Arts, On Campus

CCE’s ‘March Radness’ Makes Laughter A No. 1 Seed

What do insane dictators, panini-obsessed men, and angry squirrel siblings have in common? If you wanted the answer to that question, you needed to attend the Committee for Creative Enactments’ latest improv comedy show, March Radness.

Stokes South was filled with laughter and merriment last Friday night as audience members trickled into the auditorium, excited to see what the latest CCE show would have to offer. Fortunately for all involved, the troupe did not disappoint. As everyone found their seats, warm lights lit the front of Stokes auditorium, and the show began.

From the very outset of the show, it was clear that the audience was in for quite a treat. The night began with a bang—actors stepped out onto the stage and began performing scenes almost immediately. The first event of the night was interesting: the first two performers began a scene, and slowly, performer after performer would enter and change the scene as they saw fit. Naturally, the stage stacked up with people rather quickly, but this was far from the conclusion. After center stage was packed with actors, each one slowly departed, and the story began moving in reverse. Finally, the front of the room was occupied by only the first two actors performing their original scene, leaving the audience extremely impressed with the display they had just witnessed. As the lights fell to signify the end of the first event, onlookers filled the room with much-deserved applause.

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Much to the joy of everyone watching, March Radness only went uphill. It was refreshing to see multiple talents integrated into the show—at one point, a musical theatre-esque performance was given. Audience members shouted out film genres as inspiration, and CCE actors proceeded to not only improv scenes that correlated with the suggestions, but perform music on the spot to set the mood. More than anything else, this was the most impressive event of the evening. The ability to produce a tune without any prior warning is notable, and any praise that CCE gets for its talents is not nearly enough.

Perhaps the greatest piece of March Radness was the connections CCE members made with the audience throughout the night. One improv game stands out: “Pillars.” For this event, audience members were selected to sit center stage as CCE members acted out a scene around them. When the time came, actors would tap the chosen audience members on the shoulder, who would then produce a line out of thin air for the performers to follow along with. Needless to say, this created some priceless moments—from the predictable to the outright bizarre and inane, the cast was well equipped to handle any and all situations, a mark of truly incredible improvisational actors.

In truth, it was this aspect of March Radness that made the show stand among other types of performances. When Boston College students makes their ways to an on-campus event, they may be seeking entertainment, but they rarely expect to be able to participate in a show themselves. This is precisely what CCE afforded audience members Friday night, and while this was potentially a recipe for disaster, the troupe handled it with precision and poise. Admittedly, not every single piece of the show was perfect—the lighting was not entirely spot on, and certain scenes ran longer than they maybe should have. This is only to be expected, after all. But if these are the only flaws that CCE makes in one night of above-average comedy, any mistakes are easily forgiven.

As the show came to a close, onlookers exited the auditorium with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. True humor can, unfortunately, be difficult to come by. But when the stresses of schoolwork and housing are running high, a little bit of laughter may just be the key element in soothing some tense days at BC. With its latest show, March Radness, the Committee for Creative Enactments has undoubtedly proved that it is an excellent source for this laughter. If all students on campus took the time to watch a CCE improv show or two, they might find their daily stresses easier to carry.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

March 21, 2016