Snappy thinking in Improv Jam creates an entertaining evening


Eric Lam

Improv Jam cast members form a mosh pit at the end of the show, Thursday, Feb. 16.

Eric Lam

Improv Jam showcased on-the-spot improvisation through a series of eight segments featuring audience interaction. Directed by seniors Sophia Keohane and Ella Reid, the show played Feb. 16 in the little theater. 

According to Reid, Improv Jam is an audition-free alternative for people to perform in improv shows.  

“There is an audition-only improv troupe at North,” said Reid, “but this is a chance for people, even if they don’t like auditions or if they’re not in the other troupe, to be able to perform improv.” 

Before the show started, the cast handed out jars of “Improv Jam” to audience members. 

The show opened with the skit Eight Rooms by Reid. In this skit, audience members gave suggestions to Reid. The performers used these suggested scenarios as frames for their improvised skits. 

Shortly after this came Radio Dial directed by Reid, an act showcasing imaginary and absurd radio stations suggested by audience members. Before the skit began, the cast ran into the audience, seeking inspiration. 

Audience members provided the cast with silly and unorthodox ideas, ranging from stations that advocate against stairs or celebrities eating unusual things. The cast then returned to the center of the little theater and began shaping their skits one by one. 

During Death by Improv, the performers left the little theater while Keohane asked the audience for prompts to avoid giving the performers any time to prepare. 

The prompts were revealed to the performers upon their return to the little theater: purple, the orthodontist, nordic skiing, sleep, DNA replication, and the year 2015. Despite the atypical suggestions, the cast put on an entertaining set. 

According to cast member freshman James Sloan, preparation for the show took a less traditional approach.

“We didn’t really do much to prepare,” said Sloan. “There’s improv club every Tuesday. Just show up and put yourself out there, and you’ll get better.”

The show ended with Keohane and Reid’s Freeze, featuring the entire cast. Audience members were offered the chance to stop any skit at any point by shouting “freeze” to replace a performer. After the audience member created a new situation, the remaining cast members had to improvise under the new circumstances. 

“I felt like some of the performers definitely had great chemistry,” said junior Kavin Kannan, an audience member. “You can easily tell how comfortable they were the moment they got on stage with one another.”