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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

SSU’s Improv club presents ‘Rom-Com ‘Prov’

The Improvaholics take romance to a whole new level at Warren Auditorium
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Christian Core
Improv Club after their “Rom-Com ‘Prov” performance

On the evening of Friday, Feb. 16, SSU’s Comedy Improv Club performed their second live show of the school year, “Rom-Com ‘Prov” at the Warren Auditorium in Ives Hall. Known as the “Improvaholics,” five student actors within the group employed different methods of improvisational comedy in the Valentine’s-themed show. The hour-long, ticket-free performance lasted from 11 p.m. to midnight.

The Improv Comedy Club holds the status of being one of the 120 recognized student organizations at SSU, according to SSU’s “Get Involved” site. “Rom-Com ‘Prov,” is not the club’s first live show on campus for this current school year. The group hosted ‘Spookprov,’ a Halloween-themed performance, which took place last October and was performed at the same auditorium. 

This time around, the club dedicated “Rom-Com ‘Prov” to the annual Valentine’s Day celebration and infused the topic of love with every aspect of improvisational gameplay throughout the evening. With last year’s Valentine’s show following a theme that was closely related to the celebration, the club’s co-president, Camryn Ambur, a third-year Liberal Studies major, wanted to implement a “twist” of romantic comedy for this year’s performance. “We try to make the games related to the theme the best way we can,” Ambur said.

Ambur presides over the Improv Comedy Club alongside Cassidy Leeds, a fourth-year Creative Writing major. Both Ambur and Leeds were involved in the development of “Rom-Com ‘Prov” and performed during the show as actors. “We just wanted to create an event to bring people together,” Leeds said.

“We’re not just inviting the audience to an improv show, we’re inviting them to an improv event.”

— Jayden Uhl

Fourth-year history student Jayden Uhl views theming as a critical component of the club’s performances. “We invite the audience to dress up and join in on the fun too,” Uhl said. “We’re not just inviting the audience to an improv show, we’re inviting them to an improv event.”

Club treasurer and fourth-year Early Education student Ellie Okin hosted “Rom-Com ‘Prov” as Ambur, Leeds, and Uhl performed with two other club members. Many of the actors wore Valentine’s-themed outfits and makeup with a pink and red color scheme. 

The opening warm-up act, “Musical Tension” involved two actors in a “silent scene” with love songs playing in the background. In each round, tension would build up between two characters, leading to an exchange that “broke” the tension along with the music breaking. 

“A, B, C, D, W,” provided a designated role for each letter; ‘A’ established the scene, ‘B’ entered the scene as a relationship to ‘A,’ ‘C’ stirred up conflict, ‘D’ served as a resolution to that conflict, and eventually, ‘W’ concludes the scene with a wedding.

Following the first two games, the format of the show began to depend more on audience members. The audience suggested certain themes, genres, and/or topics that the performers would use to inspire each scene.”‘Dating Game” allowed for one host and three guests, all of whom impersonated characters. In “Genre Replay,” actors reenact a scene implementing audience-suggested genres, while in ‘Experts Challenge,’ host Okin chose an audience-suggested subject for the establishing scene. ‘Experts’ followed an academic debate where one actor would object to another actor’s speech, leading to the debate’s topic constantly changing.

“Word from Our Sponsor” involved an interview setting where an audience member volunteered to play a guest and three actors served as interrupting “sponsors” that primarily discussed romantic topics. 

Other improvisation games were not audience-influenced. “Oscar-Winning Moment” facilitated four actors participating in an overarching scene, where each character breaks the fourth wall into their own scene that is deemed an “Oscar-winning moment.”

“In improv, you get to go out to the audience and let them be involved too, and I think that’s really cool.”

— Nate Forquer

Throughout the hour, the audience was consistently entertained and erupting in frequent laughter across the auditorium. First-year History student Nate Forquer, who was one of the actors at “Rom-Com ‘Prov,” said that audience interaction is his favorite part of the performance aspect of improvisational theater. “In improv, you get to go out to the audience and let them be involved too, and I think that’s really cool,” Forquer said.

To get involved in SSU’s Comedy Improv Club, meetings take place at Ives Hall twice a week in Room 35 during evening hours; Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m. 

The Backstage of Warren Auditorium after “Rom-Com-‘Prov” (Christian Core)
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About the Contributor
Christian Core, Staff Writer
Christian Core is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
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