Acting on the edge: Ram’s Improv impresses audience with hilarious performance

Evan Vicchy

people perform comedy on stage
The Rams Improv Comedy team performed their first show of the semester Monday night in the Bas Bleu Theatre Company. (Brooke Buchan | Collegian)

Making up lines on the spot can be a challenge but this is what Ram’s Improv thrives on.

The Ram’s Improv group gave Fort Collins’ Bas Bleu Theatre a good laugh with their interactive, hilarious and completely student-organized improv show Monday night.

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Improv is a form of theater where every action, line and movement is made up on the spot. In order to keep the skits short and sweet, the entire show by the Ram’s Improv group was condensed into a series of games designed to keep the energy going.  

Functioning as two competing teams, the actors either played for team green or team gold. Usually, the games had at least one or two people from opposing teams and whoever won would get a point for their whole squad. 

The first game was called Freeze. It is played by two actors who act out a scene until another member of the company says, “Freeze”, and switch places with one of two in the scene. This creates a whole new story based off of the eliminated person’s body position.  

It’s so much fun to make people laugh from something you literally just thought of.”  Sonny Walls, director of Ram’s Improv

A personal favorite game they played was an improv rap battle.  Using only one word given to them by an audience member, actors rapped a whole sentence using words that rhyme with the audience choice.  For example, the word “dart” was used and an actress rapped about a grocery cart while team green rapped about a stinky fart.

As aforementioned, audience suggestions make it so that nothing is a planned action and makes it more challenging for the actors.  One of the performers asked the crowd, “Can anyone give us a setting for this next skit?” to which I shouted from the back, “Church!”  The actors used a church as the setting to create individual characters that fit into the context of my suggestion. 

So how do you direct an improv show when it’s all made up? Director Sonny Walls explained the process and how this show manifested itself. Walls is currently a theatre performance major at CSU. 

students perform comedy on stage
The Rams Improv Comedy team performed their first show of the semester Monday night in the Bas Bleu Theatre Company. (Brooke Buchan | Collegian)

“To direct a show like this, it’s not like I’m telling people where to stand and what to say,” Walls said. “Basically, what I do is teach the actors how to improvise and how to create characters from those improvisations which can then be turned into its own mini story. It’s so much fun to make people laugh at something you literally just thought of.” 

Because of this randomness, it is also interesting to note that the actors don’t know what their fellow performers are going to do or say either.  If watched closely, confusion was a common initial reaction. 

The beauty of the element of surprise is making things feel less calculated which produced an entertaining show. 

Collegian reporter Evan Vicchy can be reached on at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @evanNOTkevin7. 

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