Suffolk improv group hosts seriously entertaining weekly shows


Avery Gallagher / Journal Contributor

Other actors wait to jump into the show

Through a mix of comedy and quick thinking, Suffolk University’s improv group Seriously Bent gets the audience involved during their weekly shows. On Thursday nights at 10 p.m., the Smith Hall basement transforms into a room of both imagination and performance.

Seriously Bent practices improvisational theatre, so they make up most of their material on the spot in front of live audiences during their hour-long shows. The cast follows a loosely constructed itinerary of skits they will perform each night.

The skits are challenges the actors have to go along with to complete the scene, such as one actor wearing headphones, so they are not able to hear the other cast members while performing. The cast prepares for their weekly performances by playing games and using prompts to spark creativity.

“We do some mind games and things like that, like a word toss to kind of get our brains going,” said senior and third-year Seriously Bent member Kaleigh Ryan in an interview with The Suffolk Journal.

The shows are based solely on the creativity of the cast members and how they can maintain a plot based on the dialogue spontaneously said to one another. This past Thursday evening, eight cast members were on stage, but instead of performing scenes altogether, they rotated in and out of skits.

“We pick certain people that we think will vibe with the group, we don’t usually go over ten or 11 [members],” Ryan said.

With this amount of people, the scenes don’t get too crowded or complex.

An entertaining factor in every performance is the information the cast pulls from the audience by asking vague questions, such as someone’s favorite color, and turning the response into an entire scene.

One of the skits included cast members gradually entering the scene one at a time and changing the plot completely. As the scene dies down, each cast member leaves in the order they came in.

“Being a freshman, I was kind of worried that it would be weird because most of [the other cast members] are older, but it’s really chill,”  said freshman Rebecca Tinker in an interview with The Journal.

The cast formed a community within themselves, housing creativity, comedy and friendship for their members. The group also meets new people through having open rehearsals, which they announce on their social media pages.

“Anybody is welcome to audition, anybody and everybody,” Ryan said. “We really encourage anybody to come.”

Many skits allude to well-known movies, TV shows or plays, sometimes portraying parodies of them. The scenes are never intended to focus solely on them, but the plot naturally takes the actors in that direction, which keeps the audience laughing and captivated for the entirety of the performance.

“It’s really impressive watching the cast throw a whole scene together on the spot,” said freshman business major Maddie Cannavo, who attended last week’s show.

The cast is trying to solidify dates and times for additional future performances, which are more official and held in Modern Theater once or twice each semester. Seriously Bent also performs and competes at the College Comedy Festival and the College Improv Tournament, but no specific dates for this year have been announced yet.

The club is currently closed for auditions, but they are considering holding more at the start of the spring semester in 2020.

Seriously Bent will spread all this information in the future on their social media accounts. The group can be found on Instagram @seriouslybent_su and @seriouslybent_ on Twitter and Facebook.