Imagine seeing a classmate pretend to be a criminal on the run or the Student Body President pretend to be a six-year-old or a fellow Resident Assistant take part in a scenario about giving birth.
Pacific University’s improv group prepares shows for this reason: to have the student body come watch, laugh and participate in improvisational games.
“Improv is specifically unique because it’s a journey for both audience and actor alike,” junior Alec Lugo said. “There’s no pressure either. You come. You laugh. You go. And it’s as simple as that.”
The improv group is affiliated with the drama club but functions independently of it.
It is a closed group that holds auditions once or twice a year, averaging about 6-10 members. Junior Sara Creighton who co-hosts with senior Zach Meskell, remembers her friends encouraging her to try out.
“I did and here I am,” Creighton said. “I usually tell people that improv shows are a really great way to kick back with friends, forget all their stress and enjoy some comedy at the expense of others. [The audience] also gets to throw suggestions at us, so every game has some amount of audience participation.”
The group that was formed three or four years ago is now composed of 10 members.
They currently host free shows twice a semester located in the Black Box Theater for 7:30 p.m. shows and the Tom Miles Theater for midnight shows.
“You only have so many chances to see the show so people show up in large numbers,” Meskell said.
Their upcoming set of shows this spring will be performed on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. and midnight.
Meskell urges the student body and anyone else to come and enjoy.
The upcoming improve show will be on May 5 and will be Cinco de Mayo themed.
“We have great group synergy,” Meskell said. “Improv is popular because it’s funny, it’s silly, you get audience interaction and if people didn’t want to see the actor screw up, they would go watch a movie.”
Improv members hope to see more people becoming actively involved whether it be in the audience or the actual group.
“I would love to come back and visit in four or five years and see completely different people, but still see that same great energy,” Meskell, group coordinator, said.