The art of improv has made its way to Temple’s Main Campus. Thanks to Fowl Play, an improv club that develops impromptu techniques, students now have the opportunity to perform on-the-spot skits.
After two years of holding practices in Barton Hall Rm. 300, the improv club held its first performance in the Underground at the Student Center last month.
“Our first performance was a huge success, and we are hoping to have many more in the future,” said Sara Goldrath, the club’s president.
“Improv teaches people to take risks,” the sophomore theater major said. “We have fun and work together to entertain.”
While learning is a huge part of each weekly meeting, it’s not the kind of thing that’d be taught in a classroom.
“Training is great and really helpful in a lot of ways,” said Scott McClennen, a junior film and media arts major and member of Fowl Play.
“It makes you learn to think on your feet, improves your public speaking and helps you to practice working on a team. You really gain the ability to listen and communicate effectively.”
The club does more than improve members’ improv skills; it fosters a comfortable environment for dedicated individuals who are ready to perform onstage.
“It’s the best way to chill out after a long day,” McClennen said. “You have the chance to explore the ridiculous and discover new possibilities.”
Goldrath and Liz Schwartz, the club’s treasurer, have dedicated time to teach students improv techniques through specific games and warm-ups.
“We play a variety of games such as passing the clap, to help the members focus,” said Schwartz, a sophomore theater major. “Focus is important to improv because you always need to be listening and attentive to your surroundings.”
Officers said they aspire to open a forum to students who might not normally think of improv as a performance art. Once students are in their zones of concentration, the beauty of improv seems to prevail.
“All of our members feel comfortable after warming up, and that’s vital to productive performances and being able to work with one another,” Schwartz said.
Founding members, including Goldrath, Jill Ferris, a professional improviser, and Temple alumna Aubrie Williams, took the lead in training members and did their best to ensure students (and maybe even Philadelphians) will recognize Fowl Play when they see it.
But having fun is still the group’s primary goal.
“Mainly, we want to have fun, entertain people and perform,” Goldrath said. “If we just so happen to make a name for ourselves, well, that’s even better.”
Monica Sellecchia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.