What do you get when you mix frozen yogurt, a tanning salon, a strip club and horseback riding? A typical show by the Rollins Improv Players (RIP). For those who have never attended RIP shows, they consist of fast-paced humor, rapidly changing plotlines, and a lot of quick thinking.
Last Friday’s show was one of RIP’s signature long form improv shows: “Cut-To.” Dr. David Charles, known to many as “Dr. D,” collected suggestions for the one-hour show from the audience, and from there, eyes were on the players as they awaited their cues from Dr. D’s front row seat.
Amanda Leakey ’11 and Colby Loetz ’11 were the first to take the stage, playing two friends who met at the beginning of the school year. Loetz comically tried to ask Leakey out while also selling her frozen yogurt, but before the audience could get too comfortable with Leakey and Loetz, Dr. D shouted, “Cut-to!” The scenes transitioned from there, developing multiple storylines about Finding Nemo, parental disputes and the woes of freshman year.
Cut to Alexa Gordon ’13, first year RIP player. Though she has not participated in many shows thus far in her career, already she has a show preference. “I’m partial to the Cut-To [performances]… They feel more relaxed.” The initial reason Gordon decided to join RIP was because her friends were involved, but after the auditions she realized she “loved the experience,” and RIP has become one of her all-time favorite activities.
Now, cut to Travis Ray ’11, a three-year RIP veteran. After so long, it is difficult for Ray to choose a favorite type of show because he enjoys all of them, saying, “they’re different experiences.” Ray, however, was not always a person drawn to theater. “When I came [to Rollins] I was not thinking of theater. I saw how much fun they were having and thought ‘I can do that and I want to.’”
A great aspect of RIP is that every member is cut from a different background, and many of them are not involved with theater outside of the improv shows. Half the fun of the show is the knowledge that the players performing are not necessarily highly trained actors; they are simply students doing something they love.
“The mix is helpful,” Gordon said, referring to the variety of majors and interests comprised by members of the players. Ray and Gordon both agreed that if everyone were performance arts majors, the level of uniqueness in the group would not be as high and the shows would not be nearly as entertaining.
If you are interested in attending a free, one-of-a-kind performance or simply want to know more, cut to the “Rollins Improv Players… The Everyone Version” group on Facebook for more show dates and information.