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Laughter fills Hale 270 as students enjoy live comedy courtesy of CU’s improv troupe, Left Right Tim.
Every Friday night, LRT puts on both a short and long show on campus. Comprised of 16 people, LRT aims to bring a comedy scene to Boulder and make people laugh.
At a LRT performance, the comedians get onstage and ask the audience for a word.
“One word, any word. It can be any word in the world,” says the smiling man.
The audience throws out a jumbled crush of words, and one of them is selected.
From there, the actors take that word and base the next 15 or so minutes on it. They create scenes and characters. They simulate events. Unabashedly, the actors use language and humor that would turn any grandmother beet-red.
Derek Poppe, a member of LRT, said he thinks the energy that comes from the imaginative and creative style of improv is what keeps the show fun.
“We do this because it makes us happy. It’s fun because we’re having fun,” said Poppe, a 20-year-old junior film studies major.
The group takes their audience on an adventure into a fantasy world where cows poop Snickers and giants fall from the sky.
Richie Alfson, a 23-year-old senior theatre major, was one of the students that started the troupe. Formed in early 2008, LRT is steadily gaining popularity and more of a fan base.
“There hasn’t been a comedy scene for so long,” Alfson said. “People don’t know how to go about it.”
Students agree that Alfson and company do a good job of bringing absurdity and comedy to CU.
“It’s pretty ridiculous,” said Shelbi Taylor, an 18-year-old freshman international affairs major.
As the act develops, the audience is left wondering how the twisted, tangled tale they’re watching originated from their word of choice.
LRT is reinventing the comedy scene on campus by thinking of themes for the weekly shows and encouraging students to come out and see them.
Each show has an entry fee of $3 per person. The group says all the money goes back into the troupe to pay for things like promotion, trips and clinics. In the past LRT has gone to Chicago for an improv workshop as well as a conference in LA where 30 schools were represented.
“I think the shows are funny; it’s spontaneous!” said Stephanie Ahlgrain, an 18-year-old freshman international affairs major.
Spontaneity rules the evening at a LRT show. While this may be different than what a lot of students are used to, Alfson seems to think students will enjoy it.
“Just come see us; give us one chance,” Alfson said.
This spontaneous, unique comedy doesn’t seem to discourage everyone though; many improv fans are repeat attendees.
“We will definitely come again,” Taylor said.