Movies, Classic novels, Basketball, Soccer, Video Games
April 15, 2017
As a longtime fan of the campus improv group, STC, I jumped at the opportunity when I heard a professional improv troupe would be coming to UR. STC sponsors a professional group every year and sells tickets to the event. This year, the Upright Citizens Brigade made their way to the campus commons to put on a show.
STC kicked off the event with an improv game of their own, on par as usual. Then, they introduced UCB to a loud round of applause. One of the coolest parts of the show was actually seeing UCB’s “comedy strategy.” STC has the benefit of knowing all the inside jokes of the UR campus and can even bring in references to friends (because a lot of the crowd usually knows who they are). But UCB didn’t have that luxury, so they have to—well, improvise.
Part of their method is to bring up one of the audience members on stage to interview them and get a sense of those iconic people, places, and events on campus. It served both as a funny introduction to the various personalities in the troupe and gave them enough material to run the first half of their show. Quickly they learned of UR’s infamous geese, the mythology of our gazeebo, and the clubs frequented by students on the weekend.
UCB did a particularly good job riffing off of the gazebo myth, which if you’re unfamiliar goes like this: if you kiss someone in the gazebo, you have to marry that person; then, if you want to reverse that fate, you have to walk backwards around the lake three times. Sadly, I can’t recount the scenes in a funny enough manner to do the show justice so you’ll have to take my word for how funny they were.
For the second half of the show, UCB asked us to take out our phones and read weird, out-of-context texts to serve as the basis for their scenes. This led to all kinds of crazy scenarios involving sentient hip bones, “helping the ham” at a sandwich restaurant, and even more than I can remember now.
UCB did a great job throughout the entire show of preserving the comedic momentum, seamlessly transitioning from one scene to the next. Though I shouldn’t really be surprised, that’s why they’re professionals.
Why UR?A simple answer to the question "Why UR?" would be to say that it just felt right. Though, whereas that isn't inaccurate, I know how vague and frustrating an answer like that can be for readers. So, I will try to explain myself. The University of Richmond, as I researched it more and more, became continually more appealing. Every new thing I learned became another reason to attend. (That certainly was not the case with other schools.) I didn't have to wrestle with thoughts like, "I guess I can live with that" or "Maybe it won't seem like that when I'm actually there." In fact, even viewing the university with a critical eye, it was difficult to find something bad to say about it. That may sound like I'm simply affirming my final decision, but it's not easy to answer that question without directly showing someone what I'm trying to articulate. UR is a place that, although ripe for descriptive writing, must be experienced firsthand to truly understand. That, I believe, says more than any list of reasons ever could.