Mines Little Theatre hosted an improv night last week for people to congregate and play iimprovisational games. Improv games require players to act out a sketch without a script.
Hosting this event was Kari Kron, secretary of Mines Little Theatre, or also known as “Little Sally” in the recent production “Urinetown.” Leading the event was fellow student Jared Griffith, or “Senator Fipp” in “Urinetown.”
The night was not well attended and was influenced by tests in several key, core classes. With few people, few improv games could be played. Most improv games require many players. They also require audience interaction to help set up the games’ settings. Most people are afraid to speak publicly and avoid it when possible. “When you can single people out, it works out better,” said Kron on how to encourage people to play.
The first game was “Two Lines,” where two players are only allowed to speak two lines each. Often these lines are nonsensical, but the timing for saying the lines must make some sense. A third player is supposed to work with these lines and relate them, at least marginally, to the scene at hand. The scene was a volleyball game at Kafadar, with the lines “It’s a trap” and “I smell bread” given to player Ryan Stewart (“Hot Blades Harry” in Urinetown) and Kron, respectively. Griffith had to tie these lines together for a coherent story. The nonsense of the scene amused the players.
The second game was “Goon River,” where three people relate to a word the audience suggests, meet, tell their story, and then die. Stewart’s word was “bowling ball” and he was a disgruntled and crazy man who made bowling equipment. Jared’s word was “peanut” and he had to live with that word as his name because no one knew his true name. Peanut was just a normal guy who goes crazy. The author’s word was “cameltoe,” and he played “Old Man Cameltoe” whose daughter was the richest and most famous porn star in the world with “Cameltoe” as her stage name. Everyone met at “Goon River.” The “bowling ball” guy steals Peanut’s car and crashes into a gas station, blowing himself and the station up. Old Man Cameltoe drunkenly falls asleep in the mud while decrying his plight. Peanut lets the “bowling ball” guy die out of revenge, but Old Man Cameltoe kills Peanut because he was the man to deflower his daughter and inspire her to pursue pornography as a career. Satisfied, Old Man Cameltoe jumps off of a waterfall and lands on sharp rocks.
The last remaining games the players could play without an audience prepared them for improv. One game introduced by Griffith was “Boom Swish Mathigiliano.” Mathigiliano, according to Griffith, has no proper spelling. It is a simple game where one has to react quickly to other players passing turns to other players or else be kicked out of the game. Kron introduced “Woosh Bang,” a more complicated game similar to “Boom Swish Mathigiliano.” It added more ways to pass turns to others, such as skipping players and leaving a turn in the middle of the area for someone to claim (called “hyperspace”). Stewart constantly yelling “suspension bridge” (skipping two players) while three people played was annoying.
Sadly, the performers spent much of the time trying to get the attention of people walking around outside their window. The turnout was dismal. There were few games for only four people. Still, the games played were quite fun, and it was nice for the author to spend time amongst friends from Mines Little Theatre.