By WINONA ATMAJA, junior
The second improv show of the year, Messy Time Travel, went off without a hitch on October 12. Audience members were able to contribute location ideas to stage members who then incorporated those ideas into their performances. Because of the unpredictable settings provided, the crew was forced to think with finesse and imagination to create hilarious scenarios on the spot. “Nothing is planned out before any improv show,” said junior Steve Silvestri, one of the hosts of Messy Time Travel. “We don’t need to follow a script to determine where we’re heading and how we’re getting there.”
The evening started with an “ABC’s” competition in which the cast members began their lines with the next letter in the alphabet while keeping in mind the restaurant setting. Junior Deanna Geritano reigned victorious after staying on stage for the majority of the segment and earned the title of “Queen of ABCs.” “The key to improvising is to stay calm, plan ahead, and keep each response short,” Deanna explained. The evening continued with a segment called “Dubbing,” with juniors Harini Mekala and Jaesa Rogers as the actors and juniors Zach Elghazl and Antolina (Ina) Padua as the dubbers. In a carnival setting, Harini’s acting and Ina’s dubbing sent the audience into a frenzy of laughter.
Following the comical “Dubbing” was “Infomercials,” and, just like the name suggested, two teams of two people had to somehow sell the products they were given beforehand in a creative fashion. The team composed of Zach and Deanna proved to be the funnier duo in an attempt to sell a severed leg, a broomstick, and a hat. After the duo’s victory, the show went on with “Shoot,” a game in which two unlikely couples decided by audience members must interact in a given location. Senior Jenna Alston and junior Jaesa Rogers played the roles of lumberjack and ballerina interchangeably. Whenever the hosts, juniors Dominick Durando and Steve, rang a bell, the two had to switch roles seamlessly. Jenna sent the whole auditorium laughing with her creative accent and her knack for turning any awkward situation into a hilarious scene. In the segment “Mannequins,” two alumni volunteered to control two troupe members, and, once again, the scenario that played out, the accents that were used, and the spontaneity of lines and how they were effortlessly incorporated sent the whole auditorium into a fit of laughter.
After a quick intermission break, seniors Leah Kravets and Danielle (Dani) Sall performed a scenario in which Dani could only respond to Leah through text messages from an audience member’s phone. Leah’s ghost-like voice and stoic face matched perfectly with the graveyard stage, and both did a stellar job in keeping the audience members entertained. The show got a lot more personal in a segment of “Freeze-tag,” where anybody (cast and audience) could shout “freeze” and tap out any person from a given scenario. The only consistency that remained in each scenario was the position of the previous actors. Finally, the show ended with “Four Ways to Die,” in which the audience members assigned four actors different ways to die. Harini was the first to go- she was stabbed by a ninja star while the “dentist” Jaesa tried to fix her teeth. Leah was next, passing away by being hugged by a panda. Jaesa and Jenna switched roles, but Jaesa was killed by a flock of geese before Jenna could “fix her teeth.” Jenna was the last of them to go, having been decapitated by a finely cut pickle.
The evening was an enjoyable time for both cast and audience, and everyone came out a lot closer, with hugs and farewells to end the evening. In between all the congratulations and reminiscing with the alumni, Harini stated that, “at the end of every show, we all feel a lot closer to both the troupe and our friends who come out to watch us.” Indeed, there was a genuine sense of camaraderie between everyone who attended the improv show that evening.