A Closer Look at Improvology

MSMC students replicating a 5. (Photo courtesy of twitter.com/msmcimprov)

by Brittany Ambrosino

What do you get when you mix hilarious skits with witty performers? An Improvology show, of course!

Mount Saint Mary College’s improv club, Improvology, hosted their first show of the school year on Sept. 17th in the Aquinas Theatre.

The show started with an interaction between club presidents, senior Alexander Florez and sophomore Joe Certa, both engaging with the audience. Throughout the show, Improvology performed different skits. They’d ask for a topic from the audience, choose one, and perform scenes based on that given topic.

All of their dialogue is thought up in the moment with no preparation, since the group has no prior knowledge of what their scenes and characters will turn out to be.

The cast members’ ability to come up with things on the spot during the fast-pasted, hour-long performance kept the audience laughing the entire time.

Mount Messenger was able to talk to members of Improvology about their experiences with the art of improv and improv performances. We reached out to Improvolgy’s co-presidents, Alexander Florez and Joe Certa, to get an insight as to what Improvology is and what goes into their shows.

 

Mount Messenger: What is the basic structure of an Improvology rehearsal/show?

Alexander Florez: On Sundays, improvisers who want to perform in front of an audience come together and go through workshops developed by Joe Certa and myself, addressing main themes within improv, such as character development, awareness, and physicalization.

An improv show is broken down into three Harolds, with one Harold consisting of three plot lines.  The first three scenes introduce each plot line, establishing a relationship between characters, a location, and a reason to further the scene. The next 3 scenes force the improvisers to return to the plots developed earlier and raise the stakes. Finally, we return to each of the three plot lines and conclude.

 

MM: What made you join Improvology?

Joseph Certa: I joined improv because I did improv my senior year of high school and wanted to continue. Also, it is a great opportunity to perform and make people laugh.

 

MM: What is your favorite part of an Improvology show?

AF: My favorite aspect of improvisation is that there are no mistakes, simply things that haven’t been justified yet. My favorite part of a show is when an improviser thinks he has made an error, but his supporting improvisers come out and justify his decision, allowing the scene to continue making sense.

JC: My favorite part of an Improvology show is when anything clicks, when the improvisers are all on the same page and can create an amazing scene off the top of their heads.

 

MM: Why should students come to the next Improvology show?

JC: Students should come to the next show because it is a fun experience to watch and be a part of. Also, you can win a prize for participating in games/activities we do in between shows.

AF: Bring a date to the next improv show. It’s nontraditional and edgier than going to the movies. Plus, free prizes!

 

Two new members of Improvology, freshmen Ben Lindenauer and Lindsay Ostrander, also gave us their thoughts on their first Improvology experience.

MM: What made you join Improvology?

Ben Lindenauer: I’ve been a theatrical performer for a couple years now, but I’ve always been particularly interested in improv. I’ve always been told I have a quick wit and that my ability to speak for extended periods of time on a single subject (though driving off on tangents) is unrivaled and humorous.

Lindsay Ostrander: My decision to join improv was influenced by my theater experience in high school. I made many very dear friends and I hope to befriend everyone in the improv group. I’m also a Nursing major/commuter and don’t have enough time to dedicate to drama in college.

 

MM: Did you have any worries before your first show?

LO: My biggest worry before the show was what I would have for dinner. Doing a show with improv was the least stressful part of my week. It’s honestly a relief to make people laugh while fulfilling my creative needs.

BL: I was pretty confident about the show, as getting worried never helps your performance.

 

MM: What would you say to a student who is thinking about joining Improvology?

BO: You’re always free to come to a meeting and see what you think. If you don’t like it, just don’t come back. You could also just come to meetings but not perform in the shows. It’s really pretty open-ended.

LO: If you really want to join Improv go ahead and do it. It’s a good time and it can help you become more confident in public speaking. We will welcome you in with open arms and you don’t have to perform you can just hang out at rehearsal.

 

The next Improvology show is on Friday, Oct. 17th at 8pm in the Aquinas Theatre.

Improvology is also performing at Improv(e) Your Interview Skills with the Career Center on Thursday, Oct. 9th at 3:45pm in the Aquinas Theatre.

 

If you’re interested in joining Improvology, meetings are on Tuesdays at 8pm in Hudson Auditorium.