Festival of Fools’ will host last improv show of the semester

By Payton Clark, Arts Editor

Sunday, April 23, OBU’s improv troupe the Festival of Fools will be performing their final show of the semester, “Study Break,” dedicated to all of the busy students out there. The show will be held at 2:30 p.m. and only costs $1 admission.

“Our theme for this show will be Study Break,” sophomore theatre major and Festival of Fools co-captain Adam McCollough said. “We know that things can be a bit hard this time of year so we hope to give everyone a break from all the papers and tests to come and laugh for a while.”

While the troupe’s past March-Madness themed show last month was a different type of show, McCollough says this week’s show will look more like the other shows held this year.

The improv troupe poses for a photo in the green room. / Alena Blakley, The Bison 

“This show will be more in line with our past shows,” McCollough said. “Long form is one of the more complicated types of improv so once a year we like to dedicate an entire show to the subject.”

Senior theatre major Samantha King expects this show to look much like past Festival of Fools’ performances this year.

“This one will most likely be like previous shows,” King said. “We like to give a variety, both to keep it fresh for our audiences but also to test the new skills we have been learning in our practices.”

Like most students, McCollough finds it difficult to push through each week, but Festival of Fools has been a retreat from the hectic school year.

“Improv continues to be a highlight of my week,” McCollough said. “It’s a great escape from school and plus I get to hang out with a bunch of merry fools.”

With their year coming to a close, McCollough treasures the time spent building relationships with his troupe members.

“This troupe is like my second family which also adds a lot to the experience,” McCollough said. “It’s going to be very hard seeing this year’s seniors leave, I’ve become quite close to them and I look up to and admire every one of them. I’m going to miss them.”

King reflects on her time in the improve troupe since its start.

“I have been with this troupe since the very beginning, before it was even named festival of fools,” King said. “I was the original treasurer, you can call me Hamilton, but have now trained Noah Stelzer to take over for me so now I’m just an active member.”

King believes that this year with Festival of Fools has been the best year.

“We have a strongly established system now with good and educational leadership,” King said. “I have learned a lot, not only as an improviser, and not only as a performer, but as a human as well. Which sounds cheesy, but everyday life is an improvisation and these skills truly help with that.”

Like the name suggests, the improve troupe makes up all of their material on the spot, which makes everything that much more fun.

“Our rehearsals aren’t your typical rehearsals because how can you rehearse something that you make up on the spot?” McCollough said. “Typically we all play a game to make sure we understand the structure but that’s about it. We do not memorize lines or anything like that.”

ImprovALENA 2
For ‘rehearsal,’ students play games to practice the structure of improvisation. The final improv show will be Sun., April 23. / Alena Blakley, The Bison 

According to King, the troupe has just been fine tuning their skills in preparation for their last show, which she hopes will end the year well.

“Hopefully as the last show it will have just as good if not better of a crowd and will most likely hold the most energy from the troupe (not that we aren’t already crazy energized) since it is our last hoorah. Especially the seniors,” King said.

McCollough anticipates a successful show this weekend.

“I think this show will go quite well, it’ll be a little hard being the last show with my friends but hopefully we can get a big crowd and give them a grand send off,” McCollough said.

As her time at OBU comes to a close, King recognizes the difficulties that lie ahead with troupe members graduating.

“Having the seniors leave will be hard, it is almost half the troupe,” King said. “Being one of the seniors is especially hard just because it has been such a big and important part of my time here at OBU.”

Featured photo by Alena Blakley. 

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