UU Improv held its first show of the fall semester Oct. 18 for a packed house in W.D. Powell Theatre.
UU Improv is an auditioned group of Union students who practice improvisational acting, which is acting with a given set of circumstances but no script.
The group plays different games that put them in different situations, often at the suggestion of audience members.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Leeana Cargile, senior theatre and speech education major. “Actors are completely engaged, and the story is brand new.”
Cargile is director of UU Improv and has worked this year to expand the cast. She said rehearsals are always exciting as actors prepare for the shows.
“You never know what could happen next and are constantly surprised by how creative and hilarious these guys are,” Cargile said.
Steven Piqué, junior business major, is assistant director and host of the show. Piqué said he has changed up the games actors will be participating in this semester and wants them to focus on becoming better performers.
This semester’s team includes 15 members: Cargile, Piqué, James Watlington, Sarah Halbrook, Nathan Piqué, Eddie Echeverria, David Knack, Autumn Montgomery, Autumn Hitt, Laura Reiswig, Garyn McIntyre, Michael Messmer, Sam Jones, Alli Fields and Elizabel Sartin.
“The people on the team are hilarious,” Piqué said. “They work so hard and are the most talented people. It’s live comedy.”
Piqué said the crowd was one of the largest for which the group has ever performed. Every seat was taken, and people were sitting on the floor and standing along the walls of the theatre.
Audience members seemed to greatly enjoy the show. They shouted out suggestions enthusiastically and laughed uproariously at some of the improvised antics of the cast.
One game, called “Late for Work,” drew many laughs from the crowd. Actor David Knack, senior biblical studies and languages major, pretended to be late for work, but he had to figure out why he was late based on the pantomime of other actors. The crowd roared as he failed hysterically to figure out what they were doing.
UU Improv will host another show at Union Nov. 18, part of a double feature along with the comedic play, “The Servant of Two Masters.”
The team will also be teaching improvisational acting to theater students at a Liberty High school Oct. 29.
Piqué encouraged students who might be interested in improv to try out for the group next semester.
“Never be afraid to try something new,” Pique said. “You never know — you might love it.”