De-stress with Improv Troupe’s winter show

ELLIE ALLEN  |  STAFF REPORTER  |  emallen2@butler.edu

Butler University Improv Troupe will perform at their annual winter show on Dec. 8. The free performance will be in Jordan Hall 141 at 5:00 p.m. The show will include games, audience interaction and a lot of comedy.

There will be eight to nine short games that incorporate the audience. All of the scenes are entirely improvised and intended to be comedic by the ten performers in the improv troupe.

Senior president of Butler’s Improv Troupe, Courtney Irwin, founded the troupe two years ago. Irwin said she has been passionate about improv from a young age.

“It was actually a program that Butler had, and then it went inactive,” Irwin said. “I spent the second year of college getting [the new club] all approved. My third year of college, I garnered support and worked on getting our first show underway.”

Irwin is now preparing for the troupe’s second show. She said that improv is great to be involved in or just to watch, because it is a place where everyone can be themselves.

“Improv gives you a safe place to be silly and be creative and interact with people in a way you don’t normally,” Irwin said. “Every experience is an experience that can’t be replicated and that to me is really beautiful.”

Given the nature of improv, the performers do not have anything planned ahead of time. They will ask the audience to give them certain relationships and characteristics and then perform scenes based on the audience’s input.

Junior critical communication and media studies and international studies major Madeline Murray said she got involved with the improv troupe because she had been involved in theater in high school, and wanted a way to continue while being in college.

“I wanted an outlet to stay involved in the arts in some way,” Murray said. “It’s not as intense as joining the theater program. It’s a hobby that you can get into, and it’s been great that way for me.”

Murray said she hopes that students will decide to come to the show and get a break from the stress of finals week.

“I hope that we bring a little joy to people right before finals week,” Murray said, “And that they can laugh, because laughing is important.”

The troupe practices by doing improv games that have a set structure, but they make up what happens within each situation. This is the same structure they will use to perform at their show.

Junior strategic communication major Kait Wilbur said she is nervous about her first performance as part of the troupe, because she doesn’t know how the audience will react.

“You are always throwing in so many random details and trying your best to exist within the scene,” Wilbur said. “I’m also excited about that because I love that moment when it clicks.”

Wilbur said she thinks improv is important because it has allowed her to improve her conversation skills.

“Not only is it a great outlet for comedy, but it’s helpful in daily life too because you have to think of something fun and cool to say just to react to people, and this is just a heightened form of that,” Wilbur said. “It’s made me better at rolling with the punches conversationally.”

The show is expected to last about an hour in Jordan Hall 141.

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