Improv show involves, amuses audience


Fancy Dinosaurs members (left to right) Craig Whitaker, Jay Speck, and Parker Nevan perform a series of scenes in improv game “Blackout” (Sean Wilkey / The Inquirer)

When the Dramatic Society threw down against the Fancy Dinosaurs, both groups used solid structure, humor and quick thinking to deliver a performance the audience loved.  

The two improv groups met on Feb 24th with one goal: to see which group could make the audience laugh harder.

While the Fancy Dinosaurs won, both groups did an excellent job keeping the audience entertained.

Donna Manning, a student at DVC, said she didn’t know what to expect.

“I thought everyone did a great job,” Manning said. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out, mostly  because improv is so hard to do. I loved how everyone was so creative with the different scenes. It was a lot of fun to watch.”

Each team had a total of six players. The teams had 30 minutes each to impress the two judges. They played a variety of improv games, most of which required audience participation.

Games like “New Choice” and “Grandpa’s story” required the players to not only think quickly, but to make the scene seem believable.

“New Choice” incorporated audience participation. As the scene played out, a member of the audience had to say ‘change choice’, and the performer had to instantly change what they had said.

“Grandpa’s Story” had a single performer, who played as the grandpa, tell a story about a specific event. For this particular improv game, the grandpa described how he met his granddaughter’s grandmother. It was up to the other performers to act out the scene as the grandpa described it.

All of the games tested how well the groups could structure scenes under a timed limit, stay in character throughout each scene and still make the audience laugh.

Jeffrey Crawford, a DVC student and one of the organizers of the event, performed with the Fancy Dinosaurs.

“Improv is simplistically fun,” Crawford said. “It’s fun not only for the audience but for the performers as well. The audience also plays a key part in formulating out scenes. We strive to get the audience involved as much as possible.”

Even though improv is completely spur of the moment, Crawford said that there is a way to practice. The Fancy Dinosaurs meet once a week. They come up with a theme for the day and try to work their improve scenes around it.

“The key to improv is knowing the people around you,” Crawford said. “The connection between the members of the group is very important.”

The connection was clearly seen in the improv show, with the combination of talent on both teams keeping audience members alert and attentive the whole time.

Dennis Lyttle, a current student at DVC, said he had such a good time he didn’t even notice that the show lasted two hours.

“I was actually very impressed,” Lyttle said. “They really involved the audience and that’s important for any type of theatre show.”

At the end of the show, MVP Blake Rosier was responsible for coming up with a game on the spot, which he called “Salad Reaping.” The game had a group of players play their favorite food in a salad. There is a ‘salad reaper’ who would yell “You, make me a sandwich,” in the middle of a scene. At this point, the players had to do a dance and the salad repeater would choose a character to kill.

Brenton Mezler, who also attended the show, said the ending was his favorite part.

“The fact that he just came up with that game was hilarious,” Mezler said. “I loved it. I really enjoyed myself. I’ll definitely be coming to another one of these shows again.”