executive director, who is also directing this play. "We opened the season with, I think, a dozen characters in our big comedy, and now we're telling a more intimate story with only five characters. It's different, but fun at the same time, and I think our audiences appreciate the variety we offer."

The play tells the story of a young couple dealing with the recent loss of their young son in an automobile tragedy, and then tries to navigate life, family and their marriage in the aftermath of the terrible accident.

"It's one of those great pieces of theatre that not only involves a lot of emotion that accompanies such a terrible loss, but also contains very realistic and relatable characters," Cook said. "I love all types of theatre, but working on something like this that's so raw and honest has been a very rewarding experience."

The play's leads of Becca and Howie Corbett are played by TRP veterans Laurie Shaw and Timothy Shields, who worked together last year in "The Storm," which was written and directed by Cook.

"Laurie and Tim are tremendous in this show, as is the entire cast," Cook says. "That's one thing that helps when telling a story like this. ... With comedy there are quirky characters, funny situations, and timing that creates laughs. With drama I feel it's harder to win over audiences. They either buy these characters or they don't. Laurie and Tim have this chemistry after having worked together before that just clicks. When you see them work you think, 'wow, they look like a real couple dealing with real tragedy up there'."

The cast is rounded out by TRP veterans Whitney Standefer-Smith as Becca's sister, "Izzy," Kimberly Tyner Jones as their mother, "Nat," and TRP newcomer Levi Witt as "Jason," the teenager responsible for the death of the Corbett's son.

"It has really evolved into a special show," Cook said. "The cast and our stage manager, Stephanie Dickert, have been committed from day one to telling a wonderful, meaningful story, and that's what they'll be delivering to audiences when Thursday night rolls around."

Performances are April 20-22 & 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. with a special matinee performance slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29.

Tickets are $10 general admission, and $8 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased in person Monday-Friday at Ringgold City Hall, over the phone at 706-935-3061, or online at cityofringgold.com.

The play includes adult themes and some adult language.

"It's like I told the cast during our first read through, it is a sad play at times," Cook said. "It's sad, but important."

"Rabbit Hole" at The Ringgold Playhouse

When: April 20-22 & 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. Special matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29

Where: The Ringgold Depot. 155 Depot Street, Ringgold, Ga.

Cost: $10 general admission and $8 for seniors/students

Phone: 706-935-3061