Under the Bed

Last Friday night, members of Under the Bed (UTB) cracked jokes and entertained students through witty sketches in Steinbach Theatre. UTB is Andover’s improvisational comedy troupe, consisting of members Ceylon Auguste-Nelson ’12, Margaret Curtis ’12, Pearson Goodman ’13, Miranda Haymon ’12, Hemang Kaul ’13, Patrick Naughter ’13, Brendan O’Connell ’13, Ben Romero ’12, Andrew Schlager ‘12 and Uday Singh ’12. Through a variety of games, the group members put on a humorous show that entertained and cheered the audience. UTB’s sketches were inspired by a variety of different “game” scenarios or categories that are typically used in UTB performances. Haymon, O’Connell and Romero participated in the first game, called “No You Didn’t,” in which the audience chose the Day Student Lounge as the prompt for the sketch. Romero imitated a computer nerd who tried to help an attractive girl with nice muscular ears. Auguste-Nelson, Curtis, Kaul, Naughter and Schlager played the second game, “Bell Curve.” In this game, Schlager started off with the phrase, “Oh how I love Dickens.” Each member started to join the sketch with different phrases, and the plot of Schalger’s tale would change depending on what other group members would say. The entire group was involved in the third game. Goodman stood on the end of the stage, near the audience, as the audience helped him brainstorm why he was late to work. The audience decided that Goodman was reading The Hunger Games on his way to work, when a woodland animal attacked him. After the attack, Goodman went to McDonald’s and played in a ball pit where he got chicken pox and then finally go on a train to get to work. The group then performed the game “Innuendo.” The audience called out words like “astronaut” and “Will Smith,” which the comedians used to create innuendos that made the crowd go wild. “I thought it was really funny that Hemang mentioned that his mom was there during the sexual innuendo game because I can only imagine how uncomfortable that [would be],” said Emma Kahn ’14. The last game played was “Hands,” in which one member of UTB acted as the hands of another member. “My favorite part of the show was playing ‘Hands’, the game where Pearson and I were Hemang and Andrew’s hands. Although very messy, it was really fun!” said Haymon. “I think the performance went great! Everyone had fun and there were lots of laughs,” continued Haymon. “Preparing for improvisation can feel like preparing for a football game, in that you can try to come up with a few plays, and maybe map our a general form, but you don’t really know what the hell is gonna happen when you get out on the field and a 250 lb. Ray Lewis is freight-training his way towards you. Make no mistake–everything is made up on the spot, but you have to practice making things up, working with your partner(s) and repeating the technical skills necessary for good scenes, so that they become second nature,” said Schlager in an e-mail to The Phillipian. “I thought it was a super fun show. Everyone was so comfortable in front of the audience, and their ability to think on their feet is amazing,” said Lily Zildjian ’14. “I’ve been part of UTB since my freshman year. This was a schticky show, meaning we went in to get some laughs, we got some laughs, and then we split. Some lofty critics may view schtick as ‘easy’ but it’s not easy task to preserve timing and build without a script,” said Schlager.