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Improv Club returns to the Little Theatre for a lovey-dovey night of laughter

The annual Valentine’s Day show leaves the audience smiling with love.
Improv+Club+members+grin+for+a+group+picture+after+a+fun-filled+Valentines+Day+show.
Madeline Jarosz
Improv Club members grin for a group picture after a fun-filled Valentine’s Day show.

Entertaining, engaging and enthusiastic—these are three words one can use to describe the special Valentine’s Day-themed performance by JCU’s Improv Club, the Rogue Understudies. This specific performance is one that is enjoyed every year since students look forward to getting some humor in before Valentine’s Day.

On Feb. 9, the troupe joyfully ran down the aisle, onto JCU’s Marinello Theater stage and delivered a show that kept audience members laughing and smiling the whole time. This performance featured multiple improv games such as a party game in which members acted out specific characters looking for love at a party, a dating game in which members acted out a blind dating show as different characters, and a Hollywood director game in which two members acted out a Valentine’s date with specific scenarios given by the director. All of the games fit into a Valentine’s Day theme, whether that be through the use of specific relationship-related prompts or characters on a first date.

One aspect of the show that stood out was the crowd engagement. Starting with the troupe running through the aisles, the crowd was involved the whole time. Multiple times throughout the show, the audience was called upon to shout out answers and help give the actors prompts or characters. The actors even used the audience’s comments on an Instagram post from the JCU Improv Club page for one of their games. The final piece of crowd interaction came from multiple students winning a small prize from a raffle once the show ended.

It should also be noted that Dr. Welki, Improv Club’s biggest fan, was in the audience and attends almost every show.

Looking at the preparation for a show like this, one without a script, Improv Club President Madeline Jarosz ‘25 helped to shed some light. She stated, “We prepare for each performance by learning and polishing up the rules of the games we play in shows. For example, we wanted to try a new game at our last show called Hollywood Director, so we played it multiple times in practice so all the players understood the rules and were able to perform it to the best of their abilities. Basically, what you see on stage is what we do [in] our practices!”

Jarosz also shared her favorite part of being in Improv Club. As she explained, “My favorite part of being a member of our Improv Club is working with these incredibly talented and funny people to create shows that entertain not only the people on stage, but the people watching as well! As improvers, we have to put a lot of trust in one another during a scene. We have to work together to create a narrative and trust each other to bounce off the jokes we are making or the plot we are setting up.”

“This is easier the more you know and are comfortable with one another. I know that I would not be able to be up on that stage taking a risk with jokes if I didn’t have the people I have come to love and respect up on that stage with me. We support each other in everything and I think that is what makes us so special.”

Lastly, Jarosz was able to share what the audience can expect from the Improv Club in the future: “Keep your eyes peeled for future events! We will try our best to do monthly shows, but we will also have other events on campus that are still in the works.”

Jarosz stated that if anyone is ever interested in joining improv or just wanted to come to a practice to see how it works, they meet on Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. and on Fridays from 4-5 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Bella Congelio, Campus Events Beat Reporter
Bella Congelio is a sophomore English major from Elyria, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing and is minoring in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. In addition to being a campus beat reporter for The Carroll News, she is a member of the Sweet Carrollines and the Theater Club. In her free time, Bella is always reading a book, loves to cook and bake, and is always listening to music.

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