an excuse to laugh

Reinhardt’s resident improv troupe performances return this week

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An Excuse to Laugh is set to resume its improv performances this week. Held in the Bannister Glasshouse on a weekly basis, the troupe entertains students, faculty, staff and visitors alike with free shows every Thursday night. Starting at 10 p.m., the performances typically consist of a variety of games and scenes acted out by the troupe for approximately an hour each week.

This season, An Excuse to Laugh sports an expanded line up of fifteen performers consisting of new and old talent. Along with these new additions come new games and styles keeping each show fresh and unique. “Everyone should come because we are what our title says, an excuse to laugh and relieve some stress from the school or work week.” Said An Excuse to Laugh’s current leader Nick Cothran. In addition to the brand of humor the Reinhardt community comes to expect from the troupe, “There are a few surprises we have in store this semester!” said Cothran.

Unless otherwise announced, the shows will be held every week except for breaks and holidays. Those in attendance should try to arrive a few minutes beforehand to assure preferred seating arrangements as well as be prepared to offer prompts to the performers or to otherwise participate.

 

Written By: Jacob Howard    Photo Credit: Rachel Riley

Reinhardt Improv Troupe Begins 5th Season

An Excuse to Laugh
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The An Excuse to Laugh student Improv group launched its fifth season with 10 performers, its largest group yet.

Founded in 2012 by Alumni Kate Johnson and Levi Penley, the troupe performs each week. Johnson and Penley were members of the troupe “This, That, and the Other” at Shorter University during their sophomore year before they both transferred to Reinhardt for the remainder of their college careers. During that summer Penley worked at an outdoor theater in Texas where he joined an improv troupe by the name of “Bonjour?”

“During that summer, I realized that I didn’t want to stop doing it [improv]. Ever.” Penley said. “So I called Kate and asked if she knew of an improv troupe at Reinhardt.”

Neither believed Reinhardt had an improv troupe, so they decided to start one.

“‘She said, ‘This is going to be awesome.’ And it was,” Penley said.

After arriving at Reinhardt, the duo announced auditions and formed an initial troupe of eight improvisers: Alumni Penley, Kate Johnson, Sophie Decker, William Mozingo, Troy Stephens, Austin Vann, and current students Nick Cothran and Parker Patzke.

The troupe initially performed under the name,”The Currently Un-named Improv Troupe,” until a permanent name could be found. That name was discovered accidentally during a pre-performance pep talk when someone said, “All we are is an excuse to laugh” and Penley responded, “Now we are, as always ‘An Excuse To Laugh.'”

The troupe recruits most members straight from the audience. People watch the performances and then inquire about joining where they find out the troupe is about more than performing, it’s a family.

Sophomore Chase Brackett, a newcomer to the troupe, said, “We’re all extremely encouraging to each other, and we know everyone has everyone else’s backs.”

Freshman Cole Kitchen thinks this family bond makes performing easier.

“You’re not forcing yourself to be funny. It’s like making jokes with your friends,” Kitchen said.

The troupe continues to develop each year.

“We’re learning a lot and growing. We go out and find new things so it’s always fresh,” said junior Josh Baldwin.

Formal auditions are held during the first month of Fall semester, but the group is always looking to add new members.

An Excuse to Laugh performs every Thursday at 10 p.m. in the Bannister Glasshouse, unless announced otherwise. Performances are free.

 

Written By: Jacob Howard: Photo Credits: Rachel Riley and Josh Robinson