USD’s Improv Club hosted a murder mystery party, the first event of its kind in the club’s history, on Friday night.
More than 60 people attended the two-hour long event in the Al Neuharth Media Center. While most of the event was improv, there was a central plot to the event.
The show kicked off with a few “games,” where the performers acted in audience-suggested situations. After the first game ended, a cast member was “murdered,” and many of the other performers became suspects.
Senior Troy Berg, president and co-founder of the club, said he likes the challenges improv gives performers.
“Scripts and set scenes are nice and fun, but improv is not well-known and is a very fun and interactive form of acting that should be more widespread,” he said.
The audience itself was like another member of the improv group, yelling out suggestions for locations.
Some audience members were lucky enough to come up on stage and help perform bits. The bit that got the most laughs was “World’s Worst,” where performers would act as the world’s worst doctor, lawyer or trash collector.
Senior Madeline Schmitt, secretary of Improv Club, said the event didn’t cost much to host.
“All of the raffle prizes were donated by many vendors,” she said. “The food was paid for in advance by the guests and this venue was free.”
The club hosted the event to raise money to bring the Upright Citizens Brigade, a New York City improv group, to USD. They need a total of $6,400.
The UCB has had many famous comedians in its ranks, including Amy Poehler, Adam McKay, Matt Walsh and Neil Flynn.
UCB will do multiple two-hour workshops open to all students on campus on March 22, Schmitt said. They will also put on a free show for students.
While bringing the NYC-based improv club to campus, Berg wanted to show that improv isn’t just about the short games they do.
“Improv can be a long, coherent string of scenes connected, but still be improvised,” he said. “Almost zero of the actual scenes with the characters are unscripted. Everything tonight has a general plot and a general direction, but no lines.”
Sophomore Kaci Kruger came to see one of her friends in the Improv Club, and said she enjoyed the performance.
“I thought the show was really good,” Kruger said. “They did a really good job of incorporating the murder mystery and the other improv bits.”
While there were some areas that can be improved upon, Schmitt thought the night was a success.
“For the first time doing something like this, I think it went phenomenally,” Schmitt said. “Getting everyone to laugh was great. That’s one of our goals on campus, is to bring comedy to campus and the community.”
The next improv event will be held in the MUC pit lounge on March 15.