Calvin Improv introduces two new members


Members of Calvin Improv perform scenes from a “screenplay” based on audience suggestions. Photo courtesy Calvin Improv Facebook.

Calvin Improv’s first show of the 2017-18 school year introduced two new members to a full house of laughter and applause. On Saturday, Sept. 30, sophomore Emma Crevier and first-year student Will De Man first took the stage with the group.

Crevier comes from an improv background, having participated in her high school improv club. She is excited to now join the Calvin team. The best part, she said, is the team.

Junior Christina Ribbens, whose first experience with improv was with the Calvin team her freshman year, now serves as one of the group’s leaders. She commented that this year’s team is “younger” with no seniors participating.

“And there’s been a lot of turnover in the past couple of years,” she added.

For Ribbens, this presents an opportunity. She said the team is looking forward to bringing back some older games and into this year’s show repertoire.

Crevier said the scariest part of her first show with Calvin Improv was starting a scene.

“You think ‘I don’t know where this is going’,” Crevier said. “ But then an idea will pop into your head.”

Ribbens shared similar nerves as the performance began. She said she thought so many things could go wrong.

“But once you get through the first laugh and the first game the rest of it is just a breeze and super fun.”

De Man had experienced improv before but mostly in the context of drama warm-ups and youth ministry. De Man decided to get involved with Calvin Improv after seeing a show a few years ago.

“I was involved with theater all throughout high school,” said De Man. “My favorite moments were always when something wouldn’t go as planned, and I’d get to improvise on stage.”

De man said the audience suggestions were his favorite part of Saturday’s show.

I love getting something totally random, and having to figure out how to make it funny,” he said.

Crevier estimated that 20 to 30 students auditioned to be part of the team this year. The interest in the group was reflected in the turnout at the show Saturday. The audience filled approximately 90 percent of the Gezon Auditorium.

Calvin Improv has been making the campus and surrounding community laugh for the past 20 years. Each show is composed of a series of games — scenes and situations acted out by team members based on audience suggestions. Saturday’s show included several jokes that ran through multiple skits. One of these running jokes grew out of a radio talk show parody.

Ribbens said this was her favorite part of the show:

“I love the radio game bit. We had some field scientists studying walrused in trees and falling from trees — a lot of good walrus-based humor which is always a win for us,” she said.

Calvin Improv’s next show will be Oct. 20 during Family Weekend.