A revival is happening around JCU’s campus, with a new development in student life in the form of the newly reinvented Improvisation Club.
The student organization was formed by senior Ese Osaghae, who serves as the club’s president. The group was on campus in previous years but was unofficial in nature, with only a loose coalition of students. The former comedy-loving members would gather occasionally to practice improvisation, but they never planned shows or aspired to compete in improv competitions in other cities.
The new improvisation group is different, however, and has aspirations of performing in shows, campus events, and competitions. This club has a similar format as that of “Saturday Night Live.” This semester, the Improvisation Group became a recognized member of John Carroll’s student organization body.
Osaghae, a Chicago native, is an experienced improv performer. During his high school career, he took a special interest in comedic improv.
“I did ‘run throughs’ with The Second City back when I lived in Chicago,” Osaghae said. The Second City was one of the first successful improvisation comedy troupes that continuously put on shows throughout the years.
The Second City is a prestigious improvisational comedy troupe that molded comedians like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and John Belushi. Osaghae was also member of The Second City Teen Improv Group, a highly coveted opportunity in the world of aspiring improvisational performers.
Osaghae was inspired during his time at The Second City, so he decided to bring his passion back to John Carroll. The current semester’s revival of improvisation has to do with his drive to make campus more fun.
“I want JCU to have an avenue to enjoy laughter,” Osaghae said.
Ambitions run high for the group, with hopes to put on four shows a year. These shows will be spread out through both fall and spring semesters.
The shows will consist of the group preforming improvisation games on stage. Audience interaction is also something that will be worked into the shows.
Eventually, Osaghae aspires to have the group participate in competitions. Improvisation competitions are usually held in larger cities like New York or Chicago, which require funding.
“Once we have the funding to go to these events, we’ll go,” Osaghae said. He hopes with adequate funding, this improvisation group will thrive. During the first meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14, Osaghae opened with explaining the goals of the group. “The point of this whole thing is to have fun and genuinely laugh,” he said. “We want everyone to come to the meeting and be relieved of stress,” he said.
Sophomore Carlee Duggan was involved with improv last year. She also attended the first club meeting. Duggan said, “Improv is the one hour of my week where I could be totally silly, get outside my comfort zone and have loads of fun.”
All students are welcome to join. Meetings are held on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. in room 47 of the administration building. If students are unable to make meetings, there is still a way to be involved.
“We are working on incorporating other meeting times during this semester. Everyone should have a chance to join regardless of schedule,” Osaghae said.
Editor’s note: If you are interested in joining, contact Ese Osaghae at email@example.com.