Emporia State’s Zoiks! improv group won in the preliminary round at the Heartland Regional College Improv Tournament on Feb. 9th at the Kick Comedy Theater, a comedy club in Kansas City, Missouri.
“There are twelve regional tournaments,” said Myra Cassady, sophomore recreation major and artistic director of Zoiks!. “They give you 20 minutes to perform any set of improv you like…We won our preliminary round…and placed third or fourth in finals, but we were tied for first going into finals.”
Nine of the eleven Zoiks! members participated, according to Cassady.
“You get scored based on how many rules of improv you follow, how funny you are, (and) whether or not you can move a scene along properly,” said Joseph Benchama, freshman theater major. “All these things that make good improv. Improv is really free but there are also rules you have to follow. When you break those rules, you end up just making really bad improv. That’s just how it works.”
Benchama said the tournament was a good experience to learn from.
“It gives us a chance to see what teams do really well, K State does a lot of things really well,” Benchama said. “One thing we got scored badly on was our environment…so now we know from now on we need to work on it.”
Jasmine Hall, freshman theater major, said improv is a difficult craft, but is a great source of stress relief.
“It really pushes you to get outside your box, which I think is a really important thing to develop as an actor,” Hall said. “It’s a good time.”
The next Zoiks! show will be at 9 p.m. March 8 in the Karl C. Bruder Theater. Admission is free and the show is open to the public.