RIT Players is pleased to announce that Clue! will be our spring show. Adapted from the 1985 film, Clue! promises an evening of hilarity, mystery and mayhem. Stay tuned for more details about this performance.
By: Brittany Remington
That is right, you clicked on the graduating senior, sappy blog post. Sorry for that. I will try to keep it as sap-less as possible. It has been a crazy four years with the RIT Players.
When I first came to RIT in 2009, I had every intention of trying new things. Finding a new, cool hobby or joining a sorority. I believed that I was going to leave the theatre experience behind me, at least for a little while but I ended up going to the first Players meeting of the year with another friend from the floor who also had a love of theatre but wanted to try new things. I got trapped. One meeting led to one 24 Hour Show which led to one audition which led to another which led to running for eboard.
The Players were the most welcoming bunch of people (and continue to be every year) that challenged my theatre abilities and comfort level constantly. I was given multiple opportunities to be a director, a show coordinator, an actor, hold leadership positions in the organization, artistic direct, attempt to do build sets, take trips to NYC and the local theatre productions here in Rochester. All this while I was getting to know wonderful people I will always consider to be my best friends. The organization not only helped me develop as a leader but as a person growing in confidence and experience every day.
Were there times they drove me crazy? Of course! But I wouldn’t take back those moments of insanity or frustration for anything. As I progressed through college, I did try new clubs and organizations (about five or six others) but the only one that stayed constant was the RIT Players. I can’t even begin to list the times I promised myself that I would take the quarter off from Players and ended up auditioning or somehow working behind the scenes instead. The people in Players helped me get through some of the worst times and were always there to help celebrate the best with me while continuing to fuel my passion for theatre.
While I may not be directly involved with the RIT Players anymore, I still have full intentions on coming back to Rochester to see shows and friends.
Brittany is a recent graduate from RIT with a Bachelors of Science degree in Advertising & Public Relations. With the RIT Players she was Communications Officer, Vice President, Marketing Director, Artistic Director, Director, Show Coordinator, Actress, and attempted to help Tech.
By: Jessica VanGiessen
Need a way to relax after your week 10 woes? What better way than a FREE, that’s right free night of live theater. For one night only, RIT Players and RIT Improv come together for The Last Hurrah! The Last Hurrah is a spinoff of last year’s
Variety Show by the RIT Players. This show featured many different scenes, songs and even poetry by members of the club. With its great success, the RIT Players decided to give it another go this year. This year, the RIT Players are teaming up with RIT Improv. This way we are able to bring the audience more variety in live theater experience and provides an opportunity to send their seniors off in style.
RIT Improv will be doing three different sets including short form games, a Harold and a Lightning Pillar Bucket-A-Thon. In between the Improv sets, the RIT Players will be performing different acts including “Me and My Dick” from Me and My Dick, “It Takes Two” from Into the Woods and “La Vie Boheme” from Rent. So on Saturday May 11 make sure you stop by Webb Auditorium at 8 PM to see The Last Hurrah! After all, variety is the spice of life!
For more information on this event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/233125530163261/?fref=ts
Jessica is a second year Electrical Engineering major at RIT. With the RIT Players she has acted, directed, written and holds the position of Props and Costumes Manager.
By: Hannah Schwob
The RIT Players have returned
to the stage for their spring production, The Rimers of Eldritch. Written in the early 1960s by Pulitzer prize winning author Lanford Wilson, it creates a complex web of characters, stories, and cultural context that has made it one of the most challenging productions that I’ve been a part of in my past fourteen years of theater.
The show depicts a deteriorating coal town in Missouri where sin hides behind the facade of morality and those who do not conform to these principles live a life of isolation. Each of these seemingly innocent characters conceals their conflicts behind closed doors; but their stories overlap seamlessly in a collective tale of crime, secrets, and deceit.
Lanford Wilson, best known for Hot L. Baltimore and Fifth of July, has penned a beautiful and intricate script for this show. We called in the big guns and turned to our club advisor, Jerry Argetsinger, a man with 50 years of theater experience and an impressive theatrical resume, to direct Rimers of Eldritch. It is all thanks to his direction (accompanied by our talented assistant director, Tom Weekes,) that we have brought this production from a mess of confusing sentences on paper to a full-fledged academic performance. However, in order to put on the pretense of a polished show we obviously had to go through some major obstacles to get here, and this is why:
Why I personally had a tough time with this script
1.) There aren’t any specified scenes, just Act I and Act II.
