On Feb. 26, Blackburn College had its first improv show, which was produced by TH292 (Production and Performance) students in collaboration with Blackburn Players. There were 34 seats available for people who wished to see the show live. There was also a livestream on Blackburn College Department of Music and Theatre’s Facebook page.
Around 12 students participated in the show, including junior theatre majors Tim Conner and Hannah Bergdorf, who worked as production managers and hosts. “The show is part of TH292, so some people do have to participate for the credit,” said Conner. “But anyone who wanted to could join. The only requirement was to come to the rehearsals.”
The show involved participants going through a series of six improv games: One-Up, Are You “Blank,” The Party, Change, Tinder 2.0, and Freeze. Upon request from the hosts, the audience were able to give prompts for the participants to act out during the games. For three of the games, everyone had a chance to join. For the other three games, only two to four people were needed. For those cases, there were a couple cycles of the game and players volunteered to participate. Many of the games resulted in comedic moments. Although it was difficult for remote watchers to hear everything that happened, the players’ acting allowed everyone to laugh and enjoy the show.
“Working on the improv show has made me very happy,” said Bergdorf. “Last year in the improv class, we had planned to have an improv show, but COVID stole it. For my group’s final project, we came up with Ruh Roh Rona… Stole Our Improv Show. Watching this show come together has helped me feel like the world is coming back to normal.”
“It has been a lot of fun working alongside my fellow students to put on this show and getting to relive our improv class we didn’t get to finish,” Conner added.
Overall, Blackburn’s first improv show was a success despite limitations caused by COVID. Audience participation allowed for those watching to feel more involved in the show, and all 12 players did a fantastic job at acting everything out without a script. It is clear that they have learned how to play off of one another’s words and actions to carry on each game all the way to when time ran out. With one successful production, there is definitely a possibility for more improv shows in the future.