Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

New ‘Unpretentious’ group offers improv participation to all

Exciting news for improv fans: Whitman is now home to a second improvisational group under the name “Unpretentious Comedy.”

Junior English major Katie Haaheim decided to create Unpretentious Comedy after participating in the competitive audition process for Varsity Nordic back in September.

“There was obviously enough talent and interest on campus to fuel a second team,” Haaheim said. “So why not?”

Credit: Faith Bernstein

Although Unpretentious Comedy is still in the “pre-production” phase, Haaheim has a some ideas of what she wants from the team.

“I wanted to create a setting for anyone interested in improv to get a chance to practice,” she said. “We may pick a set performing group and have everyone else interested come to occasional open practices. We may have performers rotate for each show we do. I am still very much evaluating at this point.”

First-year Eli Zavatsky, a member of Varsity Nordic, was optimistic about the relationship between the improv groups.

“Hopefully we’ll be collaborative,” he said. “But we’re very different from each other. Unpretentious does more of a short-form-style improv. We’re much more long-form.”

According to Zavatsky, long-form performers create their shows through a few longer scenes with actors trading off in roles. In comparison, short-form improv focuses on many quick scenes and one-liners for a more rapid-fire humor.

The members of Unpretentious Comedy have been rehearsing together since September, but Parents Weekend saw their first official performance, a collaborative effort with Varsity Nordic.

“Improv is a kick because it demands you be on your toes and hyper-aware of the people around you all the time,” said first-year Unpretentious member Evelyn Levine. “When it is done just right, everyone is on the same ‘brain train’ and having a fantastic time.”

So what will Unpretentious Comedy be doing next? According to Haaheim, some workshops with a professional instructor are under development. Although there are no shows planned for the near future, anyone interested in participating can like the group’s Facebook page for updates.

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