2.) Therefore lines, actions, scenes, times, and locations overlap in a completely non-linear fashion.
3.) Stage directions (if any) can be vague and misleading.
4.) Nearly every single one of the 17 characters in this show are required to be on stage for the entire duration of the play (lots of time in rehearsal).
5.) Language has obviously evolved in the last half a century (I mean who still uses the term “batty as a g–d-mn loon” these days?).
6.) We have to sound like southerners.
Even after having run through this script at least two dozen times, I still have found subtle nuances, connections, and arcs, which as an actor, has made my job more rewarding. Rehearsals have gone from being slow and choppy to fluid and insightful, each time a new we run through the show a new layer is added to the story. It’s been an exhausting journey but a gratifying one.
Despite the long rehearsals, the daunting script, and the mounting piles of homework, I have and always will love the process of a performance. Creating something out of nothing, collaborating with others who are just as passionate about a project as you, and seeing your hard work pay off opening night make it all worth it.
We get to grow not only as actors but also as friends. After all, we have been spending an average of 11 hours of rehearsal time together each week. It’s like getting to hang out with my “family away from home” every day and be goofy and dumb and constantly tweet and snapchat each other from across the room. If you search for a similar kind of community as the one fostered amongst a cast you won’t be able to find one.
If this post hasn’t made you want to run right out and buy your ticket for The Rimers of Eldritch I don’t know what will, perhaps the fact that tickets are only $5 for students with an RIT ID and $8 for general admission. Our three performances will be held in Ingle Auditorium Friday April 26th and Saturday April 27th at 8pm, and Sunday April 28th at 2pm. The play contains some strong language and mature themes meant for mature audiences only.
Hannah is a second-year photojournalism major who has acted in multiple RIT Players shows. She is currently the communications officer.
By: Gary Gellerson
No high school student can truly grasp how great of a change college is, which is why it is important to know how to manage your time in your first year. When I was in high school, I was a theatre nut, so when I heard about the RIT Players, I knew that I wanted to get involved! When it comes to your first year, there are so many opportunities to become involved with Players. My first true experience with Players was when I acted during the Fall 24 Hour Show. The great thing about the 24 Hour Show is that you can participate in just about anything. No matter your previous acting experience, if you want to act, you will act! When coming in as a freshmen, I used to think of myself as the “top dog” and when I saw all of these talented people, I thought I had no chance in making any show that they put on, but when I saw that everyone who auditioned was given a part, I jumped on it. I had a great time doing the show, but not just because I love theatre. The group that I had worked with was so kind and inviting, there was no way that I couldn’t remain interested. I then learned that everything was student run, the acting, directing and even the tech, which made me want to contribute to the club. I wanted to be a part of such a fantastic group that all worked together to make something amazing, but the best part was that they were all my peers! Never before had I seen something like this on such a large scale! That is when I decided that I was going to audition for one of their larger shows.
When I went to audition for Evil Dead: The Musical, I thought that I had no chance of getting a role. With close to thirty people auditioning and only eleven parts were available, I wasn’t sure if I could show the directors that I could hold my own against some of the others who may have had more acting experience. After a lot of self-loathing, I received a part!
Being a freshman and auditioning for a role may look daunting, but I learned that you just have to go for it! Audition and do not care if you look bad or not! Having a part in the show can definitely have its advantages and disadvantages.
Further into the year, I went to New York City with the Players. Since I had been close with the Players for the whole year, I was good friends with all of the people who went. This was my first “school” trip where nothing was structured except for one show that we all went to see together. It was so different from anything else that I had done up until that point. I never really went on a trip without parents or without a teacher or chaperone to accompany me. I was truly a great time! We saw two amazing shows, one that everyone who went saw, “Matilda,” and the other I went to see was “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” which starred Matthew Broderick! Other people went to see “The Last 5 Years.” Going to New York City with Players was a new and unique experience, that I would recommend!
College seems a lot more terrifying when you are in a show and a freshman. You have to adjust to the insane amounts of studying, the homework that seems impossible and trying to avoid that oh so terrible “freshman fifteen.” A show adds rehearsals and memorizing lines to the chaotic mess that marks a huge change in your life. It is difficult, but possible. You may be up until three in the morning, but welcome to college! If you are doing something that you love, you do not mind staying up that late at night, trying to finish a lab due in ten minutes. When the curtain opens on opening night and you see the audience, trust me, it is worth it.
