Under The Bed Emphasizes Audience Engagement

Bringing its talent for improvisational acting, Under the Bed (UTB), Andover’s student improvisational group, entertained students in the overflowing Theatre Classroom last Friday night with three audience-interactive games.

To start the night off, four members of the troupe played the game “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” The audience suggested characters for the three “dinner attendees” who had no idea what characters they were supposed to be playing.

The three “dinner attendees” were Kristin Mendez ’13 as the girlfriend of Manti Te’o, former Notre Dame football linebacker, Brendan O’Connell ’13 as Nelson Mandela and Miles Neumann ’15 as Shrek. Pearson Goodman ‘13, Co-Head of UTB, played a hint-dropping waiter.

“‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ was way better than the last time we did it. I thought this time they really tried it. work together and play off each other’s wit,” said Andrew Vallejos ’14, a UTB member, in an e-mail to The Phillipian.

The troupe resumed their laughter-filled evening with a second interactive game called “Town.” The game was set in the fictional town of Chunkstown whose main commercial export is dolls. UTB members performed an improvisational act based on the lives of Chunkstown inhabitants.

Compared to previous UTB improvisational skits, “Town” was longer in duration. However, the members managed to keep the audience engaged.

“Long form games such as ‘Town’ are difficult because the scenes have to connect with one another. We as a group need to be able to trust each other and be able to communicate with one another without directly saying what we’re thinking,” said Vincent Mocco ’15, a UTB member.

The UTB performance concluded with “Da Doo Run Run,” a game involving song lyrics. Members of the troupe stood in a line and rhymed different song verses with a person’s name chosen by the audience. The first member to stutter was forced to sit down.

“The games during this UTB performance kept me laughing; it was a good job but tonight was just downright hilarious. [Da Doo Run Run] really showed how much creativity the [members] possess,” said Matt Fischetti ’14.

“‘Da Doo Run Run’ was my worst game, but we practiced a lot during rehearsals. All in all, everyone did really well in that game,” said Vallejos.

Despite the night’s success, some audience members seemed mildly irked due to the cramped space of the classroom and the long line.

“It was really funny, and I personally thought that it was worth the hour and a half wait. People got pretty excited in line, and it got really crowded fast. I just wished it was a larger [venue],” Lauren Smith ’15.