Tippy: Stories from the River wavers between escapism and the inevitable return to reality—with all the charm of a family telling stories around a campfire on a summer night
Greeting the audience is a painted river on the floor, a raw, wooden moon against white sheets, and the faces of every person in the audience. To this writer, the night felt intimate between the people onstage and the audience.
Ella (Keaton Stewart) grew up going to her family’s house by the Tippecanoe River every summer. It is here that she holds her fondest and darkest memories, from listening to her Uncle Kirk (Dominick Alesia) tell the tale of the Fisherman (Matthew Smith) and Tippy (Sarah Glasgow), to being wary of an apparition that rides the line between friend and foe. The house not only holds memories for Ella (Stewart), but also for the rest of her family, as they work to pack their beloved summer getaway and recount the stories of Kirk (Alesia).
One minute, you’re drawn in by a ghost story. The next minute you are watching the imaginations of Ella (Stewart) and her brother, Terrence (RJ Cecott) run wild. And then, in the next minute, you watch a family snap back into reality. Though the audience first hears of Tippy through Kirk’s story, it becomes apparent that she and the Fisherman are legendary. On one particular day, an enthusiastic scout troop sings and marches playfully down the riverbanks. Becoming frightened by their surroundings and the stories they spin; their laughter soon turns into screams—just one example of how quickly the folklore within the play can take a turn.
This play is a blend of comedy and drama with a young, excited energy throughout.In this writer’s view, it is for the audience member who finds joy in campfire folklore and fables. Impostors Theatre Company provides us with an opportunity to use our perhaps long-lost sense of wonder with Tippy: Stories from the River. It is a high-energy, small-scale performance with nothing to hide.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Keaton Stewart (Ella/Perry),
Dominick Alesia (Kirk/Ranger Rick),
RJ Cecott (Terrence/Jonsi),
Julia Germeroth (Lana/Lori/Stan),
Nick Strauss (Brady/Reggie/Owen),
Stephanie Lewis (Joan/The Crone),
Sarah Glasgow (Tippy),
and Matthew Smith (Gale the Fisherman)
Becky Valek (Stage Manager),
Mallory Swisher (Lighting Design),
Rachel Borgo (Dramaturg),
Ethan Gasbarro (Set Design)
Thru Nov 2, 2019
The Pentagon Theatre
Collaboraction Studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building
1579 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
About the Author:
Elena Barberia (she/her/hers) is originally from Los Angeles, CA, and is currently living in Chicago, IL. In May 2019, she graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Theatre Arts. She has experience in both theatre production and performance including stage management, dramaturgy, education, acting, and devising. Although she has a passion for the arts, she also enjoys working in education, blogging, and going on adventures!
For more information visit her website.