‘Squawktober’ showcases innovative improv
By Lea Hogdal
For the first Friday of their annual Squawcktoberfest, the Dead Parrots Society brought students a new style of improv, beginning with a simple question, “What would be a wacky way to die?”
It was unlike anything they’ve tried before, said Ruben Gomez, a senior at Western and a member of the improv team.
The show took on an experimental format the team called “The Funeral,” which is a longer-style skit that took up the entirety of their hour long show.
“We are heavily into relationships, characters and narratives,” Gomez said.
The form had the team act around a base scene with flashbacks, Gomez said. This is different from the classic, short improv games one might expect. It allows for more character building and helps create a more play like experience for the audience.
The question posed to the audience framed the entire course of the show. What started as a funeral became a time bending story of obedience in dog parks, father-daughter relationships, questionable cat deaths, strange shakespearean-like romance and the unveiling of a murder.
With a turnout of about fifty people, the audience was energetic and full of laughter. Many of them were returning audience members there to support and take part in the creative atmosphere.
Haley McLendon, junior at Western, first came to a performance because she had a roommate on the team.
“It’s just a good time to spend a Friday night with friends, on campus and not have to go out somewhere,” McLendon said.
Jenna Rosenbloom, another returning audience member, enjoyed going to their performances in her freshman and sophomore years.
“I used to go all the time because I lived in Higginson so it was super close by and it would be something fun to do,” Rosenbloom said.
As a senior, she saw the opportunity to revisit and make it a habit of attending once again.
The Dead Parrots Society also welcomed a new member to their team, Aiken Muller. He is a junior at Western who had been a regular member of the improv club since last spring.
The Funeral was his first performance and first time doing an elongated form of improv, but with the other members alongside him, performance anxiety was not an issue,
“If I hit a blank, someone else is going to have something,” Muller said.