Improvaganza puts spontaneous humor on display

Charlie Kruse, an improviser on jericho!, takes the soul of Abbey Breneisen in a scene as part of their show.
Imad Pasha/Staff

Related Posts

On Friday evening, Genetics and Plant Biology’s room 100 was packed with students for some improv routines by four campus teams: jericho!, Best Laid Plans, improv4charity and TBD Comedy. Partially a joint showcase, partially a pitch for people to come to auditions, the event gave each group time to demonstrate their own distinct style and brand.

jericho! improv & sketch comedy

The jericho! team started out the night with a montage set that lasted about 15 minutes. It was the largest group, with nine performers on stage, which made it difficult to operate in the short set times. The group focused on a few scenes, letting them draw out longer than usual, which created a nice sense of cohesiveness and completeness — though at the expense of getting all members equal time. The gamble paid off, though — despite the difficulty of the longer scenes, almost all of them wrapped around to a hilarious conclusion.

Best Laid Plans Improv

Best Laid Plans followed up with another montage set, but in contrast to jericho!, focused on shorter scenes throughout — a fact highlighted by one moment when several performers ran from the lecture hall, only to return to the stage through another door and into a completely different scene. These hijinks, and a meta-commentary on them being in the wrong scene, brought plenty of laughs from the audience. But the group was also somewhat heavy-handed on the “swipes” which force a scene change — often, bits were cut prematurely when it seemed like there was more to pull from a scene.

improv4charity

Breaking with the montage approach, improv4charity chose a short form format for its performance. A nice fun-and-games interlude to the overall show, improv4charity prompted the most audience interaction, basing a series of short, unrelated scenes on audience call-outs. One game had the audience call out several film genres — yes, including porn — and the two performers replayed a scene in each one. In another popular scene, two performers faced the wall and narrated the dialogue for a scene while two other performers attempted to act it out live — at some points, even predicting the upcoming dialogue to mouth it correctly.

TBD Comedy

TBD Comedy closed out the show with a montage of longer scenes. The small group — only a few performers were on stage, and the group hasn’t taken new members since last fall — clearly had a lot of chemistry as it worked through its set. In one of the show’s highlights, a scene featured a “two-one-one” date from “The Bachelor” that then found its way into subsequent scenes. They also, upon the audience suggesting the word “revenge” launched into two scenes centered around the Avengers that had the audience in stitches.

All in all, Improvaganza was a great way to introduce students to the improv groups on campus. All four groups went slightly over their allotted time — and no one in the audience seemed to mind. The extra time, if anything, gave audience members a chance to get to know each group better. But ultimately, 15 minutes is never enough to enjoy a group fully — perhaps the best incentive for people to take the time to check out each group at their own respective full-length shows.

Contact Imad Pasha at [email protected]. Tweet him at @prappleizer.

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy
  • Leila Blanc

    Do you understand you truly can make $2000 for every week trading? I would have never accepted it until I saw it for myself or I began doing it. What’s more that is precisely what befell me on the grounds that now I’m profiting. You simply need to know the perfect spot to learn and where I went to is a site called Emini S&P Trading Secret; you ought to have the capacity to discover them on Google or simply look for them. Their help is the best I’ve ever seen on any site before and they helped me to figure out how to trade, and it was no place close as hard as I thought it would be.