Laura Hall, a professional pianist known for her role “Whose Line is it Anyway,” will perform with the BYU-Idaho improv troupe Comic Frenzy May 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Snow Drama Theatre.
The show is also the first for Comic Frenzy this semester, according to the Comic Frenzy Facebook page.
“The opportunity to perform with Laura Hall and her husband is quite a big deal,” said John Reimann, a member of Comic Frenzy and a junior majoring in theatre studies. “It not only will help me become a better actor, but it will look amazing on my résumé.”
In addition to performing on “Whose Line is it Anyway,” Hall has also toured with Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars, created a series of tutorials for singers looking to get into improv karaoke, been a guest on the TV show “Hollywood Squares” and helped found the band The Sweet Potatoes, according to Hall’s website.
“It’s one thing to perform here in an academic sense and have a chance to play and so forth,” said Trevor Hill, the faculty advisor of Comic Frenzy. “But to look at it from a professional’s point of view, to be trained by a professional, is just really unique – and the insight they’ll be able to gain by working with her in just a three-hour period will be like a semester’s worth of work.”
Camilla Martinez, a member of Comic Frenzy and a senior majoring in theater studies, said she thinks Laura Hall is an amazing person, and she feels that she can see Hall’s passion in her work.
Hall has also produced two spiritual albums and two albums of original children’s music, as well as helping to write the score for multiple indie films, according to her website.
“I know that what I learn from her could very well shape the way I approach my moment-to-moment improvisational skills,” Martinez said. “I’m excited to learn from somebody who has made it in the industry. Talking to people about their successes and failures . . . is something I care a lot about.”
Reimann said improv comedy is a little bit like playing pretend as a child because it is about making up a story with friends and acting it out together on the spot.
Improv comedy has its roots in 14th- century Europe, when traveling bands of performers would go from town to town changing their act each time, according to improvcomedy.org.
“The act of facing your fears and hesitations is partially what improv is about,” Martinez said. “It’s about being willing to fail. It’s about being vulnerable. It’s about giving and receiving trust.”
Hill said Hall will also meet with vocal performance majors, as well as other theatre majors, in workshops held before the performance.
“We’re a group of students who rely on each other to create art on the spot,” Martinez said. “We do this with the dramatic skills we’re developing, but a lot of it really is just trying to be honest.”