By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~
Due to the decline of Xavier’s student-run theatre group, Xavier Players, improv troupe Toolbox is stepping up to fill the void. The idea for Toolbox originally stemmed from Xavier Players. Players had been around for roughly 15 years and reached 140 members in 2013. After the genesis of the Theatre Department that year, students stopped signing up. It was only able to conduct two shows last year due to poor planning and participation within the group.
“Toolbox is all that’s really left of Xavier Players,” co-Director of Toolbox and Newswire staff writer Henry Eden said. “There was just too many issues with Xavier Players existing alonside the Theatre Department. Players rehearsals would be at the same time as rehearsals for the department’s shows, understandably reducing attendance.” Toolbox focuses on short improv games and audience involvement.
“We want to give our audience that Comedy Central feeling when they come to see us perform,” Toolbox co-Director Tyler Ferrari said. “We plan on having a ton of shows, to develop a large audience and show Xavier and the community around us that we are more than just a small improv group.” The goal of Toolbox was to put together a troupe that seeks to improve its improv techniques and bring laughter to its audiences.
“This whole program has had little improvement and is very quiet, however our ending goal is to get the Xavier community to say, ‘Let’s go see a Toolbox show.’” Eden said. Ferrari and Eden are planning on having a show at least once a month that may involve performances with Xavier’s Don’t Tell Anna (DTA).
“We want to entertain students, and have their own suggestions come to life within our short game segments,” Eden said. “They won’t be too complicated, and they’re short and quick. All we want is to grab the people’s attention while we are having fun.” Their first performance is at 9 p.m. on Jan. 30 at Long Recital Hall in Edgecliff. There is no admission charge in order to encourage Xavier students and community members to attend.
“If people want to feel joy and happiness, then they really need to come join us Saturday,” Ferrari said. “This is like the first episode of a new Netflix series — people have to go and leave their legacy.” While Players’ decline is a disappointment to some, Toolbox is excited for this new troupe that came together, Eden said. Auditions for the group are closed until the beginning of next school year. Out of the 25 who tried out this year, only eight were cast. Ferrari and Eden encourage those who want to be involved to follow the group on Facebook and Twitter and come to the shows.