The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Touring Company performed along with Kalamazoo College’s very own improvisation group, Monkapult, in the Dalton Theater on Wednesday, November 4.
Upright Citizen’s Brigade, an improvisation group from New York City, has alumni who are some of the biggest names in comedy today, including Amy Poehler, Donald Glover, Horatio Sans, Jack McBrayer, and many other cast members of shows such as “30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “Community.” Other famous alumni, such as Adam McKay, have gone on to direct films like “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights.”
Monkapult started the night off. Several members of the troop stepped up to the front and started with a random line based words from the audience. Whenever a member thought they could add to the scene, like being a new character, they stepped in to give the scene depth. Then one of the members would say “swoosh,” and the whole process would start over again.
The performance featured four members of the famed improvisation troop: Andy Bustillos, Morgan Miller, Matthew Starr, and Connor Ratliff.
For the first part of their show, the Upright Citizens Brigade asked for a story from a member of the audience. Then, using the story and other comments made from an opening discussion with the audience, the four-member improvisation group built elaborate and creative scenes.
Upright Citizen’s Brigade is a “long form” improv act, meaning each of their performances is different. Each scene they act out is one “that has never been done before [and] will never be done again,” as said by Starr.
Next, they asked the audience to pull out their phones and share three different text messages with them, and again, the group used them to create scene after scene, all the while making the audience laugh.
“I thought it was so inspirational and so smart,” said Kate Kreiss K’19, a member of Monkapult.
Kaspar Hudak K’19 was impressed by how “the Brigade was very open to student experiences,” adding that they took them, “and arguably improved upon them.”