The College’s improvisational comedy troupe, The Mixed Signals, performed to a packed house Sunday night. Audience members took up every seat and lined the back wall of the library auditorium to watch scenes made up on the spot.
The first game of the evening was “Press Conference” where the audience provided the troupe with an idea for an event while one Mixed Signal, senior computer science major Andrew Timmes, left the room. When Timmes returned, he had to guess the subject of the press conference by taking questions from the other members of the troupe. Inspiring wistful reflections of television nostalgia from most of the audience, the topic of the press conference was that lab rats Pinky and the Brain finally took over the world.
“I’m just mad that someone got to it before I did,” cast member and junior communication studies major Cat Cosentino said, doing her best Dr. Evil impression.
In a game called “First Line, Last Line,” Timmes, along with Mixed Signals newcomer freshman psychology major Liz So, used audience suggestions for the sketch’s first line – “Don’t eat that,” as well as the last line – “Wow.” So immediately adopted the persona of a Ritalin-starved, young girl with a fondness for ripping worms apart and nailing squirrels to trees.
“PETA keeps sending me e-mails,” So said.
“You have an e-mail address?” Timmes responded as her father, at a loss about how to deal with his uncontrollable daughter.
The night’s standout performances came during a game called “Superhero Sidekick Version 2.0.” Cast member and junior communication studies major Elaine White’s superhero sidekick persona was the Sarcastic Sinner whose lair was a confessional booth.
“I killed a man again, but I didn’t mean to,” White said to the priest behind the partition as she dripped with perfectly-timed sarcasm.
In a day care center, the Sarcastic Sinner battled a villain called the Observant Authoritarian, brought to life by senior philosophy major Kevin “Vegas” Lancaster. In an unexpected ending truly worthy of improvisational comedy, the villain, not the hero, got the girl.
“You’re so authoritarian,” Lancaster said to the day care center worker played by So, “like my mother.”
The Observant Authoritarian then absconded with the day care worker.
“Oh wait, the kids,” So yelled as Lancaster scooped her up and carried her off stage.
On March 27, the Mixed Signals are hosting an event they have named R.O.C.K. or Really Odd Comedic Kids. The show will include performances by the current Mixed Signals as well as alumni, The University of Delaware’s improvisational theater group called the Rubber Chickens, two rock bands and possibly a professional improvisational troupe from Philadelphia.
Senior psychology major and Mixed Signal member Kim Mackanic said the event was inspired by a similar event held at the University of Delaware.
“We want to pull in more of the College community,” Mackanic said.