The Dead Parrots Society, a comedy improv troupe from Western, will soon be heading to Seattle to look for their next victory.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, five members of the group will travel to Jet City Improv to compete in a regional collegiate improv tournament they have won for the past four years.
To prepare for the tournament, the troupe showcased their talent to a full house Saturday, Jan 7 in Arntzen hall 4.
The troupe gave two 20 minute improv performances, borrowing from the recipe that led to success in 2016. The team creates a structure for the regional performance which changes from year to year, depending on the skills and strengths of the group.
“We actually used the same format that we had used from the previous year because we wanted to play with some really strong relationships and strong characters,” senior Teague Parker said. Parker is a theater major who has been performing improv for eight years.
Senior Dominic Finseth, who is studying communications and psychology, said character emphasis best represents the team.
“That’s the flavor of the Dead Parrots Society, it’s really all about the relationship building within our scenes,” Finseth said.
For each region in the United States there are 12 teams competing for a shot at nationals in Chicago. The five team members traveling to regionals include Parker, Finseth, Peter Bethan, Emma Campbell and Alex LaVallee.
“It’s really fun to get out there and play with people.”
Junior Emma Campbell
The Dead Parrots Society won the national championship six years ago and placed third in last years competition.
The college regional competitions have been held throughout selected cities in the United States. The competitions started in November 2016 and will end Saturday, Jan. 28.
The winner of each regional match will complete in Chicago at the College Improv Tournament National Championships on Saturday, Feb. 25.
A live preview like the one on Saturday night is a great way to prepare the team for the live performance in Seattle, Parker said.
While the Dead Parrot Society has had success in the past, there’s always room for improvement, Finseth said.
“We’re all still learning together,” Finseth said.
Junior Emma Campbell, a communications major with a minor in theater, said while the format is great, much of the performance is just having fun with one another.
“It’s an amazing release, to be cheesy, but it’s really fun to get out there and play with people,” Campbell said.
Tickets will be sold at the Jet City Improv box office on the day of the tournament. If the team makes it through the preliminary matches they will move on to the finals to compete for a chance at nationals.