Gary is a first year software engineering major at RIT. During his time with the RIT Players he has acted and participated on the marketing committee.
Once I was a freshman, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, ready for any challenge that could arise. Now I’m a second year, still ready for any challenge, but with some pro tips in my wheelhouse. Lucky you, you get to find out all the secrets, even if you don’t want to be props and costumes.
Tip number 1: Don’t sweat the small stuff. This is perhaps the most important tip I have learned from being a costumes and props manager. You have to make many decisions about keeping things, organizing things, and keeping your volunteers in line. There are many things to keep track of, so if you run into a small hiccup, don’t panic.
Tip number 2: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Costumes and Props manager is a demanding position. I didn’t do it alone and that was what made all the difference. If I hadn’t had my co-manager helping me out, who knows where I’d be. Ask for help. Players is about supporting each other, people won’t mind helping you.
Tip number 3: The director is your best friend. Get to know the directors of shows. If you can glean their vision telepathically, great, if not, you’ll need to be able to discuss things with them and make sure you get your points across. It’s important to be on the same page.
Tip number 4: Delegate. Sometimes you have to create things. This year alone, we needed a moose puppet and a fully functioning hand puppet. That is not exactly something you can afford on an average budget, so it is off to the DIY section So You Want to Run Costumes and Props Home Depot. No creative talent? Well, lucky for you there is a club full of people with many talents. Pick one of them and ask if they will help you out. It is the best way to get others involved and to keep yourself from ripping your hair out trying to make something last minute.
Tip number 5: Be flexible. Sometimes props get broken. Sometimes people forget to return things. Sometimes people don’t show up to help. You have to be able to adapt. It is easier than it sounds, I promise you. Don’t be afraid to compromise. Things will always work out. In a nutshell, that is the bare bones survival guide to costumes and props. It sounds scary and intimidating and downright torturous, but it’s also rewarding and completely unique. Give it a shot. You would be surprised at how well it can turn out for you, I know I was.
Leslie Bowen Leslie is a second year electrical engineering major at RIT. With the RIT Players she has acted, been the assistant to the artistic director, and props and costumes manager. Next year she will serve on the RIT Players Eboard as the programming officer.
By: Vasilios Anton
I didn’t want my college theater life to be a repeat of my high school theater life. It took me two years to immerse myself in my high school’s theater club. I touched on all aspects throughout those three years, though: sound, lighting, acting, and stage managing. When I arrived at RIT in the fall, I threw myself onto RIT Players’ tech team. On their annual trip to Darien Lake, I learned that the previous stage manager recently graduated and the club needed a new stage manager for their upcoming performance of Evil Dead: The Musical. I jumped on the opportunity. I talked to one of the directors and began attending the rehearsals.
The duties of a stage manager are varying. A stage manager takes over the production once the director is finished with everything. During the performances, a stage manager is required to call the cues for every part of tech (sound, light, scene changes, etc.). If something goes wrong, such as a prop left on stage, the stage manager must find a way to correct the error without the audience noticing the slip.
Before I knew it, Evil Dead entered Hell Week and I would soon be “taking over” the show. Although I was considered an active member according to the club’s constitution, I was still scared to run what was going to be one of the club’s largest productions of the year. Running a production always gets my adrenaline pumping, but the other, older members of RIT Players that were part of my run crew made me remember how fun the tech world is. Even though I almost blinded myself with the fake blood that was used, Evil Dead was a great way to start my RIT Players career.
I continued to stage manage with the winter show of Fuddy Meers. The experience was much more relaxed. Nevertheless, Hell Week arrives and my stress levels bumped up, my sleep levels went down, but I had an amazing time with the cast and crew. My biggest hurdle for the show was trying to move the car prop on and off the stage as quickly as possible.
For a third time this year, I will be stage managing the spring show of Rimers of Eldritch, which goes up the weekend of SpringFest. I’m exciting to be working with a large cast which is something I’m used to from high school shows of 30+ actors. I event have the opportunity of working with the club advisor and director, Jerry Argetsinger.
