Rowan University’s improv comedy club participated in the Collegiate Comedy Challenge on March 2. The group, known as “The Improfs,” entered ComedySportz Philadelphia, who hosted the competition, and came out as the reigning 2023 champions.
The Competition consists of two rounds of performance with three nearby colleges participating in each. In this instance, the Improfs competed against the St. Joseph’s University “Adjective Nouns,” and the University of Delaware “Rubber Chickens,” the eventual winners of the first round of competition.
Teams were allowed to use their own format, with the Improfs settling on a “mono-scene,” which consisted of one continuous improvised comedic story that was ten minutes long. They were given a one-word suggestion by the audience that they could construct a scene around.
“Our suggestion was ‘food court,’” said club president Luke Gavin. “So we came up with this story of two workers who discover a secret tunnel system underneath, and suddenly they have to fight these moles that they find underground, and it balloons from there. Just a whole lot of shenanigans.”
Despite the absurd nature of the comedy itself, a great deal of care is taken in this genre of performance, with an emphasis on character development, plot and relationships.
“The judges actually gave us notes on strengthening character relationships, which is actually what we were practicing the past few weeks,” Gavin said.
When asked about expectations, Gavin said he did expect for their group to win. When asked how it felt to lose, Gavin replied: “It felt great, obviously.”
This joke was followed by an earnest postmortem: “I was fine that University of Delaware won, they were really funny. I figured it was a close game. It’s hard to rehearse improv, there were scenes we did in practice that were much better than what we did on stage.”
The group intends on competing in the future but has yet to figure out how to improve in a way that ensures another victory.
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