On Wednesday, February 7, students piled into Memorial Hall for a night of pizza and improv. Humorously advertised as a “Pizza Party with Some Improv,” the smell of the greasy food lured students to make the snowy trek to Memorial Hall.
“Pizza was one of the main focuses, but it definitely was an improv event,” said freshman Isobel Dethrow, a student who went to the event. “The audience overflowed. There were not enough seats at all.”
Dethrow asserted that the qualities demonstrated by the performers in the show characterize the traits of individuals that enhance the overall Lawrence community.
“The show showed the versatility of Lawrence students,” said Dethrow. “It shows the talent and the wittiness of the students, which made it really enjoyable to watch.”
Dethrow loves the gawky humor that improv can cultivate.
“I find the jokes that come as they go and are awkwardly thought of in the moment are the ones that I like the most.”
A favorite sketch of the night was about a questionable daycare.
“I really liked the scenes toward the end,” said O’Ryan Brown, a freshman who is one of the seven players in the Best Friends Improv group at Lawrence. “We were all at this daycare and it turned out that some shady business was happening with one of the kids there and they went missing and there was this whole detective scene—and that was really creative and fun.”
Taking advantage of his freshman year and keeping in theme with being open to trying new things, this year is the first year that Brown has participated in an improv group.
“I listen to a lot of improv podcasts,” said Brown. “I didn’t really do anything like [improv] in high school, so I was thought ‘Hey, Lawrence—a new place with new opportunities—why not audition?’ Now I love it! All the people on the team are super awesome and it’s a great way to relieve stress.”
To prepare for their three shows a term, the Best Friends Improv group does practice, however, it can be hard to prepare as all the situations in the show are audience-generated and ad libbed.
“In our weekly meetings, we go over different scenes and settings and we do some practice, but you don’t know what suggestions you’re going to get, so you can practice the form, but you can’t practice the show,” said Brown. “You go in blind pretty much every time.”
The consensus of the audience and the performers was that the event was a success.
“It was a lot of fun—like always,” said Brown. “I am always a little nervous before every show, but like once you’re in it and things are happening, you just get caught up in the moment and get to enjoy the experience.”
Brown maintains that improv can be a welcome reprieve for students from their piles of school work, especially in Wisconsin’s dreary winter months.
“[Improv] is just a nice little breather for everybody to just come and be entertained and laugh,” said Brown. “It’s all therapeutic.”
Best Friends Improv’s next show is on Friday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. in Memorial Hall Room 002.