By Peter McCue
Sacred Heart University’s improv troupe, the Pioneer Players, put on their latest showcase in the Little Theatre on Thursday, March 30.
The Pioneer Players is a group within the Theatre Arts Program and run by junior Edward Feeley. In preparation for their showcases, he creates a set list of different improvisational games and exercises for the members to produce.
“I have been doing improv for three years now,” said Feely. “What I love about improv is that you have no idea what’s going to happen on stage and no idea if what you do will work.”
The set list for the event consisted of a number of improvisational games like “Lazy Susan,” where four actors rotate between different scenes, and “Household Olympics,” where two performers commentate on two silent actors acting out a common, household chore.
“Improv teaches you how to think on the spot and how to keep a straight face. Most importantly, you make a great group of friends,” said junior John Hartnett. “Improv has made me [feel welcome]as a new tapper.”
The Pioneer Players meet and rehearse twice a week and invite anyone who is interested in improv to join their rehearsals.
From there, Feeley decides which 12 students will perform in the showcases.
“I started improv at the beginning of the year and I fell in love with it. I have met some of my best friends through improv and I look forward to it every week,” said freshman Matthew Kreckie.
Junior Eugene McDonagh has seen many improv shows and is amazed at how much the troupe has improved; specifically how Feeley has helped the troupe grow over the past year.
“It was without a doubt one of the best shows that the team has ever put on,” said McDonagh.
Some of the audience members notice how the members all bring something different to the performance.
“I really enjoyed everyone’s unique style and creativity. Eddie Feely did a great job coordinating the Pioneer Players and putting on a great show,” said junior Laura Backus.
The Pioneer Players will be performing at Habitat for Humanity’s fundraiser on Tuesday, April 11 and their final showcase of the school year is on Wednesday, April 19 at 10:10 p.m. in the Little Theatre—both free of admission.
“Everyone should come to an improv show, whether it is before the year is over or next year because we will not disappoint,” said junior Emily Shea. “There are always a lot of laughs, a lot of fun, and a lot of memories while on stage.”