By Kaleb Vining
The 9 LIVES Improv Troupe will be performing in Messenger Recital Hall on March 19 at 9 p.m. The event is titled Beat the Clock and will feature a series of games.
The show will have 20 games for the performance, but it is the audience who selects what games the troupe will perform.
The stage will have 20 sheets of paper attached to the front of the stage numbered 1 through 20. On the back of each sheet of paper there will be a game and the names of the troupe members that will play the game.
Audience members will pick the numbers from the stage in no specific order and then the named troupe members must play that game. The 9 LIVES performers will have to complete the 20 games within one hour.
Each game will last around two to three minutes long. The troupe will take suggestions from the audience and there is even an opportunity for audience members to win candy.
This will be the troupe’s first performance for the Spring semester. Not only is it their first of the semester, but it is also a campus show rather than a community show.
A campus show consists of mainly college students and maybe some fans who know members of the troupe; whereas a community show invites younger kids from local schools and their families to come out and watch a more G-rated version of their typical performance.
The campus shows are tailored specifically for college students and typically involve adult themes.
Allyson Moon, director of theatre, said that the troupe is encouraged to be a bit more creative with their themes rather than just using profanity to provoke some laughter.
In the past, the 9 LIVES Improv Troupe would even start a show with a sketch or even a film that they had made.
“Sometimes there’s a sketch during the show we really haven’t created a film this year but there’s been 9 lives shows that have started with short films that the nine as a troop has made, but then we always throw candy and there’s lots I mean like yeah there’s lots of candy,” said Moon.
When it comes to improvisation, practice can be very important. There is no audience when the troupe practices which can make things difficult at times.
The troupe practices technique the most because it is so important for their performances.
“There’s a lot of technique that goes into improvisational acting, I mean the action, of course, and the creation of the character in the scene is absolutely spontaneous they don’t take stuff they have used in practice to the live performance,” said Moon.
Practice can be difficult without an audience, but it has been even more difficult this year due to the pandemic.
Eric Farbes, physical performance sophomore, said, “Practice has been really tough and kind of hard because we can’t get very close to each other like normal.”
The troupe also has to wear their masks the entire time they practice. Improvisational acting requires a lot of vocal effort and the masks do not help with that strain.
Moon said that the troupe is very excited for their upcoming performance and that it should be a great time for them and the audience alike.
“The new game style will be challenging with 20 games in 60 minutes, but it should be a lot of fun and very fast paced,” said Sheldon Hawthorne, 9 LIVES Troupe member.