By Jessica Andriani
Sacred Heart University’s Improv team is prepared and hopeful to make campus laugh again with their interactive improvisation show to be held on Nov. 10 at 10:10 p.m. in the Little Theatre.
Even though the university’s Theatre Arts Program, otherwise known as TAP, has helped become a part of campus life for at least four years, their name has gone through a variety of changes. The improv team has gone from Sacred Heart Improv Troup, to The Awkward Handshakes, to their current name of The Pioneer Players.
Since the start of this academic year, Pioneer Players has already put on two performances.
Rehearsals with the team are open for anyone to join and up to 12 students are chosen to perform in their monthly showcase.
“Currently there are about 22 regular members who perform at rehearsals, and that number grows every week,” said junior Edward Feeley, leader of The Pioneer Players.
The Pioneer Players’ showcases are focused on making up their humor as they go along, using a slew of jokes and games to keep the performance moving. The upcoming performance will consist of a series of games in which the student performers are put in humorous and out of the ordinary situations.
“People can expect a good time and a good laugh at the upcoming show. We know the games we’re playing, but we don’t know what’s going to happen on stage since that’ll be based on what the audience gives us,” said Feeley.
The Improv Team is confident in their acting skills and are ready to perform.pio
“They can definitely expect to laugh. Improv always ends up in a funny situation, especially because of the amount of creativity our team members possess,” said Nick Patino, President of the Theatre Arts Program.
Pioneer Players plays a variety of games during their shows to display their improvisation skills. Since nothing is fully rehearsed or scripted, the team is able to work on the fly to create something new each time for the audience. Working off of the audience’s reactions is what makes each performance unique and what makes for a different outcome every time.
“The improv games can vary on complexity, but they’re all very fun and entertaining. One of our mainstay games is Lazy Susan, it involves four performers rotating between four two-person scenes. One of the new ones we’re introducing in this show is Household Olympics, in which two performers are commentators to a competition between two other performers who are competing in a household chore,” said Feeley.
Improvers go on to explain other games that students expect to see on stage during their show.
“One game that I am frequently in is called Mood Swings. Two actors act out a scene, and throughout it the caller shouts out different moods given by the audience that the actors then adapt to. I find it very easy to play off emotion like this, and it usually works well with an audience,” said Patino.
Rehearsals for the improv team are every Tuesday and Wednesday from 8-9:30 p.m. and are open to everyone.
Overall the improv troupe knows that everyone involved always has one another’s back, on stage and off.
“I think the thing that makes our improv team unique are the people and the atmosphere. We have so many different people who come and rehearse each week, some TAP members and other non-TAP members. Each person brings their skills to the table and they really just show their stuff and we all support each other,” said junior Emily Shea.