Improvisational Acting Takes the Stage at CIU

January 30, 2017

By Michael A. Lanier
CIU Student Writer

Columbia International University students received exciting news this week as Suessical the Musical was announced as the next production for the CIU Players in April. The anticipation of the production has been building all over campus, but the musical is not the only way students have been diving into the world of acting.

Recently, several students gathered for a night of improvisational acting, which is a form of theater that requires actors to perform without any sort of script. Those who attended were required to make their own characters and scenarios on the spot, and no one knew what was going to happen next.

“I really enjoyed getting to know other people better through theater, and I also enjoyed getting into characters and embracing my own creativity,” said sophomore Regan Galloway. “I loved that the story depended not only on me but on other people.”

The students were introduced to games that required quick thinking skills, as they had to create entire plots out of simple prompts, or sometimes, no prompts at all. Additionally, there were no props, sets, or sound effects either, so the students had to work as a team to bring it all together with no preparation time.

“It was great to be trying new things, making quick decisions, and hanging out with people I don't normally hang out with,” said sophomore Natalie Slone.

Some of the more bizarre scenarios included a fugitive cat, a police chase on rooftops, a farm with a strange variety of animals, and a sales pitch of knives that couldn't cut anything. These are just a few of the creative scenes set by the students.

“It was really cool to see our dreams and things we are passionate about come to life at CIU,” said senior Drew Lindman, who was the assistant director of the event. “It's fun to discover people who have talent, watch them enjoy themselves, and laugh with them.”

At the end of the night, organizers announced that the event was a forerunner to a potential improvisational acting team; an acting troupe that would perform entirely script-free.

Many CIU students have acting talent and experience, but they don't always have the time to commit to a CIU Players production. The improv team would be a way for them to perform and improve their skills without spending a lot of time memorizing a script or rehearsing predetermined scenes.

Meanwhile, Galloway sees other campus life benefits.

“I think an improv team would help others at CIU to come together and work as a community,” Galloway said.

While the CIU Players are hard at work to bring Suessical to the stage on April 1 and 2, the birth of an improvisational acting team could also be coming soon to CIU.