A group of Shepherd students recently created a new club all about entertaining on the fly called the Shepherd University Unacceptable Improv.
Freshman Anthony Hensley, currently undeclared, and sophomore Katlyn Simmons, a communications major, started the group. Hensley is the president of the club and Simmons took on the role of vice president.
According to Hensley, the two were discussing their love for theatre improvisation games when the idea to create their own club struck them. Hensley and Simmons then worked tirelessly to get the club started and recruit members.
“It was a lot of effort to start the group,” Simmons said. “We had to write and submit bylaws and find members and get approved.”
On Oct.10, Hensley and Simmons held auditions for improv actors. The Unacceptable club now boasts four officers and four other members; they have enough people to start performing, according to Hensley. Hensley also plans to set up a table at next semester’s club fair to find more members.
Breanna Barr, one of the members of Unacceptable Improv, said she is looking forward to performing with the other improv actors. “Improv is a fun way to meet new people,” she said.
Through the rest of this semester, Unacceptable plans on getting the group together, organized and ready to start performing. “We want to teach our members more about improv before we start on bigger projects,” Hensley said.
Once they are well-practiced and prepared, the improv club hopes to act as fillers for other shows. For instance, if an organization wants an opening act or needs to stall for a few minutes before or between events, the Unacceptable troupe will perform for the audience to get them excited.
Hensley and Simmons also expressed an interest in performing stand-alone shows at the Blue Moon Café and the amphitheater next to the dining hall. The troupe will perform skits, make jokes and play games all using plenty of ideas and volunteers from the audience.
Improvisational theatre has been a popular form of comedy in the United States since the early 20th century. Many famous comedic actors got their starts by performing in groups such as Chicago’s The Second City, including Chris Farley, Steve Carell and Tina Fey. The television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” also features several improvisational games and techniques that are performed by groups similar to Unacceptable Improv.
Hensley said that anyone who may be interested is welcome to join, and no prior experience in improv or acting is needed. Anyone interested in joining or getting more information can contact the Unacceptable Improv club at email@example.com.