Students gathered to watch Comic Frenzy perform on Feb. 15.
Trevor Hill, a theatre instructor who directs and teaches the Comic Frenzy team, said improvisation, improv for short, is more than just entertainment.
“Improv in general is just a really valuable skill to have,” Hill said.
Hill said improv is a part of daily life.
“[Improv] is what we do every single day. There’s no script in life,” Hill said.
He said that improvisational theatre teaches students how to answer the question, “How do I improvise?”
Madeline Hiatt, a freshmen studying theatre performance, is on her second semester as a part of Comic Frenzy and thinks that it’s a practical class.
“[Improv is] thinking on your feet — it works for everything,” Hiatt said.
Hiatt said Comic Frenzy focuses on collaboration and team-building in order for students to perform their best.
“You learn a lot of things that you can take outside of theatre,” Hiatt said.
Scott Michelsen, a senior studying education and a member of the gro, said his on-and-off experience with Comic Frenzy and Academy of Comedy, another improvisational theatre gro on campus, has helped him with his confidence. Michelsen said improv is scary, abstract and intimidating.
“[The class is] not just ‘Let’s show and play games for two hours,’” Hill said. “We’re working. We’re learning.”
Hill said that during class there are reading assignments, team-building exercises and games that Comic Frenzy performs later at their shows.
“We have a whole set of games that we don’t do in shows that help us in other areas,” Michelsen said.
Hiatt said team-building games are the most integral parts of Comic Frenzy.
“It’s based on trust and sporting your fellow members,” Hiatt said. “It’s a really comfortable gro.”
Michelsen said goals are also integral to Comic Frenzy. During each class period the students are asked to focus their classroom work around a goal.
Hill said he tries to facilitate an environment of safety.
“I try to make the classroom as safe a place as possible,” Hill said.
Hill said he encourages failure in the safety of the classroom, because he believes that students need to push themselves, sometimes to the point of failure, in order to develop as artists.
“There is such a great possibility for failure in what we do, and I kind of encourage that,” Hill said.
Hill said this safety and risk-taking creates comfort and comedy.
“It’s a lot of fun, kind of open and loose,” he said.
Hill said he invites all students to join Comic Frenzy. Auditions are held at the beginning of every semester and students who are accepted then add the class.
Comic Frenzy’s next two shows are March 15 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
“Come and see us,” Hiatt said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a good time for us and for the audience.”