Improv night gets a spooky Halloween twist

Autumn Simon
Staff Writer

The theater department’s Cabaret LIVE! created “A Night of Horror” at the Improv Insanity event Wednesday in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre.

About 30 students stopped by the Cabaret for a Halloween themed improv class instructed by Carolyn Marie Wright, an experienced actress and manager of education and community engagement at the Geffen Playhouse.

“I worked with Carolyn before, and I love her energy,” senior theater major Jordan Klomp said. “She has a lot of experience and training at the Second City, where a lot of Saturday Night Live people got their start, like Chris Farley.”

The department’s third improv night had a spookier twist than its previous events.

Attendees got the opportunity to learn improv techniques with games based off the Halloween season.

Klomp opened the event by welcoming the audience and introducing Wright, who had a welcoming spirit and fun attitude.

Her first game of choice was a quick name game. The audience members had to stand in a circle, introduce themselves and either mention their Halloween costume or favorite past costumes.

The costumes mentioned were Zorro, Cleopatra, a Solo cup, Ed Sheeran and an inflatable tourist.
After the circle of introduction and laughs, Wright introduced the second warm-up.

The second game was originally called, “House, People and Storm.” However, because of the Halloween twist, Wright altered it to “Haunted House and Witch.”

The audience had to divide into groups of three. Two people had to raise their hands toward each other, creating a house-like structure. The other person went into the center and behaved like a witch.

Then one person went to the center and became the caller, and everyone has to mix and run around to recreate new groups of three.

“I really like the haunted house game,” Mona Lutfi, senior theater major, said. “It is a great warm-up because it gets everybody out of their seats, and it is so funny to see everyone scramble and grab random people.”

The next game was a storytelling game where everyone had to tell a story using one word.

Another game the group played was “Dr. Know It All,” which required five people to stand on stage and link arms to become one person.

The audience had to ask them a question and they all had to answer the question in one word to create a sentence.

The catch was that every physical movement or voice that the one person makes, the other four had to follow.

The Halloween characters used for this game were Dr. Frankenstein, Hell Boy and a sexy nurse.

After each improv game, Wright explained that each one had a lesson as a performer and for everyday purposes.

“The name game was for a welcoming introduction and a story-teller game taught us about reference points, how one suggestion can spark a creative idea,” Wright said. “On stage and in life, do not worry about the editor or the mistakes.”

Klomp also said that improv classes teach valuable lessons.

“Improv helps you get out of your head more and listen to everybody around you,” Klomp said. “For non-theater majors it promotes interaction, confidence and public speaking.”

The Cabaret was filled with laughs, good times and tasty Halloween treats.

The Cabaret LIVE! audience has been increasing every event, and the theater department encourages non-theater majors to join the fun as well.

“We made this day for both theater majors and non-theater majors to have fun and we have all these great events planned,” Lutfi said.

“Just give it a shot. It might seem totally different, but just come and embrace it. Leap and then a net would appear.”

The next Cabaret LIVE! will be Faculty Feud, a game show between faculty members and students, at 10 p.m. Nov. 11.

Autumn Simon can be reached at

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