Once again the troupe from ComedySportz Indianapolis performed at the University of Indianapolis during Homecoming Week. The ComedySportz match was held in UIndy Hall A on Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. The large turnout nearly filled all the seats. The match opened with introductions of both the red and blue teams. The red team featured team captain Aaron Stillerman, Courtney McClure and UIndy alumnus Andy Wegg. The blue team included team captain and UIndy alumnus Daryl Hollonquest, Aili McGill and another UIndy alumnus Nate Coder.
According to McGill, audience turnout and participation is key when it comes to matches.
“Audience participation is absolutely mandatory for ComedySportz,” McGill said. “We can’t do what we do without an audience who wants to be there and have fun. I actually kind of like a crowd that is unsure to begin with, because I love that process of winning people over, figuring out what’s going to make them laugh and have a good time.”
The first round of the match started with a head-to-head game called “What Are You Doing?” in which the players used an audience suggestion and then acted out difference aspects of the suggestion until one of the players ran out of ideas. After the blue team won the head-to-head game, they went on to play the game “Texts from Tonight.” That game involved the blue team members borrowing cell phones from audience members and using text messages from the phone as lines of dialogue.
The red team then played the game “Columns.” Two audience members were called to the stage, and at any time, the red team members could call on the participants to finish their sentence within the scene.
The next head-to-head game was titled “Three Rooms.” All players were split into groups of two, then three separate scenes had to be acted out, each scene starting its dialogue using the last sentence of the previous scene. The next game, “Five Things,” was played by the red team. It was a charades-style game in which Stillerman and Wegg had to use mime and gibberish to get McClure to guess five obscure and absurd activities suggested by the audience. An example of an activity would be that you are playing cricket, but your bat is a panda bear and the ball is a dragon fruit.
“Hyper Flashback” was the third head-to-head game played during the match. Players would act out a scene based on an audience suggestion while the ComedySportz referee DJ Murray could flash back, flash forward or “flash sideways” in terms of the characters made up in the scene.
The next game the blue team played was called “Forward Reverse.” Players would act out a scene based on an audience suggestion, but Murray could call either to reverse or advance the scene at any time.
The red team played “Advice Panel” next, and Hollonquest acted as host for an advice panel made up of red team players. Each player would make up a character and attempt to answer questions posed by the audience. Wegg based his character on Kory Vitangeli.
The final game was head-to-head called “It’s Not You, It’s Me.” Players would make breakup-related puns based on words suggested by the audience. The red team was declared the winner of the match and awarded the proclaimed “meaningless trophy” for their effort.
Wegg was excited to return to UIndy and perform in front of his friends and former classmates.
“It’s pretty surreal [returning to UIndy],” he said. “It’s because of UIndy that I discovered ComedySportz. I was just one of those students coming in two years ago saying, ‘Oh my gosh. I need to do this’. Last year, I tried out and made it [onto the ComedySportz team]. I graduated this past semester, and now I’m back doing the show. And it feels really cool.”
Wegg discussed what pushed him to join ComedySportz during his senior year at UIndy.
“I actually did not [have previous experience]. I wanted to try something new, something that scared me, and just step out of my comfort zone,” he said. “I love acting and I love theatre, but this was something I had never done before.”
According to Wegg, Comedy Sportz has introduced him to a whole new group of people in the Indianapolis area.
“It [ComedySportz] has exposed me to an entire new community here in Indianapolis,” he said. “ComedySportz isn’t just made up of theatre people. It’s made up of doctors; it’s made up of accountants. [ComedySportz has] people at Starbucks to people who are CEOs of their companies. It just brings these random people together who all have a passion to make everyone laugh and to make everyone smile.”
Senior theatre major Lizz Krull explained why she enjoyed attending the ComedySportz match so much.
“I was one of the alternates in my high school league,” Krull said. “I haven’t seen one [ComedySportz match] in a while though, so it’s really nice to get to watch, especially the people that were in our department [theatre]. It’s really fun to get to see them do the thing I love.”
According to Krull, it was also fun to see some of her friends and former classmates perform at the match.
“It was great because we know their [the UIndy alumni] senses of humor really well,” Krull said. “They both [Hollonquest and Coder] do a lot of standup, and they would try out their routines on us. They’re the people that you go to for one-liners in class. It’s like seeing your friend[s] on a sports team do really well. You’re just really proud of them.”