2022-23 season

2022-23 season

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ripcord Cast Gets into Character by Facing Their Fears

Nancy Cooper, Margaret Gilkes, Jason Wilhoite and Mike Gingerella
Facing phobias in Ripcord  -- PHOTO: Paul Manoian
In David Lindsay-Abaire’s play Ripcord, adversarial roommates in a retirement home do battle.  Marilyn insists that nothing makes her angry, while Abby says she is never scared.  Each wants to get rid of the other, so they make the following bet:  If Marilyn loses her temper before Abby gets scared, she will move out, and vice versa.  When I interviewed the Farmington Players cast of Ripcord (October 4 – 19 at the Barn Theater), I asked them each of to reflect on what makes them fearful.
Question: What are you afraid of?  What do you do to address your fears?

Jason Wilhoite (Scotty) describes how the cast recently attempted an unusual team-building exercise.  Given that the play is named Ripcord, they thought it would be fun to go skydiving together!  As Jason admits, “I do have a fear of heights and will be COMPLETELY outside my comfort zone when the cast goes sky diving together.”  [The cast’s first attempt was postponed by high winds, but they plan another try soon.]

Facing one’s fears head on also seems to have helped Michael Rea (Derrick):  “Ever since performing [nude] in The Full Monty at the Barn a few years ago, not much really scares me. In general, I think putting yourself out of your comfort zone on a regular basis is really important for keeping those phobias in check.”

So too, Nancy Cooper (Marilyn) confronted her huge fear of bridges: “I have been completely freaked out panicked by being stuck on the bridge while waiting to renter the US from Canada. So three years ago, my nephew convinced me to walk across the river from Kentucky to Ohio to get to Reds baseball ballgame! I did it! So, I officially am no longer afraid of bridges.”

Mike Gingerella (Benjamin) takes a logical approach to facing – or avoiding – his fears:  “I would like to think that any fears or phobias that I have are well grounded in reality. For example, I will not skydive because I believe it is unwise to jump out of a perfectly good airplane!”

Laurel Stroud (Colleen) says, “I hate snakes and crime scene dramas about serial killers creep me out. … I don’t relish small talk with strangers, but I have learned to do it.” Similarly, Margaret Gilkes (Abby) admits, “I am a bit of an introvert and not much of a small talk person. I find it very awkward. I enjoy coming out of my shell on stage.”  

Tune back to the next episode of Playing The Barn, when I explore what makes the Ripcord cast members angry.

Ripcord has 9 performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from October 4 - 19.  The show is proudly sponsored by elder law attorneys Mall, Malisow and Cooney, P.C.  Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.

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