The number one phobia in the world is the fear of public speaking. Imagine public speaking with no script, no paper, no note cards and no rehearsal. Then add on being thrust in front of a large audience with a group of seven other people who also have no script, paper or note cards. The task of improvising is not an easy one and Rollins Improv Players (RIP), a performance group on campus, dive headfirst into the depths of the unknown on a regular basis.
As a junior I am beginning my second year in the troupe and it is safe to say I have no idea what is going to happen. While this may strike fear in the hearts of many, the group of 15 other improvisers and I relish the opportunity to completely and totally put ourselves on the line in order to entertain the Rollins community, our audience.
Some people may be thinking, what exactly is RIP? RIP is a group of 16 students who learn different forms (long and short) of improv. Long form improv (VOAT and Cut-to) are essentially hour-long one act plays that are completely made up on the spot. We have no idea what characters, places or story lines may occur. Short form improv (RIP Tag) is much like “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” where the players compete in teams and play short improvised games. After these games the audience votes and decrees one team superior.
One does not have to be a theater major, minor or enthusiast to enjoy a RIP show. I find that people have a fear of the unknown when “theater” is mentioned. RIP shows are for anyone who likes to laugh, cry or just escape from the day for an hour. We are not perfect. These shows are unscripted and anything can happen. I have seen scenes which had audience members literally rolling on the floor in laughter and other scenes which had people awkwardly shifting in their seats. Whichever outcome, however, I can promise that improv is like any other theatrical performance you may be used to.
Dying to see a RIP show now? Today (Sept. 3) at 1 p.m. there is a long form VOAT show. Come out, take a seat and get ready for a show no one has ever seen before (and will never see again).
Want to be involved? In April RIP will have an invitational which allows non members to come out, play the games and perform with us! Shortly after that are auditions to be in the troupe. Now I know you are craving a RIP fi x before then so come out to our shows and bring your friends. I will see you there!