‘Mixed Signals’ troupe sprouts fresh spring comedy

By Ariel Steinsaltz
Staff Writer

Ariel Steinsaltz / Staff Writer

Mixed Signals, the College’s improv comedy troupe, was met with cheers from the audience as its members took the Library Auditorium stage on March 10 at 8 p.m.

For the first half of the show, the group performed its standard series of short improvisation games. The troupe led games like “Ding,” in which any member of the group outside of a scene requires those in the scene to change the topic of the last discussion, and “Hollywood Director,” where a director character has three actor characters do a scene in a number of different ways.

During the skit for the game “Ding,” a character learned they were pregnant with the anti-Christ, after other previous options were changed. They asked their partner where they were from, and he replied, “The ninth circle of hell.”

These games then transitioned into the long form segment of the show, which allowed the troupe to interact with the audience. After the crowd came up with a topic of conversation, that topic was used to start a discussion between three special guests, who were students in the audience.

Kate Augustin, a junior elementary education and psychology dual major, served as one guest in the performance. She spoke about a prom held at her high school, which was described as the best prom in the U.S. in 2004 according to USA Today, and featured performers such as Drake Bell.

After the show, Augustin was quick to comment on how much she enjoyed the night.

“It was so much fun,” she said. “The Mixed Signals can take nothing and make it the funniest thing ever. I like to support my friends, and also they are genuinely hilarious. I don’t think I’ve not, like, cried laughing at a show.”

Mixed Signals Vice President and senior communication studies and English double major Samantha Franz explained that there is a certain selection process that takes place in order to find the ideal troupe guest stars.

“The guests are selected through sort of a process of the people who attend our show every month and collective audience members who come to every show and know the kind of jokes we like,” Franz said. “People who can tell a very cohesive story.”

She also talked about how the improv group often incorporates short games and activities to entertain the audience. The longer activities were newer for the group, but they were pleased with the reception.

“This is a theme that we do every year,” Franz said. “Long form is not something that we do very often. We’re a very short form troupe and we prefer to stick to two to five minute games, so this is kind of a stretch for us.”

The performance was well-received by audience members and kept them entertained throughout the night.

“My mouth hurts from smiling so much,” said freshman history and secondary education dual major Molly Hurst.

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