GET DOWN. The improv crew dances during one of their group skits. photo/Jessie Jalca

On the spot comedy took center stage on Thursday, Sept. 8, as the Boone theater department performed their first improv show of the year.  

With an entirely new cast, audience members knew not what to expect from the evening’s show.  What they received was an hour of non-stop laughs and witty jokes as a myriad of performers gave it their all in chaotic, off the wall skits and situations.

Rob Ward, of SAK Comedy Lab fame, worked with the actors to train them in the art of improve. Ward introduced the cast and explained how the show would work, he then had the actors run through a one-word story skit to help them loosen up.  The ever changing story kept the actors alert, and the rapid nature of the dialogue introduced the concept of improvisation to those in the audience who may not have been familiar.  

From there Ward broke the performers into groups of two or three, forcing them to work off each other in various situations.  One standout performance came from actors Alexander Cumming and Rose Helsinger, seniors, who started their skit with a line from a movie, and ended it with a sentence from an audience member.  The two veteran actors played off each other well, offering up biting dialogue and a wide range of emotions.  

Another highlight of the evening came from sophomore Clay Dixon and juniors Zachary Eddy and James Bordenkircher who together created a tag team monologue.  The idea is that one group member starts a speech, and the others tag themselves in at random times to change up the story and flow.  The trio created a hilarious dialogue about Frenchmen and their love of bread and croissants.  What made the performance so unique was how the actors had to work with each other while not directly addressing their cohorts.  This meant that the two other performers not speaking had to pay close attention to what the third was saying, while also figuring out a way to make their dialogue fit with the overall narrative.

The most comedic and engaging performances came when the entire cast acted together.  Skits such as the blind freeze and poison arm ninja had the audience bursting into fits of laughter.  The actors added their own sense of style and imagination to both performances as they had the entire cast to work with in performances that focused more on their actions rather than their rapid dialogue.  The various comedic styles that each performer exhibited and how quickly they reacted to the situation made the table blind freeze especially funny. 

Through engaging performances, a well-structured cast, and the guidance of Rob Ward, the first improv show of the year was an absolute success.  The performances were genuinely funny and well-acted, and the skits had just enough unique aspects to keep things fresh and fluid.  When the group’s next performance hits later this year, one should not hesitate to catch this all-star improv group.     

By Carston Carasella

Hey, my name's Carston, and I'm a second year staffer at BoonePubs. My motto is fake it 'till you make it, and I love the movie Big Trouble in Little China. I'd love to travel to Minorca because that's where my ancestors are from. Some of my hobbies include working at the always wonderful Panera Bread, and writing. My hidden talent is that I can play guitar, and I wishfully hope to one day become mayor of Portland.

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