A few weeks ago, The Sandspur ran an article regarding the development of the new show, It’s All Greek to Me. At the time, the cast was still working on developing the complex fundamentals of the show. Now, its members are going into their first run-through of the production. To refresh your memories, Greek, as the show is more commonly called, is a long-form improvised show based on Greek tragedies. Associate Professor of Theatre David Charles, also known as Dr. D, conceived the show.
On March 25, the entire cast gathered in the Annie Russell Theatre, ready to begin the run-through of the show. Before rehearsal began, Dr. D gave his cast members a few words of wisdom to help them prepare for their roles. “I don’t want anyone to get frustrated if we do something wrong,” he said before they started. Naturally, there were several pauses where questions were answered and mistakes were corrected, but Dr. D consistently reminded his cast that this was only a rehearsal, not the real show.
Though Dr. D has directed a full-length improvised play on the Annie before, Greek is unlike any other show Rollins has seen. For starters, every night’s show will differ based on what tragedy’s plot and characters the cast is pulling from for that performance. But, instead of focusing on the main character of the tragedy, they focus the attention around a different plotline so that they are not just repeating a tale that everyone knows.
Though there are a handful of lead characters, most of the ensemble is comprised of a chorus that narrates and adds balance to the story. During the recent run-through, Kaitlyn Schirard ’11 played multiple roles, including those of Narcissus and the Messenger. “The most difficult part is the most rewarding because we’re on stage and the situation is scary and what’s really comforting is when we’re alone in the spotlight, you still have a chorus of peers supporting you,” she said after her rehearsal. She added that she is having an amazing time working with Dr. D and the rest of her cast members on Greek. “I don’t think there are words for this experience.”
While most people associate any sort of improv show on campus with Rollins Improv Players (RIP), in this situation, Dr. D opened the auditions to anyone interested. This allowed for a mix of some familiar RIP faces with other actors as well. This combination and the players’ various levels of improv training create a dynamic unique to Greek.
The cast is rapidly approaching opening night on April 15, but if its first runthrough is any sort of foreshadowing of the final performance, then audiences are certainly in for an improvised treat.