Elizabethtown’s improv comedy troupe, Mad Cow Improv, performed in Leffler Chapel this past Friday, January 27. It was a change-up from their normal venue of Gibble Auditorium. This was their first show of the semester and by all accounts was a rousing success.
The show lasted about an hour and showcased twelve games. The Cows opened the show with Half Time, followed by many crowd-favorites such as Slideshow, Eight Mile, Scenes from a Hat, and Dating Game, and closing with Follow the Leaver. Some memorable moments include: Tiny pretending to be a human bred with hermit crabs, Mississippi Juice acting as a lawnmower that a child was stuck in, and Wizz Kid’s misplaced statement in Eight Mile, “I rake leaves.”
Disguised as a new game called Newts and Bewts, the Cows pulled an audience member on stage to actually play This is Your Life. After being interviewed by the host, the rest of the performing Cows acted out the past, present, and future of the audience participant.
A few years ago, the group decided it would be a good idea to start off the semester with a bigger production than normal to get the audience excited for the shows to come. The club advisor Dr. Stuckey (Department of Engineering and Physics) explained that this is only the third year the group has performed in the chapel. “Originally, we did so because GAUD (Gibble Auditorium) was booked for something else. Now I think the Cows just like to change things up,” he disclosed in an email interview.
Veteran member Luke Smith, ’16, explained in an email interview “Mad Cow is always looking for new show concepts. Usually, the first semester functions as a teaching semester for the noobs [new members], but the second semester has a lot of theme shows (After Dark, Improv Your Pants Off). We thought of having a show in Leffler as both a way to build hype and a way to get the group used to doing shows of a larger capacity.”
Musser Auditorium has different acoustics than Gibble, which required the use of microphones to assist in sound delivery. The group used handheld mics when hosting or playing group games, and body mics for small group performances.
The Cows only had their normal two show practices and a quick tech rehearsal before the performance. According to Stuckey, adjusting to the new tech and environment as a whole can be very difficult. “There are more cows than mics, the Cows can’t hear the audience reactions, and the stage has far more space than the Cows occupy,” he said.
“The biggest change is in stage presence,” Smith said. “The audience is farther away than usual and can be less easily visible. All movements must be larger and there’s a large focus on performing on the further-right down stage edge of the space.” The group decided to close the first set of curtains so they wouldn’t shrink into the available space.
The Cows biggest concern seemed to go over well with the audience though. Sophomore, Music Therapy major Rebecca Conboy when asked about what she liked better about this show then the ones in Gibble stated, “I liked that it was easier to see everyone on the bigger stage.” Sophomore English Literature and History double major Lauren Trevino spoke of the new renovations as an added plus, “There was a larger stage. It was easier to see everyone and Leffler has a better carpet.”
Mad Cow puts on a free show every month in Gibble Auditorium. Their next show will be on February 18 at 8 p.m. Come out for some laughs!