March 6, 2018
Building a community can be important for a college student. For members of the Improv club, this community drives how they perform.
The Improv Club will host an Improv Show on March 14. Club members prepare a theme or list of games for their improv shows beforehand; however, their performances are driven mostly by audience suggestions, said Ryder Tam, club president.
“The show that you see every time is going to be totally unique, based on the suggestions by the audience, and sometimes involving audience members,” said Tam.
Tam, a graduate student studying business, and John Bartlett, vice president, rebuilt the Improv Club two years ago after inactivity. According to Bartlett, a junior theater major, improv provides a collaborative environment that all students can benefit from.
“I fell in love with improv when I first did it, and I love the environment and community that it fosters. Everyone works together to build something, and I can’t imagine finding anything else like that on campus, that builds that micro community inside itself,” he said.
This semester, an average of eight to 12 students participate in weekly club meetings. At time, as many as 50 students will participate in improv events. The Improv Club has two goals: to be inclusive and help students with public speaking, according to Tam.
“Anyone who is interested in improv, or anyone who is interested in getting better at public speaking, or theater or performing, or just to come out and learn to be creative, we have open drop-ins for anyone interested,” said Tam.
“For the people who are more interested in the performance and taking it more seriously, we take them on a different track and teach them how to be better in improv.”
Students of all majors are welcome to join. According to Tam, local community members participate as well.
“We want to get involved with not just the theater community, but also the local Colorado Springs community, and UCCS in general to get more people interested in theater and improv,” said Tam.
The Improv Club does a monthly show every second Wednesday of every month from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Clyde’s.
“The club meets twice a week. We haven’t had any major events with the club itself, but the performance is where we focus on our events,” said Bartlett.
“In the long term, we would like to start doing some more serious events, like taking people interested in performance out to improv festivals or competitions,” said Tam.
Ryder and Bartlett recommend that students join the club as a way to relieve stress and make friends.
“Even if you’re not focused on performing improv or the performance, comedy’s a great way to blow off steam, and being able to come and laugh with a group of like-minded people, have fun and forget about your problems for a couple hours is incredible,” said Bartlett.
For more information on Improv Club, visit their Mountain Lion Connect page at https://orgsync.com/98084/chapter.