Posted on: February 5, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

The “Swipes Right “Second City comedy improv show made its appearance at the MV Fine & Performing Arts Center last Saturday.

By Aidan McGuire, News Editor

Spotlights rose on the stage. And before you knew it, we were witnessing a first date unravel in real-time. But this wasn’t any ordinary first date–the young couple was skydiving through the air. The scene morphed instantly into a newsroom with fake news reporters standing on the stage giving us reports from various cities throughout the world, then a father and son having a heart-to-heart about girls and the son’s new DUI.

All of this was achieved with no sets, no props, and no scripts. It was done through the power of improv at Moraine’s Dorothy Menker Theater by Chicago’s famous Second City troupe.

On Jan. 28, crowds of students and community members were gathered for a nearly sold-out show to watch Second City bring improv and sketch comedy to the stage of Moraine Valley for the first major Fine & Performing Arts Center event of the year.

I wanted to make sure that all generations can sit through a performance together”

Tianna Conway FPAC Managing Director

“We were a nearly sold-out show for the first time since the pandemic,” said Tianna Conway, FPAC’s new managing director.

Throughout the two-hour performance, the cast members performed both rehearsed sketches and improvised content based on audience suggestions that were shouted out from the crowd. But the acting wasn’t limited to the stage itself. There were several points in the show where actors would come down to the audience and interact more closely.

At one point the group collected a volunteer couple from the audience and asked the elderly couple how they met. Using this information, the improvisers began to act out this couple’s love story, which then transformed into a musical, then a western, and finally a film noir in a matter of seconds.

Photo by Joe Gomez
Theater Professor Dr. Craig Rosen, improvises a scene in the Second City master class.

“It’s incredible, and the staff here have been amazing,” Conway said. “It was a wonderful evening and I’m so glad to have everyone here tonight.”

Second City has made it a tradition to come to Moraine Valley, offering master classes for acting students and allowing for affordable improv performances. Earlier in the week, cast member Ross Taylor taught a class in improv at the John and Angeline Oremus Theater in the FPAC for students and faculty.

“I learned so much about acting, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to be there,” said MV sophomore Jason Suwaidan, 19. “The workshops were so fun and engaging, and I definitely will be putting what I learned into practice.”

Overall, the event seemed to be a success, at least to Conway.

“It was a really great evening full of laughter, fun, and bringing people back together,” she said.