Members of Improv Club master spontaneity


Anne Wu, Senior Writer

If you’ve ever been asked to perform a show based on a pickle, you’re probably in Improv Club.

Improv, or improvisation, is a form of theatre in which the characters, relationships, and plot are not predetermined. They are made up on the fly, starting from when Improv Club performers ask the audience for a random piece of information called an ask-for and use it to kick-off the rest of the show. In preparation for this demanding task, club members hone their improvisation skills through games such as Choices.

“In Choices, a person off to the side pushes a buzzer whenever the main actor has done something and they want a different choice,” junior Abbey Lewis said. “For example, if you just said, ‘I really like ice cream,’ and the buzzer goes ‘brrr’, you say, ‘I like ice cream and bananas!’ You have to completely modify your choice and then justify that in the context of the scene.”

On Thursdays, Improv Club is led by Brandon Felker, a performer for Unexpected Production. Members of the club attribute their success largely to the experiences and ideas he has brought to the club.

“Brandon’s taught me to not hide behind my fears – to come out and to be me, to embrace that. You’re going to make mistakes,” Lewis said. “However, it is such an accepting group of people that it doesn’t even matter. You laugh it off, and as Brandon likes to say: ‘We’re all safe, we’re all healthy, no problem.’”

The close-knit community of the club fosters an environment that gives members the opportunity to have fun by exploring the limits of their creativity. Furthermore, for some, the club also offers a source of freedom and stimulation.

“I get to play characters that I wouldn’t normally play because you can define who you play instead of being controlled by a script,” senior Parker Simpson said. “It’s adrenaline-inducing. You are constantly thinking about how you have to make something up; there’s more of a thrill.”

Those who simply want to test the waters of Improv Club are recommended to attend the student-led Tuesday meetings. Several members will be chosen to join the Thursday Improv meetings and will therefore be eligible to perform in shows.

“If you come into Improv thinking it will make you funny, you will find out that you have always been funny. It helps you discover your inner funniness,” Lewis said.