Arts, On Campus

CCE Parodies Freshman Orientation at First Show

Improv comedy troupe Committee for Creative Enactments (CCE) hosted their first show of the year, Orientation Session 8, this past Friday in Stokes S195. As everyone packed in and the lights went down, coaches Harry Gordon, MCAS ’19, and Christian Moro, MCAS ’19, introduced the show as a pair of overzealous orientation leaders, donning appropriate polo shirts, khaki shorts, and big smiles while urging the crowd that orientation wouldn’t be complete without this final session. This “session,” of course, would consist of a wide array of madcap improv games that ultimately inspired a great deal of laughter from audience members gleefully on-board for the ride. The coaches then introduced the remainder of the improvisers (also wearing the appropriate OL apparel), and the show commenced.

One of the early highlights was a game called “Gibberish Ding,” wherein the players would improvise a seemingly normal scene before one of the coaches called ding. With each ding, the improvisers would switch from speaking English to speaking gibberish, and vice versa. Becca Karjian, CSOM ’20, Drew Gillis, MCAS ’19, and Sam Kramer, MCAS ’20, took the lead, establishing a scene where three frat boys (one of them named Chad) were nonchalantly cooking asparagus together. The scene played out with each of them quickly switching from English to gibberish, which proved humorous enough, until it became clear that major developments in the scene were occurring in gibberish. Soon enough, the frat boys were lashing out, angrily hurling asparagus at one another, as the scene reached its melodramatic peak with the revelation that one of them was sleeping with the other’s girlfriend.

Another memorable game was “Jump Styles,” where a scene was disrupted by one of the coaches calling out the name of a genre (romance, western, etc.) as the improvisers would subsequently act out the scene as established in said genre. The scene began with Colleen Doyle, MCAS ’19, and Ben Blumenstock, MCAS ’19, waking up Annie Ruoff, MCAS ’21, for a track meet, before one of the coaches yelled out, “Musical.”

This prompted Ruoff to argue with Doyle in song, cleverly provoking one another as they sang; in a humorous aside, Blumenstock broke out into “On My Own,” from Les Miserables. Soon after, one of the coaches called out, “Western,” and the three players quickly changed gears, pensively walking around and speaking in a low, deep growl. The three were at each other’s throats, as Doyle memorably uttered, “This town ain’t big enough for the three of us.” As the scene morphed from one genre to the next, the players skillfully and humorously adopted different moods to fit the archetype of the genre, but much of the hilarity comes from simply watching the initial scene devolve into absurdity.

The good portion of the night was devoted to the “long form,” a series of loosely connected scenes that were tangentially related to one another, each involving the same eight players. There aren’t any strict rules, per se, but part of the fun is watching these improvisers create scenes and situations on a whim and somehow staying on the same page.

One of the funniest sequences involved a normal trip to the dentist, before it became clear that the overly nice dentist was stealing his patients’ teeth and selling them on the black market to finance a trip to Fiji. Another great scene featured two guys eating a meatball dinner at Olive Garden, as they pondered their sexual troubles in a meal filled to the brim with double-entendres.

The night concluded with all the players returning to the stage, standing in line to play a game called “Sex with me.” The wonderfully vulgar game takes a word of inspiration from the audience (i.e. tornado, studying) as players make comparisons about how sex with them is like said object, in some way or another. This final game really allowed the improvers to showcase their quickness of wit, coming up with hilarious, off-the-cuff comparisons in a matter of seconds.

Of course, most of these jokes are too vulgar to describe in this publication, but you can always experience them firsthand by checking out the CCE’s next show, which will be in October.

Featured Image by Katie Genirs

September 16, 2018