This weekend was full of shenanigans, but I’m not talking about my own; I’m talking about Southern Virginia University’s improvisation group, Shenanigans, that performed in the university’s ballroom on Friday night. Imagine attending a showing of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” (that show from Comedy Central hosted by Drew Carey) but for free!
The show featured a cast of four guys and four girls who alternated into different combinations and pairs to “play” different “games.” Topics for the games were based on either audience suggestions or predetermined prompts from the group.
Here’s an example of one of the more interesting and difficult games: the cast was supposed to converse with one another casually, but they were not allowed to use the letter “n.” That sounds difficult doesn’t it? It was, but it was also drop dead hilarious to see the performers making mistakes and having to switch out for a new person.
In another game, three of the girls in the group called upon their unsuspecting boyfriends in the audience to come and join. The rules of the game were that the girls were not allowed to move unless their partner moved their body part for them; what a disaster that could have been! The boys had to follow the context of their girlfriends’ conversations to decide in what direction to move them, and vice versa, the girls had to improvise according to how their teammate positioned them.
I think my favorite part of the show was the air horn that would blow every now and then, usually signaling the end of joke or an infraction in the rules. Also, because the weather is getting warmer, the windows were open, letting in a cool breeze from outside and keeping everybody cool.
The performances by Shenanigans always draw a lot of attention and excitement. Typically, each performance starts off with an opening prayer, which isn’t surprising considering the good-natured elements of the show. Also typical is the incorporation of a plunger into almost every show. Yes, that’s right, the thing you use to unclog a toilet: a plunger. The Shenanigans’s shows in the past have been popular and remarkable for their inclusion of this household item. Improvisation is all about originality isn’t it? Prior to the show, they used plungers in the posters that were placed around campus announcing the upcoming event. Those definitely caught my attention!
Shenanigans has an ever-changing cast of humorous and outgoing people; maybe one day I’ll see you performing.
(Post by Brian Caycho ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)