BY SARAH OLSEN ’18
Laughter and applause filled the South Rockefeller common room on Friday evening as Mount Holyoke’s improv group, The Unusual Suspects, held their first show of the semester.
The show, titled “Back on Our Joke Shit,” featured four members playing the improv games “Sex with Me,” “Family Photos,” “Inner Monologue” and “Delta Four,” which, according to Unusual Suspect member Mira Rosenkotz ’20, is a game that originated at Mount Holyoke.
“We, as a team, thought [the show] went really well,” Rosenkotz said. “It was a pretty big audience especially for our first show, which is really, really great to establish our presence right off the bat this year on campus.”
Rosenkotz attributed the large crowd to advertisement of the event during org fair. The common room was full as the group acted out scenes inspired by prompts from the audience. Some scenes bordered on outrageous with members paddling on imaginary icebergs and acting out a disastrous trip to the Grand Canyon.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but was glad I came,” said Bryony Rickard ’18, who attended the performance despite her friends backing out at the last minute. “I’m going to drag them out for the next show,” she said.
While the show served as entertainment, it was also a means of recruiting new members. At the end of the show, students interested in improvisation were encouraged to sign up for auditions taking place Saturday. Joliet Morrill ’21 was one of those who signed up.
“It was good,” she said of the show. “Not only [was the show] cute, but we could all get together and relax after homework.”
Finding new members is an important responsibility for the Unusual Suspects. According to Rosenkotz, it’s the members of the group that ensure a good performance.
“We practice twice a week so we’re all very comfortable together,” she said. “We know that when we’re up there we’ve got each other and we’re all working together as a team . . . even if we’re up in front of a bunch of people, I know the people acting with me are going to support me if I mess up.”
After auditions and callbacks this weekend, the Unusual Suspects welcomed three people into the group. Unusual Suspect member Schuyler Lamb ’19 said the group will have an event sometime in October to showcase new members.
Even though doing improvisation may be intimidating at times, Rosenkotz professed her love for the skill.
“Anyone can do it,” she said. “You just got to put yourself out there.”