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F.I.G.H.T. Troupe improv group will perform at The Arts Guild

by Sarah Crane

F.I.G.H.T. Club

The F.I.G.H.T. Troupe is preparing to practice for the first time on a new stage at the Arts Guild in Charlottetown. This will be the improv troupe's home for the summer, they will perform a brand new show upon this stage every Friday night.

Laurie Murphy, the founder and leader of the troupe likes the the wider stage. "These are wings," says Murphy, gesturing to extensions on each side. "So we can stand at the side of the stage instead of hanging in the back."

This fits nicely with the general philosophy of the women in the F.I.G.H.T. Troupe. There are no superstars they tell me, or if there are, everyone is a superstar. When a group are performing a scene, it would not be right if they dominated the stage completely. The women are very close to each other; they say being part of F.I.G.H.T. club, ( Female Iimprov Group Having Tea) is like being in a group of best friends.

At the beginning they say they didn't even know each other's last names, or even if they had last names. After a while they found out who was married and who had kids. They learned the last names when they saw them listed in the paper.

The women are friends, a group of sisters, says Patti Larsen. It's a very nurturing atmosphere, with a healthy competitive aspect that can push the women a little bit further than what they could do on their own.

They came to the troupe over the last few years, brought in through friends and friends of friends. They came from many professions and stages of life. Some wanted to gain confidence for other aspects of their performing or professional lives, and now they stay for the improv.

Larsen, a singer said she wanted to learn how to speak on stage when her guitarist was fixing her guitar. And now she comes to learn more and improve. What had been a tool to add to their lives has now become the end result. The F.I.G.H.T. Troupe performs for the sake of the art form of improv.

This summer of weekly performances will help the troupe expand on their skills. They are excited for the weekly contact with an audience. Kathleen Hamilton says sometimes watching the practices she is so blown away by what she sees that she feels sorry for all the people who won't get to see what has just happened on the stage. Everything happens only once, so after it has appeared on stage with the F.I.G.H.T. Club, it's gone, never to be seen again.

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