On Saturday, Oct. 24, the Ytterboe lounge was filled with magic, muggles and – not surprisingly – laughs, as Scared Scriptless held their fourth annual Harry Potter-themed improv show.
The show had the performers split up into four groups based on the different Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and, my personal favorite, Hufflepuff. These houses then competed against each other in a variety of different improv games and challenges in a competition to decide which house was the best.
The show, however, was surprisingly not completely centered around Harry Potter. Aside from the house divisions and a few sparse references, improvisers focused more on making quality scenes rather than stubborn, forced adherence to the show’s theme. This decision helped to showcase the true ability each of the performing Scared Scriptless members.
There was a certain depth found in each scene, and at no moment did it seem the show was going to have an awkward “what do I say?” moment. Each skit was ingenious and hilarious at the same time.
From a game of “Oscar-Winning Moment,” where restaurateurs conspired to steal a crabman’s legs, to another game in which improvisers took on silly characterizations to retell popular fairytales, each actor was able to quickly continue the skit and add humor to it.
Being my first Scared Scriptless show, I found that the show found a good balance of bathroom humor while also still being unique and hilarious in each skit. For an improv show, it felt surprisingly calculated, with swear words only being used at appropriate moments, and no one ever just swearing for no reason.
The introductory skit, “What You Got?” – featuring a rap battle-esque showdown between Gryffindor and Slytherin – was one of the few to include many Harry Potter references. Harry Potter proved itself to be a fitting theme for improv, due to its widespread relatability; all audience members could understand references made to the popular series.
The show also used audience suggestions as the basis for many of the improv skits, allowing the audience to interact and influence the direction of the scene. Every improv game was different, and each was as enjoyable as the last.
While not a norm in the standard Harry Potter canon, Slytherin was declared the winner of the night after team member Josh Horst ’19 showed no hesitation to drop and complete 50 consecutive push-ups when prompted by his fellow improvisers. Horst completed his exercise swiftly, pausing only for a brief second to give the audience a wink before his final push-up. Horst’s completion of the set was met with uprorious applause.
This was just the second of four intended Scared Scriptless shows this semester. Shows are announced on the Scared Scriptless’ Facebook page. I recommend checking them out if you are seeking a good laugh from chaotic acting.