You don’t always know what to expect when you attend an improvised comedy show, but Geneseo’s No Laugh Track Required did not disappoint its audience in the troop’s latest performance.
Improvised comedy is a performance medium where all of what is performed is unplanned. The show is a sum of all of the ensemble members’ ideas and actions leading to the creation of new and exciting characters and storylines.
No Laugh Track Required member senior Clayton Smith said his favorite thing about doing improv, “is having a legitimate forum to goof around, which is something [he’s] usually doing whether or not there is an audience or stage … so improv feels like a productive outlet for that energy.”
The ensemble’s first show of the year, which took place on Saturday Oct. 28, featured three different kinds of comedy routines.
The first routine was called “Moral of the Story.” In this game, the troop had an audience member tell their craziest Halloween experience, and then the ensemble members not only pretended to be characters from the shared occurence, but they then discussed the story’s morals as it unfolded from the selected character’s perspective. The Halloween tale featured a nosebleed in a haunted house, and from there the ensemble’s acting garnered multiple laughs from the audience.
The second routine was called “Telephone,” and the skit created by the ensemble members was told primarily through voicemails. This routine featured balloon animals and an undercover arms-smuggling teacher who was having an affair with the father of one of her students.
The third part of the show consisted of a long form performance named “The Armando,” after a Chicago native improv teacher Armando Diaz. This format starts out with a suggestion from the audience and a monologue from one of the ensemble members. Then the ensemble acts out scenes based on the audience member’s idea. In this particular show, the suggestion was “underwear” and the ensemble showed off their quick wit and ability to make connections to earlier scenes.
Regarding Saturday’s performance, Smith said, “I think it went well, and we’re really happy with the amount of people who came out to support.”
It was a pleasure to watch the ensemble members’ surprise at their fellow members’ hilarious additions to the show by connecting threads within all the performances, specifically during the “Moral of the Story” routine. Seeing the positive interactions amongst the group heightened the audiences’ experience by showcasing how the ensemble also enjoyed their performance.
English major junior Jack Kitzen found No Laugh Track’s performance humorous and entertaining.
“I thought it was really great. Everyone was hilarious and very clever,” Kitzen said. “It was barrels of fun and definitely worth seeing.”u