When a Sun City Players board member approached me and asked me to put together my thoughts on “Ripcord”, it wasn’t that difficult. I have loved “Ripcord” for years and championed it to the Play Selection committee. When I first read “Ripcord” years ago, I knew this was a play with which I would like to be involved, not on stage, but in directing.
When you look at community theater, you’re going to find that there are generally more females at auditions than males, which is the case with The Sun City Players. Unfortunately, in the vast majority of available plays, there are usually far more roles for males than for females. So, when I am searching for a play, I find myself looking for those with good, lead roles for women. “Ripcord” not only has two strong female leads, but there’s the added bonus that they are senior aged women. That was my initial attraction to the play.
As “Ripcord” proceeds, we find that both these two female leads have had difficult lives, although they each handled their situations in vastly different ways. The roles of Abby and Marilyn, though distinct in nature, have common elements at the core. They are people that the audience might recognize as friends or family members. These roles allow our actresses the opportunity and challenge to show these two women as real people. Neither of these women are all nice or all mean. They both have softness and hardness within their personalities, just like the rest of us.
For me, there are more than just excellent roles for our performers. There are some extremely funny scenes, some of which you just don’t expect to see in a play. Trying to figure out how to make those scenes work on our stage was both exciting and nerve-racking. I see this play as a “whole package”, as it makes me laugh and it makes me cry. I love it when a writer can create a world where I can go through a range of emotions. I understand all the characters in this play. I “get them” and think if I met them in my life, I would like them all. Some may take a little more time to like, but I think I could get there.
Then there’s the cast. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful cast for this show. We have people with varying levels of experience and that is what Players is all about. Some of these people you’ve seen before on the main stage, while others you may not have. What I really love about this cast is that each one of them truly cares about this show and its characters. They are here to work and create entertainment for our audience. Our cast members are Siobhan Henry, Jo Johnson, Bill Loslo, Norman Krinsky, Teena Cunningham, Lynette Rotolo and Joy Orton.
But it isn’t just the cast who work to put on the show. We need all kinds of help and skills to get a production in front of our audience. We need people who can build sets, stage managers behind the scenes and people running lights and sound. We also need stagehands, costumers and make-up people. In addition to all the above, we require people who can sell tickets, usher and publicize the show. As you can see, there are so many people who get a show up and running. We cannot forget those people who aren’t on the stage getting applause, as without them, there is no show.
For me, theater is a gift. It allows people who love the art to give something back to the audience. Sometimes, it’s all laughs; other times it may make you stop and think. Then there are the times when it can move you to tears. My hope is that there are points within “Ripcord” that will check off each of these boxes and that our audience will enjoy the act of love that has been put together by so many people to entertain them.
“Ripcord” will be presented Oct. 27–29 and Nov. 3-5. Tickets can be purchased at suncityplayers.org for $15. Tickets will also be available for in-person purchase at the Fairway Recreation Center, 10 a.m.–noon Monday–Thursday, the weeks of Oct 23 and 30. This play does contain adult language.