Stage Write: More Improv!

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Hi! My name is Carrie Adams, and I’m a freshman here at Brown. On my column, Stage Write, I will be filling you in about all the drama at Brown (no, not who sat with whom at the Ratty, but actual glorious theater!). Each week I’ll be highlighting different theatre groups on campus and shows that are being performed. All of Brown’s a stage!

Hey guys! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving break and are pushing through to the end of the semester. It’s that time of year again, and I have no choice but to write papers and study for tests. HOWEVER, this pressure does mean that I need an opportunity to decompress. I realized what I really needed was a laugh this weekend, so I went to not one but TWO comedy shows. On Friday I saw IMPROVidence’s final show of the semester, and on Saturday I watched Out of Bounds perform sketch comedy.

I’ve talked about IMPROVidence before, but their show tonight was extra special and I feel morally obligated to share it with you: Two members got engaged!! As you may know, at Brown you can graduate as a “point-fiver” (in the winter). Two of IMPROVidence’s members finished up at Brown this weekend, and this was their farewell show. The troupe always plays a game called “rhyme or die” at the end of their shows, where you must rhyme with the person before you and if you hesitate, you are eliminated (check out 54:09 of this video for an example). Once you are eliminated, you must act out a skit of your death (kind of morbid, I know). It’s a fun game that my friends and I always attempt to master after IMPROVidence shows but trust me, it’s difficult. ANYWAY, all the members cheated so the two graduating seniors would be the final two rhymers. My friend and I assumed that they were all cheating so they could celebrate their senior-dom etc etc, BUT when the guy was eliminated and was supposed to act out a death scene, he instead got all serious, whipped out a ring, got down on one knee, and PROPOSED to his scene partner (aka his girlfriend)!!!! She was crying, IMPROVidence was crying, the entire audience was crying, all of Brown University was crying (or at least talking about it the next day). For a visual, check out the above pic. And, yes, if you’re wondering, she said yes. In fact, in improv one of the unspoken “rules” in a skit is to never say “no” to an idea somebody has, but instead to say “yes, and” in order to add something to the skit and develop it. Instead of just saying yes to the proposal, she said “Yes, and”–and I guess the “and” was that everyone should start crying now, because they did.

After that emotional roller coaster that made me contemplate my existence on earth and wonder if I would ever be as happy as these two lovebirds, I STILL needed another laugh so I went to see Out of Bounds, Brown’s only sketch comedy group (think SNL). There are two members of Out of Bounds who are ALSO in IMPROVidence (and many members of both groups cross over to theatre as well), so it’s easy to get involved in multiple performance groups on campus. I had never seen sketch comedy live, and although there was a DISTINCT lack of live marriage proposals onstage during their performance, the show was hilarious! If you’d like to get a better sense of Out of Bounds, check out their YouTube channel (be warned: some videos slightly NSFW). I hope you can enjoy their videos (and check out IMPROVidence while you’re at it) as a way to decompress (procrastinate?) during finals week. Happy studying!

Questions? Comments? Want to Skype and practice monologues together? Not sure if that last one is actually possible, but for the other two, feel free to email me at Carrie_Adams@Brown.edu!

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