ImprompTU Laughs Its Way Into The Future

by Brian Hudson

After a strenuous day of classes at Transylvania, most students likely find themselves in want of a laugh. Thankfully, there’s a group at Transy that keeps student laughter in mind. ImprompTU, Transylvania University’s improvised comedy team, is under new leadership this year, headed up by sophomore Cameron Lindsey.

(Left to right) Junior Caleb Ritchie, seniors Matt Elmore and Ashley Stafford, sophomore Cameron Lindsey, junior Daniel Settle, and sophomores Alex Cheser and Cory Collins impersonate Leonardo DaVinci’s “The Last Supper”.

ImprompTU recently held open auditions on Oct. 4 and 5. These auditions consisted of allowing the hopeful newcomers to play a few improv games while letting the veterans observe their performances.

There are several characteristics that ImprompTU looks for in its members. One is a lack of stage fright. Improvisation, by nature, puts performers on the spot, inevitably leading to some awkward situations, and they need to be able to accept those situations and play off of them.

“It basically just requires you to be a goofy person in front of a lot of people,” said Lindsey.

Teamwork is another necessary skill for aspiring improvisers. As many of the improv games played by ImprompTU involve splitting off into pairs or teams, performers need the “ability to work with their partner, whoever it is,” as Lindsey put it.

Active attention hogs can take away from the group-oriented games that ImprompTU plays.

“We want people who don’t try to upstage other people,” Lindsey said. “It’s also important that you’re funny.”

After two days of auditions; numerous games; several interesting resolutions for tense, on-the-spot situations; about 20 students who auditioned; and many laughs, ImprompTU has three very funny young guns joining its ranks: first-years Andrew Traughber, Christopher Lloyd and Josiah Knight.

When asked what ImprompTU had on the docket for this year, Lindsey said, “It’s going to be a lot different than last year, which was very … improvised, honestly.”

Among these different plans is the goal of performing at least once per month. Although these shows will occasionally be at Transy, allowing the campus community to become more familiar with the group and their antics, ImprompTU is also planning to do some shows off-campus, one of which will be at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

“We will be doing the type of thing we did last year, but we’ll (be trying) a lot of new stuff,” said Lindsey.

The group is also tossing around the possibility of doing a one-time sketch comedy show, as opposed to its traditional “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” style.

For those who want to see more, and actually watch ImprompTU in action, it holds practice every Monday and Wednesday in the Campus Center gym or canteen, and these practices, unless stated otherwise ahead of time, are open for others to view, as many of the improv games played by the group involve audience suggestions.

Those interested in seeing ImprompTU perform will be happy to know that its first show of the year will be on Oct. 28, with further details to follow that will surely be communicated in a peculiar fashion.

“We’ve got some interesting ways of advertising that I think people will enjoy. We’re trying to be part of this paperless effort, but in an interesting way,” said Lindsey. “All in all, we’ll just be making sure that everyone on Transy’s campus knows who ImprompTU is … and hopefully enjoys us.”

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