ROCKINGHAM — Usually Richmond County residents come to the community theatre to audition on stage, but Saturday evening, it was the theatre that was trying out something new — an improv night.
Theatre Director Merrie Dawkins said that the board of directors was brainstorming ways to help raise money for a new electronic lighting system for the building, and an improvisation night was at the top of the list. For just a donation as small as a dollar, residents could come to the downtown theatre to not only watch others get up on stage to perform, but get involved themselves.
Stephanie Van Hassell, who served as the night’s emcee, started off by telling those in the audience the rules, including she called “The Bob Ross Rule,” saying there are no mistakes, only happy little accidents.
With that being said, Richmond County’s version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” was off and running.
ABC Improv was the first game played, and that included participants performing a scene where each sentence of each new line corresponds with the next letter in the alphabet.
Up next was a popular game from the TV show, Scenes From A Hat, where a group of actors play out different categories picked from a hat. Some of the scenes included, “Bad Broadway ideas,” “The real moon landing story,” “Unusual Christmas songs” and “Weird pizza delivery instructions.”
Another popular segment from “Whose Line” was Props, where performers are tasked with coming up with scenes off the top of their heads using obscure props. On Saturday night, those included a Viking helmet with braided hair and an umbrella.
The night ended with The Question Game, where everything is in the form of a question, and Party Quirks, a game that involves someone hosting a party who has to guess what characters her guests are portraying. Dawkins’ taxi driver listening to invisible music left the host and the audience stumped.
After raising $285.25 towards their new lighting equipment, Dawkins said she was pleased with the night’s festivities and is already thinking about the next one.
“It was another fun night in the theatre,” said Dawkins. “Richmond Community Theatre’s first improv night was a sweet success. Richmond County is filled with talented people. Thanks to everyone for their support.”
The next Improv Night will be 7 p.m. Feb. 15.