Black Squirrel Improv Troupe entertains audience at ‘Welcome Back Show’

Anneliese White, Copy Editor

The Black Squirrel Improv Troupe kicked off the semester with its “The Welcome Back Show” Friday night.

The show featured games such as Human Props, where two improvisers acted out a scene while being controlled by an audience member.

The improvisers started out their show by throwing an inflatable ball to various audience members. Those who caught it were awarded a participation ticket for a game called Ad Lib. The game relied on those participants to fill in random words throughout the scene.

Nailah Parrish, a senior educational studies major, is the president of the Black Squirrel Improv Troupe. She has been in the troupe for five years and has been president for two years.

Parrish said she joined the troupe as a freshman in 2018.

“I had never seen comedy done like this, or anything outside of standup, so I just kind of found us at the organization fair,” Parrish said. “And I thought that it was actually a debate team type of thing — I was just looking to talk basically and perform.”

Parrish said with no prior experience at the time, “I was just throwing myself out there.”

Parrish said she had two favorite games, one of them being Half Life. The game involves two improvisers who act out a scene and repeat the scene multiple times, each timespan becoming shorter with each repetition.

“I like that game so much because it’s a really physical one,” Parrish said. “And me, I’m really big on physical humor.”

Parrish said that Half Life “always gets the crowd jumpin’.”

Kaitlyn Farrance, a senior English major, was one of the audience members. ‘The Welcome Back Show” was her first time going the Black Squirrel Improv Troupe’s shows.

“My roommates were like, ‘Hey, watch it,’ and I was like, ‘Okay’,” Farrance said.

Farrance said she liked the show, and her favorite game was the Ad Lib game. Several other audience members agreed.

Parrish said the Black Squirrel Improv Troupe has been a community for her at Kent State.

“We’re a really tight-knit group of people,” Parrish said. “It takes a lot of strong bonds to be able to be vulnerable on stage with each other the way that we do.”

Parrish said the improv troupe does free shows once or twice a month and holds auditions in the fall semester. The Black Squirrel Improv Troupe also holds open practices throughout the school year.

The Black Squirrel Improv Troupe will hold their first Alumni show at 7 p.m. on April 21 at the KIVA Auditorium and will have shows on Feb. 24, March 17 and April 14 — all at 7 p.m.

Anneliese White is a copy editor. Contact her at [email protected].