The Sower Logo

Home Arts & Culture It’s all fun and games at the 24-hour IMPROVathon

Photo credit: Josiah Seabaugh

By Eden Dehne


Flying cows, a house of spaghetti and a really old peanut butter and jelly sandwich were used in scenes over the weekend at the CUNE IMPROVables 24-hour IMPROVathon at Janzow Top.

The event began with a two-hour competition, featuring the Sky Team and the Sea Team. The teams participated in several improvisation games, which were analyzed by a panel of judges, including President Bernard Bull, who said judging criteria included “creativity, plot, characters, agreement, location, physicality, and that’s it.”

It was Bull’s first time judging the competition and he said he was very excited to do it.

“Well, I’ve never judged something like this before,” he said. “I’ve only been to a couple of improv shows for entertainment. I’ve never seen a competition like this before.”

Sky Team member Madeline Hudson-Knowlton said there is not a lot of preparation for the 24-hour extravaganza since it is improvisation.

“We did practice the games that we’re going to be playing tonight, but it’s not going to be the same scenes,” she said. “It will be totally different, totally new. That’s about all the prep work that goes into it, just planning which games we’re going to play and who’s going to be in the games, and that’s all.”

After two hours of improvised silly scenes and much laughter from the audience, judges and other cast members, Bull announced the winning team.

“Sky Team, the sun rose and set on your scriptless scruples and satire. Alas, the tide rose on the seas, and your scenes sailed to the glimmering shores of victory,” he declared.

Sea Team member Adam Prince said he was excited to perform for Bull.

“As far as I can remember, I don’t think I’ve performed for him in any other theater thing before.”

Prince said the team picks the games they play on a week-to-week basis in rehearsals and the themes they want to focus on “so that can be what kind of character you play or a location or different parts of the story.”

During rehearsals cast members give out some constructive criticism, which is used to improve the performance.

Junior Julie Oetting said it was fun watching the show. “It was so interactive with the audience, so I had a lot of fun participating in it, even though I was in the audience,” she said.

When the competition ended, the group began 22 hours of improv games. This time, audience members were invited to join in and play.

Please leave a reply. Your comment will be reviewed by the Sower editors before posting.