A faint melody of singing, stomping and yelling drifted down from the top floor Wednesday night in the Manwaring Center. Those who follow the sound find the Improv Comedy Workshop.
Improv comedy is the art of acting out scenes without scripts or preparation. The school’s workshop often uses assigned topics like Camelot as a western movie, Bugs Bunny’s funeral and wrestler’s therapy to keep things interesting.
Victoria Bulson, a senior studying software engineering, is the workshop’s manager.
Bulson first discovered the improv group on a date. “He never went back and I kept going because the first day I went, the people there felt like my family,” she said.
She said the improv group is fun because it brings out a side of friends you would otherwise never see.
“One guy’s character was the personification of gossip and it was pretty hilarious,” she said.
Another way these students get to use their improv skills is through showcases. In showcases, selected participants show off their improv skills to groups in a Who’s Line is it Anyway-style display. It also allows students to show off for friends and family.
Bulson said the group is always open to new members at every-level.
“We have it set up so that at the very beginning we have a little instruction and exercises to help get people more comfortable and exposed to what improv is and then we play games and support each other in getting better the rest of the night,” Bulson said.
One of the newer members of the group has been attending the workshop since last semester. Brenton Terry, a senior studying business management, said the group is all about making mistakes and having fun.
“I’m usually so busy with classes that scheduling something like this for myself is a great way to have fun and be goofy,” he said.
One of Terry’s favorite scenes he’s acted out was based on Michael Bay’s films. After receiving his topic, he began flinging himself around the room as explosions littered the scene.
For several of the improv workshop’s regulars, the group has become a primary source of social interaction. Jacie Crapo, a senior studying electrical engineering, said she was really shy when she first began. She said improv has a way of bringing out personalities.
“This is pretty much my social life now,” Crapo said.