By Amanda Bertsch
A circle of students sit on the floor of the auditorium, eyes closed. Together, they count up to twenty, trying to sense when another person is about to speak. “Slowly,” someone cautions. This isn’t some kind of cult meeting. It’s the newest club on campus, and it’s already changing the way students think about comedy.
Last semester, improv comedy performer Alex Backes came to give the drama class a week of lessons. In improv comedy, performers work together to create comedic skits on the spot. Warmups, such as the counting game described above, are used to develop skills and also get in the mood for comedy after a stressful day.
Junior Lizzy Rizk was a TA when the drama class was doing improv, and she jumped in to join the lessons. She later described this experience as the inspiration for the club.
“I performed with them, and I had so much fun doing it, and it made me want to continue doing improv,” she said. “It just all kind of snowballed from there.”
Rizk and senior Grover Golen partnered to found the club this semester with Mrs. Milliken as the advisor. Improv Club is working to help students think on their feet, be good performance partners, and use games to generate funny skits. Yet performing is not the only part of the club–members must also form a good audience when they are not participating,
Improv Club is considering going to an improvisation competition or taking a trip to San Diego to see professional improv performed later this year. If either of these trips happens, people who have good attendance, participation, and audience skills in the club will have first priority.
Alex DuBroy, a senior and member of Improv Club, described the large club as “a broad mix of individuals, ripe for comedic fodder.” He added that “I’m excited to see where it’ll go in the coming months!”
Improv Club always welcomes new students. Whether you want to commit to joining or just see what it’s like, drop by on any Wednesday afternoon in the auditorium!