Festival of Fools Improv is growing

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor  (Courtesy photo/The Bison)

Festival of Fools, the OBU improv troupe, is expanding their number of performances.

May 4-5 will be the second time they will offer two shows back to back sharing the same theme.

Bayleigh Platter, Hunter Vicars and Garrett Wheeler are three freshman theatre students who have been part of Festival of Fools since the Fall 2017 semester.

Q: Why did you join Festival of Fools?

Platter: “I went to the first show that they had to recruit, and they just looked like they were having so much fun onstage and you could tell that they were like a family and the way they interacted with each other and I was really excited about that. I just felt really led to be a part of Festival of Fools.”

Hunter: “I had absolutely no intent of joining improv after I saw the show but then one of the captains was like you should try out and I did and here I am and I love it.”

Wheeler: “I saw that there was an improv troupe at OBU. I thought ‘wow, they’re doing improv here, that’s so cool. I have to get in on this.”

Q: What is one thing you’ve learned from your first year in Festival Fools?

Hunter: “What you’ve got is what you’ve gotta to run with; whatever idea you have, you take it and you do what you can with it. And I’ve applied that not just to improv but to classes as well.”

Platter: “I’ve always struggled with confidence. And so like from where I started improv to where I am now my confidence has grown immensely. And that’s not just in improv, that’s like with auditions for theatre, that’s in my grades, and how I look at myself in the morning. Like confidence all around has just boosted extremely because of the people that surround me in improv, the people who support me.”

Wheeler: “It’s probably a teamwork aspect. […] I tend to just kind of act as someone who’s trying to carry everyone, but improv has shown me that it is definitely a team effort. I rely on my scene partner as much as they rely on me. And it’s definitely a yin and yang situation and that’s what makes scenes, as well as life, interesting and work.”

Q: How is the new two-show format been different?

Wheeler: “You kind of know what to expect and not know what to expect at the same time, if that makes sense. You walk in and you kind of know ‘okay I kind of know where we’re going to go’ in terms of what exact we’re going to do but what exactly is going to happen it’s just like no idea, and I feel like that’s really the thrill of having two nights. Each night is such a different environment.”

Hunter: “The back-to-back was really scary at first because with any show that your doing in the theatre world you have to keep the energy up, especially in improv because it’s such an energy involved show that we give. […] The second night you go in and you have to go in with the mindset that you have that same amount of energy because you want to give your best for the audience and for your fellow teammates because if your not giving your best your not making them look good and that’s your ultimate goal is to make your scene partners look better.

Although the shows share the same theme and games, they will still remain quite different.

Rather than a script, the performances will use improvisation games to provide a format.

Festival of Fools fans could attend both nights without seeing very many of the same jokes.

“I would encourage people to come both nights,” Platter said. “I think if you go just one
night that’s fine, but I think it’s very important to remember that it is improv so nothing will be the same. It will be the same format but genuinely when you watch improv you’re not thinking about the format of the game, you’re thinking about the content of what’s being said. And genuinely if you come both nights, it will be two different shows. It’ll be two different feelings, two different emotions, two different atmospheres.”

The shows will be in Sarkeys Black Box, Friday, May 4, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $2 and popcorn $1.

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