Review: Actors display natural spontaneity in Spontaneous Generation

Review: Actors display natural spontaneity in Spontaneous Generation

Nour Chahboun

by Nour Chahboun
Actors exhilarated the audience with witty improvised scenes, musicals, and amusing dances at Wednesday’s uproarious opening night of North’s very own improvisational comedy troupe, Spontaneous Generation. The troupe will perform a fresh and unique show tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theatre.
Wednesday’s show opened with a celebration of Spontaneous Generation’s 18th anniversary. Actors began listing all of the advantages turning 18 brought to the troupe such as being able to purchase lottery tickets and legally buy porn. The scene was filled with racy puns that left the audience laughing hysterically.
After a humorous dance transition, the cast played a traditional game called “Da Doo Run Run.” During the game, audience members proposed one-syllable names for the cast members to rhyme to the tune of the song. Once a member lost the rhythm or failed to rhyme, they were immediately eliminated and sent back to their seat.
Next, an audience member was invited to experience a priceless round of speed dating on stage. He quickly dated five cast members in order to later choose who he wished to wed. Eccentric dates made for an outrageously hilarious scene. The audience members’ passive responses created an even more comical contrast between him and his bizarre dates.
According to junior Nick Scott, pianist, audience participation has enhanced the show as a whole and made it more “unique and exciting.” Senior Jen Gately, a director along with senior Aaron Schwartz, said that her favorite part of the show is being able to “break the fourth wall” and interact with the audience.” This exceptional element is not commonly seen in theatre and allows audience members to inspire and facilitate the scenes.
“Stories come to life, as we take their words and then them into scenes,” said Gately. Through audience participation, the troupe is able to gain inspiration for their scenes and engage in audience interaction which enhances the show’s spontaneous quality.
One of the best improv games was a game of charades in which senior Alex Hoffman, a cast member, was told to leave the theatre while audience members brainstormed different scenes. When Hoffman returned, she was welcomed with hilariously odd scenes, but the challenge was that other cast members could only use gestures and gibberish. The challenging game made for a great scene composed of ridiculous irony.
In the last performance of the night, and undoubtedly the highlight of the show, a lucky parent was chosen to recount some significant events in her life. She spoke about coloring on her walls with friends when she was a child, taking over her high school religion class, working in an Israeli bar, and aspiring to cure aids and malaria in the future.
After, the actors took the events they were given and turned them into astonishing musical numbers that received countless laughter from the audience. The audience applauded enthusiastically as the actors performed their final song, “You Could Run The World.”
The bond that the troupe shares is incredibly strong because there is a “chance to feel connected with every cast member,” according to sophomore Clare Donohoe, a cast member. It is clear that the cast members “feel” connected through their ability to build off of each other’s ideas during improvisational scenes.
Spontaneous Generation has created an educational environment in which cast members are able to work collaboratively to create brilliant scenes. “Being in this show has instilled a new confidence in me to do and say things I never would have before,” said Hoffman.
Since the show is completely improvised, no two shows are the same. “Nothing is contrived or expected because every single thing we say or do is spontaneously generated,” said Hoffman. Because of each show being utterly unique, many students reappear in the audience for various performances.
Overall, Spontaneous Generation was a show filled with genuine talent and spontaneity that left the audience laughing throughout the night.
Tickets are sold online and during all lunches for $7.
http://www.theatreink.net/