Tech is the crazy hectic life of theater that goes on behind all the magic on stage. No one knew that a fan stopped working during Evil Dead and the fog had to be hand blown onto the stage. No one sees the crazy costume and makeup changes that occur in less than two minutes. As a stage manager who lives backstage, I rely on my sound and lighting operators to be my eyes for the front of the stage. As stressed as I become during show week, theater is my stress relief-I know how crazy that sounds, yes. I know I will continue my tech life with RIT Players throughout my remaining three years. I always suggest people to try tech because it gives you a completely different view on a production.
Vasilios is a first year Bioinformatics major at RIT. While with the RIT Players, Vasilios jumped into the role of stage manager and participating on the marketing committee. This upcoming year, Vasilios will serve on the RIT Players Eboard as Treasurer.
By: Tom Weekes
I’m Tom Weekes and I was the Programming Officer from 2012-2013, next year I will be taking over the role of Vice President. What is a Programming Officer you ask? Well, it is my job to keep the club sane. Let me explain. Each show we do has the following side effects: Hair loss, raised blood pressure, a year off our life expectancy, indigestion, a lack of sleep and sometimes death. Okay well… it’s not that bad BUT it still gets pretty stressful and we put A LOT of time into our shows. We love doing it but it definitely takes a toll on us as students. Here is where programming officer comes it. It is the programming officer’s job to plan events, or what they are formally known by the club as, “Fun Timez”.
There are three major events the RIT Players try to do every year together. Those events include a trip to Darien Lake Amusement Park, pumpkin carving near Halloween and a NYC trip in the spring to see a show or two on Broadway. As a theater club, our calendars are pretty much booked from the beginning of the year, but fitting these little nuggets of fun in between our shows and events proves to be the best way to bond and relieve stress, so that is why we try to fit them in after shows or really early in a quarter.
The programming officer has to be the kind of person who can’t just plan event and sit back and relax because they need to worry about, “Are people going to have fun?”, “Is everything going to run smoothly?”, “Did I forget a step in the planning process?” and things of that nature. (I make it seem like I’m relaxed, shhhhh). It is my goal, that everyone can just hang out and have a good time instead of working on one Players show to the next. When you are part of the planning process, the smallest moments that make the trip or event seem to stick to your memory even more than if you had just attended.
Tom is a second-year new-media marketing major at RIT. During his time with the RIT Players he has acted, directed, written, assisted directed and held the position of programming officer on Eboard.
By: John Adam
At the beginning of spring quarter, I participated in a RIT Players tradition: The 24 Hour Show. This past show was one of the best I have had the pleasure of being a part of since coming to RIT Fall 2012. The 24 Hour Show is exactly what it says on the tin- a play written, rehearsed, and produced in 24 hours.
The 24 Hour Show is one of my favorite RIT Players events because it is 24 hours of organized chaos. It is a great way to meet a bunch of new people and try to be funny. No matter what you have or have not done in theater, it is a great time and a great opportunity to try new things. The best part is that it is only a 24-hour commitment! So if this sounds like a good way to spend 24 hours of your life, come out for the next RIT Players 24 Hour Show.
Starting on a Friday night, actors assemble in Fireside lounge and audition for the Artistic Director and Assistant Artistic Director, this 24 Hour Show the Artistic Director was Brittany Remington and the Assistant Artistic Director was Leslie Bowen. After everyone interested in acting has auditioned, the Artistic Director reveals the theme for the show, and the writers begin the long process of, well, writing. The theme chosen for this 24 Hour Show was ‘Change Your Story.’ For about six hours, writers toss ideas back and forth, until finally everyone submits their scripts to the Artistic Director, who spends another few hours choosing the best scripts, matching them with directors, and finally casting each show.
The next morning, everyone meets back up, takes their scripts and individual casts break off to rehearse. Meanwhile, the Artistic Director tries to take a nap, since they usually have not slept. Typically, the Artistic Director and the Assistant Artistic Director do not act in skits but due to some last minute changes, Brittany and Leslie ran the entire show and participated in two of the six acts, pushing total hours awake from about 24 to about 36! Everyone practices all day, and after a short break for dinner, the entire cast assembles once again to put on the show. The show goes up, and afterwards the cast can finally sleep.
John is a second year marketing major who has acted, directed and participated in the marketing committee during his time with the RIT Players.
Here is a peek at the inside of the program: