Vicarious Playboys Makes "Raw" Debut

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term “raw” is defined as being in a natural state. If you ask director Nicholas Irion about his new play, “Vicarious Playboys,” you’ll find out that the entire production is based on the influence of said definition.

Some of the actors at Vicarious Playboys practice. Photo by Nicholas Irion

Some of the actors at Vicarious Playboys practice. Photo by Nicholas Irion

“It’s called raw theater,” he said. “There are no designers, per say. The actors, the director and myself write and come together to best facilitate the play, meaning when it comes to the set, I ask a character about his office and what he personally thinks it should look like.”

Some of the actors at Vicarious Playboys practice. Photo by Nicholas Irion

Some of the actors at Vicarious Playboys practice. Photo by Nicholas Irion

Irion said as a director his job is to facilitate the creation of the play. He said he likes to help his actors and actresses push themselves and run on instinct rather than concept. For example, he said, a character in “Vicarious Playboys” is named Miranda and she is pregnant, but instead of telling that character what to wear, he asked her what she would wear to play the role of a pregnant woman.

Irion said raw theater is a very open process and the “Vicarious Playboys” production is the first of its kind at Texas Tech. He said not many other universities or productions put on this type of acting. Irion said other places might exercise minimalist theater, but the difference with raw is the collaborative atmosphere where everyone has to say what best personifies the text of the play.

Nicholas Irion’s wife, Nikki Irion, plays the part of Miranda in the play. She said the experience she’s had through “Vicarious Playboys” has been a lot of fun and having to work under such constraints as she and the cast has experienced through raw theater has made all of them a little closer.

According to actor Michael Boughton, not only is this type of production directed in a different way, the amount of time that is given to work on the play is not the typical preparation period. Broughton said being cast for “Vicarious Playboys” has magnified the idea that time is of the essence. He said the six-person play was cast the first Friday of the semester and they have had rehearsals basically every night since then.

Some of the actors at Vicarious Playboys practice. Photo by Nicholas Irion

Some of the actors at Vicarious Playboys practice. Photo by Nicholas Irion

Trevor Wise, one of the main characters in “Vicarious Playboys,” sarcastically joked that the process was not overwhelming at all.

“Memorizing this much text in three weeks has been nerve-racking.” he said.

“He probably has the most lines out of anyone, and all of our lines combined,” Boughton said.

With the play being 106 pages, and only having rehearsed about 80 hours all together, Irion said, he can’t wait for the production to take off.

“I’m pretty stoked. It’s exciting and it’s different,” he said. “I think I’m lucky to have come from a high stress environment because honestly that’s where I thrive. I came from Fort Worth and I got my masters there and now I’m working on my Ph.D. here.”

The show starts tonight and runs through Sunday. To learn more about showtimes, click here.

 

About Lauren Estlinbaum

Entertainment Director    —    Journalism major, Class of 2014
Lauren Estlinbaum grew up in Pearland, Texas, south of Houston (go Texans). She is a journalism major with a minor in apparel design. Lauren would like to work for either a fashion or lifestyle publication post-graduation. As she likes to say, she considers fashion magazines survival guides.

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