The Daily Gamecock

OverReactors Improv comedy club gives students creative, witty outlet

<p>Amber Coulter sits in a row with Casey Downs, Susanna McElveen and Cassidy Spencer during the "Bon Voyage Prov" show in April 2019 by the OverReactors Improv club.</p>

Amber Coulter sits in a row with Casey Downs, Susanna McElveen and Cassidy Spencer during the "Bon Voyage Prov" show in April 2019 by the OverReactors Improv club.

From theater to computer science students, OverReactors Improv offers a space for students to practice their improv skills and even perform in front of a live audience.

Improv involves performing without a script, instead getting suggestions from the audience for the performers to act on and make up as they go.

That lack of a script makes preparing for shows a little different than for normal performances. 

“The way that we prepare for the show is knowing what the rules are and then how to implement those effectively in our show. And then, also, just getting better at, you know, the basics of it. Listening to each other and, you know, being quick on our feet; that kind of thing," club president Jesse Breazeale said.

But that lack of a script also means no two shows will be exactly the same, which appeals to some of its members. 

OverReactors Improv members Kevin Connaughton, Cassidy Spencer, Jesse Breazeale and Erin Hahn during the "Prohibition Prov" in February 2020.

“Improv — it's just so different from, you know, when you're in like, a play or like, a short film or a film where you have a script and you rehearse, and you know what you're going to do," Ezri Fender, third-year theater student and club member, said. "You change it up every night, but you basically know the basis of it. But like, I think the things that are scary about improv is like, you go and just — not knowing what you're going to do. So, you have to be a good listener, and you have to be prepared for anything.”

The suggestions the audience gives could be anything.

Fender said she has had to work with spontaneous ideas, such as "ridiculous stuff like dead mice" and the Suez Canal. She said once someone asked, "'What's that smell?' and someone said, 'Grandma'" during a performance.

Members cater to fans of different media with their games. Carlos Sanchez, first-year international studies and economics student, said his favorite game is for movie fans such as himself.

Sanchez said the game involves two movie critics acting as if they were on a talk show diving deep into movie assessment. Visitors join the critics as they act out the movie description.

According to Sanchez, his favorite part is watching people's performances and seeing where they take ideas.

Or, there’s Breazeale’s favorite game, called "half-life."

“You would get a suggestion of something, and you have a couple of improvisers do it in one minute. So, you would time it on your phone, and you would put off at exactly a minute, and you would do the game again, but this time they have to do the entire thing in 30 seconds,” Breazeale, third-year visual communications student, said.

The time keeps getting shorter for the improvisers to complete the scene, occasionally going down to three seconds.

Members don’t have to be theater majors to join the OverReactors.

“We have a few people who are like, in computer science or like, in certain science majors who just like to do it for fun,” Fender said.

It hosts open practices from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Booker T. Washington Auditorium on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The practices involve practicing the same games performers would play in the show. 

According to Breazeale, the OverReactors are hoping to have a show later this month, but a date has yet to be chosen. More information will be on Instagram and Facebook page. The show will have an in-person audience, and it will also be livestreamed.


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