Mixed Signals show gives belly laughs

The following are actual quotes from students at the College:

“I enjoyed throwing up way too much,” said junior nursing major Nina Shulgach.

The College’s improv group, the Mixed Signals, have students laughing from beginning to end. (Photo Courtesy of Matt Ritsko)

“I liked befriending the tree, it broke my heart when it got chopped down,” said junior computer science major Lindsey Nice.
“I was the tree,” said freshman history and secondary education double major Rachel Friedman.

No, these students did not hit their heads recently, nor is anything else wrong with them. They are simply members of the College’s improvisational comedy troupe, the Mixed Signals, who performed this past Sunday, March 3 in the Library Auditorium before a full audience.

In a performance which had members of the crowd laughing in what could only be described as a raucous manner (this reporter had his seat kicked by enthusiastic audience members who could not contain their amusement), the group can certainly lay claim to having their viewers rolling on the floor with laughter.

Of course, during the course of the show, that phrase was taken literally by performer Jonathan Dowler, a junior history and secondary education double major who was required by the game to always keep at least three of his body parts on the ground at any given time.

Rolling about, fake-vomiting and sentient trees are par for the course for the improv comics, who participated in such games as Party Quirks, Three Line Scene, Moving People and L’Swipe, which incorporated the entire cast and closed the show. Working with larger groups is not the norm in improv, so the performers were especially pleased with their results in that forum.

“One part of tonight’s show that I really enjoyed was that the games that incorporated a lot of us were the ones that went the best,” said sophomore psychology major Garrett Verdone. “Which is how it should be, since the more we get to feed off each other, the more energy we can put into the scenes and give to the audience.”
Energy and audience are important parts of the performance, according to the cast.

“We tried to come in with a lot of energy, and we had a great audience, which really helped out,” said senior biology major and Mixed Signals president,  Dan Loverro.

“I think the audience was very receptive tonight,” Dowler said. “We’re only half the show, the audience is the other half, so having a great audience really made the show move along and just made everyone feel more comfortable.” Overall, the cast was pleased with their performance.

“I would be watching scenes and be so proud of what was going on, and I’d look into the audience and everyone would be laughing,” said sophomore women’s and gender studies major Morgan Teller. “It’s so great seeing that people like it so much, and then after the show they confirm it and tell us about their favorite scenes — it’s what we work for.”

Other members of the Mixed Signals cast include sophomore music education major Shannon McGovern, junior computer science major Graham Mazie and freshman English and secondary education double major Steve Munoz.

The Mixed Signals’ next show will be their Rock event with special guests the United Citizens Brigade Theater on March 23 in Kendall Hall at 7 p.m.