You sit in anticipation and watch the team standing in a circle preparing for a night of enjoyment. Ideas followed by laughter thrown around constantly as the audience readies itself for a great night ahead. The environment says laid back, but the lighting intensifies as the stage sets itself up. It’s all smiles in Stello Hall. The light blue “Beggin’ For Mercy” t-shirts are worn with pride as performers casually chat with friends in the audience. 8 p.m. rolls around and the group comes together ready to walk the walk and talk the talk. Bill Krebs, the dangerous mastermind behind this whole thing, takes last minute checks on everything running back and forth. Fist pumps all around. It’s time to watch the art of improvisational comedy at work done by Mount Mercy University’s very own improv troupe.
As the show begins, each little skit is introduced and laid out for the actors to fill in the blanks. The first skit’s dimensions were “cleaning the toilet” and “Olympiads”.
It was humorous to watch as two of the actors were commentators and the third was gettin’ down and dirty “cleaning” a toilet in attempts to break the world record. After that, skits ranged to fantastical extremes from taking a trip to Jamaica to creating fake holidays like the wonderful “Festivis Day”.
Festivis Day was part of a crowd favorite that took quotes from the audience prior to the show that involved random mottos, quotes and sayings. They helped to create the holiday as actors randomly drew the quotes out of the basket. Some of them could barely contain their own laughter as they read from the small slips of paper.
Throughout the night small simple ideas evolved into grand schemes of crude humor that could only be topped by the next skit.
One of my favorites, and one of the very last skits, involved a “murder most profound! ”This involved four people, three of which were sent out to the hallway. The scene was told to the first person; a stripper plumber had been murdered at a Dairy Queen with a frying pan. One person after the other would come back from the hallway. Now, starting with the first, each person had to communicate to the next that this murder had taken place, but they could only talk in complete gibberish. This led to odd body gestures that no one should be allowed to see in public, but you just couldn’t help busting a gut anyway.
During all the skits was a sense of comradery; the audience wanted to help the actors to be funny and the teammates were attempting to help the actors on stage to make the right silly decisions by screaming at them. All in all, the audience wanted to communicate to the troupe that we wanted to laugh. The group communicated to us that they wanted to be laughed at. What made the night so successful was we all knew humor was coming.
There was just no way around it. I would say and the audience would agree, it could have went all night and we would have been “beggin’” for more.
Beggin’ For Mercy improv troupe meets Wednesday from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and is always looking for new recruits.
Just by getting involved in a group like this, you can improve some communication skills and possibly make some friends in the process.
This article was written by Taylor Foster, Staff Writer, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times in the September 19, 2012, issue.