SOU students, especially those active with campus activities, are likely very familiar with The Next Best Thing improv group, a campus club dedicated to hosting improv shows for their fellow students. But, well, did you know that there is another improv on campus? First getting started in the spring of 2022, Untitled Titled Improv provides an alternative to The Next Best Thing for those unable to join and the kinds of shows they put on for their audience.
To cap both the fall 2022 term and just the year 2022 in general, Untitled Titled Improv hosted a show in theater room 227 on the eve of December 5th. Beginning at 7:00 PM and lasting until about 8:30 PM, the group put on a show that made those attending laugh and has a good time overall.
Unlike The Next Best Thing, the Untitled Title Improv plays different improv games during their shows. Untitled Title Improv shows are more long-term and play-like. They had only played two Improv games on stage, The Harold during the first half and Quantum Leap during the second half. Every group member participated in both these, and both games would form their respective narrative, making it feel more like you are watching a theatrical play. They even went as far as to have props like stuffed animals on stage for them to use and a bench to sit on during certain scenes. One of the props on the bench was this birthday hat with sticky notes that the audience could write on and place into the cap; throughout The Harold, the players would read the notes as lines to change the course of the story.
The Harold is a three-way split into three scenes connecting back and forth. The first scene started with reading one of the “crunchy spit” lines and went off from there, leading into a love triangle for the three characters on stage. Other members would pop in and out of the scene, with groups rotating to start a new scene. The second one focuses on a character who slides on the floor because he is unable to walk while his brother brings a date over, which goes horribly wrong for the couple. The third one focused on tax seasons and, from an audience line, the crayon wizard responsible for tax season, with the three characters in that scene teaming up to defeat him.
After each time the third scene happens, they do a brief short scene that doesn’t connect in the same way. They did this twice and would start by reading one of the lines a member of the audience wrote. The first was a family making fun of one of their members, a wrestler. The second one had them acting like a bunch of grandpas. After this fourth scene, they would return to the first one, right where it left off. During the show, they would integrate the stuffed animals on sets into the scene, with the crayon wizard being one of them and one of the actors punching one of them, which was the gatekeeper to the crayon wizard’s place. The Harold ended with one of the characters, Jeremy, who was the focus of the love triangle in the first scene, revealed to have slept with all the other characters and was their lab partner. The rest of the characters killed him and then exercised his ghost by taxing him.
After The Harold ended, there was a 10-minute break, and the audience grabbed refreshments. At the same time, music would play from the speakers in the room after the holiday ended. Then, we entered the show’s second half, where they played a game called Quantum Leap for the rest of the show.
Quantum Leap focuses on the characters’ life from beginning to end but is out of order. It starts with a monologue connecting two objects borrowed from the audience. One was a picture on a phone of the club’s leader Sam, and the other was a picture one of the audience members had on hand that was themselves back when they were a baby.
The scene would focus on a giraffe that killed the parents of a pair of twins named Devin and was torn apart after that. Members of Untitled would often call to cut to moments in the life of the characters in the game. They would often cut to things like the wife of one of the Devin’s dying or the Giraffe being born and multiple characters on trial like a Barista and, of course, the Giraffe and even a penguin being in therapy. The scene had an overarching of the treatment of zoo animals and childbirth, as frequently they call to the stage to switch to the birth of another character, and a good amount of the characters were zoo animals. The scene ended with the twins’ killing of the Giraffe, and so did the show.