“Everything’s made up and the points don’t matter,” the unofficial slogan of iconic improv comedy show Whose Line is it Anyway? is probably the most accurate description of improv I’ve ever come across. This description proved true at the show at the Stage House Theatre Saturday night, where the improv event there felt more like a collaboration.
The performance pitted Chimera Theatre’s Freudian Slips against members of TRU’s Drama and Theatre Club (TRUDAT). Since most of Chimera Theatre’s members are former TRU students, it was as though the previous iteration of TRU theatre students was facing off against the next.
One of the great things about improv is that it truly is a team sport, and throughout the many games the actors helped and showed kudos to each other regardless of what team they were on. This is improv theatre at its best.
Up for grabs was a suitably improvised trophy, a ceramic sculpture of a woman with staggeringly large hips with “Winner” written on one side and “The Freudian Slips” on the other in black Sharpie.
One of the more bizarre games, and one of the toughest for the actors, had Melissa Thomas for the Freudian Slips and Peter Navratil for TRUDAT playing a game in which they had to incorporate randomly-selected Donald Trump quotes into their scene. The improvers had to find ways of slipping in comments like “You know, it doesn’t really matter what the media writes as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful piece of ass,” and “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich,” and “It’s freezing and snowing in New York, we need global warming” into their dialogue. The characters they played were a plastic surgeon and patient, who were both feminists.
The show also featured questionable accents, animal impressions and jokes at Poland’s expense. The Poland jokes killed.
The audience for the competition was very vocal, and when the time came to decide the winning team by applause, it was difficult to tell one roar of approval from the other. After redoing the applause testing several times, the hosts decided to give the trophy to the TRUDAT improv team.
Jessica Buchanan and Brittany McCarthy, co-directors of The Freudian Slips, also co-hosted the show.
The Freudian Slips’ next show on April 16 will be Harry Potter-themed and instead of consisting of several games, it will be their first foray into long-form improv, basically an improvised play.
“Since everything’s been going so well with this season, we’ve decided to do a summer season, and there’s going to be open auditions, so if you think this looks fun, come on out,” Jessica Buchanan said.
They will soon hold open auditions, the dates of which will be announced at their April 16 show and on their Facebook page.