Improv club began when president Abigail Katharin and vice president Cate Hake decided they wanted to provide all students with the opportunity to connect with the UCCS theater community through improv, regardless of prior experience.
The club will hold open auditions for an 8-12 person troupe on Dec. 4 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Osbourne theater in the ENT center. The club will host open improv nights throughout the spring semester on Mondays at 7:45 p.m., with the location to be determined.
The organization is split into two parts: an exclusive troupe that will hold closed rehearsals and perform at local venues, and a club that will be open to all students for practice. Though UCCS has been home to several independent improv troupes in the past, this is the first time a club has been formed.
“We are truly just a UCCS facilitated troupe so that even after we graduate, the troupe doesn’t leave UCCS,” Hake said.
Katharin encouraged everyone to attend open improv nights, regardless of major, experience or skill level. “It’s basically two hours on a Monday that people can come and just be creative and play some improv games,” Katharin said. “It’s really low pressure and a way to just be creative and connect with other people.”
One of the games Katharin referenced is called freeze. In the game, two actors begin a scene onstage while the rest of the troupe watches from the side. Then, at any point, a troupe member can yell “freeze” and tap out one of the actors onstage, get into their position, and “unfreeze” into a completely new scene.
Katharin explained that improv is about listening and communication, and open improv nights are a great way to build confidence and people skills.
“Improv is acting without a script,” she said. “So, if you’re creative, if you’re an artist of any kind, if you’re extroverted, if you like talking, come to improv.”
Like any on-campus club or organization, joining improv club is an opportunity to meet new people. “One thing I would love the club to be is a place where people who are new to the ENT [center] or new to UCCS in general can come and meet new people, if they even have just a touch of love for theater or improv,” Hake said.
For those who do have relevant experience or interest in improv, joining the troupe is a great way to gain performance experience and build a resume.
“Since most of us want to do improv professionally, this is a really good way to build experience and a resume, and if we’re successful enough, we can be like ‘hey, we were in this improv troupe, look at what we’ve done,’” Katharin said.
The club is hoping to polish their skills enough to perform in June at the Denver Fringe Festival, which is an open-application festival of performing arts.
Students interested in learning more about improv club can follow the organization on Instagram @uccs.improv or visit Mountain Lion Connect.
The Improv Club practices in advance of their first show. Photo by Lillian Davis.