“Sometimes living in a fairytale world doesn’t work out,” said Brian Hatch ‘12 to Shannon Singley ’11 at the Feb. 25 preview of Rollins Improv Players (RIP) new form RIPtide. This new form is very different from RIP’s usual Cut-To or Variations on a Theme.
Rather than focusing on multiple characters in a short form, RIPtide focuses on one protagonist in long form. In Friday’s show, Singley played the part of the protagonist struggling with all the trials and tribulations thrown at her. At times, she definitely was not living in a fairy tale world as she dealt with her fiancé (who was postponing their wedding), her jealous sisters, and her disapproving future father-in-law.
Dr. David Charles (Dr. D), began working on this form about three months ago. He based his inspiration on “the power of other people in our life to define who we are.”
As the story unfolded, Singley’s character was faced with many ugly truths; she learned that sometimes love is not enough to make a marriage work and that naming your son Nicholas can damn him to a miserable life. She also learned from Hatch’s character that, while it is nice to try to live in a fantasy world, not all fairy tales can be realities.
This form of RIP is a big departure from its normal repertoire. There is less slapstick comedy and more drama, but it also provides the players a chance to develop deeper storylines and more involved characters. After the show, Singley said that she enjoys this form greatly. “We really get to be more involved with the characters… I like this because it is a challenge.”
During the notes following the show, the players discussed how they felt about their first run-through in front of an audience. “I’m just so proud of us,” commented Alexis Riley ’12. “I thought we did a great job keeping the continuity today,” Jenn Stull ’12 added. Considering the fact that they have only run through the form a handful of times recently, they did a decent job.
RIPtide is much more complicated than any other RIP form. Normally, each show only consists of eight or so players, but RIPtide has up to 14 or 15 people per show. It was easy to see at times that Singley had to do extra thinking to keep track of which actor played what role in her life, but, in general, she proved herself to be a good choice as the protagonist.
Overall, the preview was a success. All of the players managed to keep their own storylines afloat during the hour-long performance, adding a bit of the traditional RIP humor in here and there to keep the show alive.
Someone watching the show for the first time would most likely not be able to tell that RIP had only rehearsed this form for fewer than 10 hours. There is always room for improvement, however. As they grow more confident in their new form, and in the nuances in their stry telling, they will be able to put on an even stronger show.