Improv team reflects on successful show, looks ahead to shows in April, May


Bearden’s improv team performs on campus.

The Bearden theater department’s improv show last Friday was a “tea party” theme. Bearden’s improv show also known as “It’s in the Jeans” decided to try out something new for their first show of the semester, coming to the conclusion of having a tea party theme. They served snacks and tea to the audience. 

There will be improv performances later in the semester: two performances on April 1 and two performances on May 13.

Bearden theater will also have a bake sale on March 10. Students can watch improv and buy baked goods, which will contribute to the theater department, helping them to continue putting on entertaining shows for students. 

At this point in the semester theater students, especially upperclassmen, have had a lot of time to warm up to each other. Having a level of comfort around peers in theater as a judgment free zone is a must as many performances force students to be vulnerable in order to play the given part. 

“I really love the environment and the people who I perform and practice with,” senior Hadi Bhidya said. “Feeling comfortable and safe with them allows them to trust each other in scenes and games and it only makes the performance better.” 

In improv there are several different approaches, but Bearden theater has decided to split their shows up with a mixture of short form improv and long form improv. Long form improv entails a scene with a set plot but no rules to what the students can act out in the scene, only in how the scene is set up. 

Short form improv usually consists of what is called improv games which can have some influence or participation from the audience members. These sketches are often more clearly structured and have rules, guidelines and an end objective, which makes it feel like a game to the audience. 

“We tend to focus on the games we want to play at the upcoming show,” Bhidya said. “We drill those and evaluate what went wrong and what went right.

“We also try to do a lot of long form improv while keeping the theory in mind.” 

The theater department has been preparing for these performances for months, coming in early to school for morning practices to prepare the week of. With all this preparation coming off of last semester’s performance of Shrek the Musical, actors were eager to perform in front of an audience again. 

“I [was] really just excited to have a live audience,” senior Elyse Lundberg said. “It really brings more life to the actors and scenes we put on.”