Nick of Time Players dress up for Halloween-themed improv show

Photo by Mai Urai | Hunter Fredrick and John Fisher of the Nick of Time Players perform as part of the improv group's Halloween show.
Photo by Mai Urai | Hunter Fredrick and John Fisher of the Nick of Time Players perform as part of the improv group's Halloween show.
Photo by Mai Urai | Hunter Fredrick and John Fisher of the Nick of Time Players perform as part of the improv group’s Halloween show.

Essi Virtanen | Reporter
October 26, 2015; 9 p.m.

The Emerson Blackbox Theatre was filled with two hours of laughter courtesy of LU’s Nick of Time Players and their Halloween Improv Show on Oct. 25.

Photo by Mai Urai | The entire Nick of Time group, joined by alumnus Cole Figus, play the game 101 Something.
Photo by Mai Urai | The entire Nick of Time group, joined by alumnus Cole Figus, play the game 101 Something.

The improvisational comedy troupe played 13 games in total during the two hour show, all of them known and popular from the previous performances. The first show of the fall had Halloween theme, which could be seen in the distinctive costumes of the ensemble.

“Tonight I think we’re going to bring a bit more energy,” team captain Lexie Baker said before the show, “It’s nice to open up a season with a Halloween theme. Especially, since we have the costume contest with it.”

This year’s troupe has both new and familiar faces. The new captains of the troupe are veterans Baker and Jake Blonstein and the other familiar faces performing are Erin Olson, Mallorie Carney, Megan P. Wiegert, Zach Alley and Will McCarthy.

The new faces in the team this year are Ana Castillo, Kimberly Byrnes, John Fisher, Amy Cirio, Hunter Fredrick and freshmen Brad Walker and CeCe Day (or as Alley referred to her as “Señorita Yes Yes.”)

Photo by Mai Urai | Freshman Brad plays an angry bus driver in the game 1 to 7, 7 to 1.
Photo by Mai Urai | Brad Walker plays an angry bus driver in the game 1 to 7, 7 to 1.

The show had an energetic beginning with a game called “Rant,” in which the performers took turns to rant about particular topics suggested by the audience that this time included cats, schizophrenia and Donald Trump. At the end of the game, ranting rose into a chaotic orchestra of voices simultaneous ranting, which Coach Nicholas Kelly directed by waving his hands sitting on upstage in his Thor costume.

All 13 games brought something to everyone’s liking and drove the Halloween theme throughout the show. In “One Word Story,” a story of Dracula in South America was told one word at a time by five members. In “Party Quirks,” one party guest was a mummy running out of bandages to cover itself with. In “Movie Genres,” a scene set in a haunted house was performed using different movie genres including romantic zombie comedy, western and soap opera and the performance of the game “Ding” was set on a date in a cemetery.

Photo by Mai Urai | Brianna Howard wins the "Not Last" prize for her creativity in the costume contest.
Photo by Mai Urai | Brianna Howard wins the “Not Last” prize for her creativity in the costume contest.

A Halloween costume contest was also included during the show’s intermission. “Debris of the Storm,” worn by Freshman Brianna Howard, was announced as the winner. She was rewarded with a cardboard trophy autographed by each member of the improv troupe.

Kelly said improv shows have been performed at Lindenwood for 20 years and after all this time, on Sunday night, it could be seen that it still has not lost its touch with bringing endless laughter to audience and enjoyment for the performers.

“I love it because it’s limitless,” Baker said. “It’s one of those things [in which there] are no or few boundaries to it.”

“It’s so fun to just make stuff up,” said Day. “It’s like acting without the script. It’s the most creative.”

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