Improv Auditions


Mike Platz

Prospective improvisers participate in games during auditions for Oberlin’s trio of improv troupes. The auditions took place in Warner Gymnasium and spanned the course of three days.

Jamie Vincent

Oberlin improvisation troupes auditioned roughly 120 aspiring improvisers to find fresh talent for the year. Oberlin is home to one short-form troupe, Kid Business, and two long-form troupes, Primitive Streak and the Sunshine Scouts. Each troupe performs around five shows per semester; Kid Business’s first performance is already scheduled for tonight at the Cat in the Cream.

Auditions can be particularly cryptic for prospective improvisers; many know that it is more than theatrical ability the troupes are watching for, but are unsure of what they should bring to the stage.

“I was talking to some people who were auditioning yesterday, and they were just kind of like, ‘I don’t know what to talk about,’” said College senior and Primitive Streak member Maya Sharma. “I think it’s important to kind of dispel the feeling that we’re making an ultimate judgment on you. It’s more like ‘How do you fit into the family,’ not ‘How do I like you?’”
College senior and leader of Kid Business Sophie Zucker said she regretted that there were many talented students auditioning for Kid Business but a limited amount space available in the troupe. Claiming the process to be “fairly selective,” she said that each year the troupe only accepts one to three new members out of the 40 students who audition.

However, Sharma also said being accepted to a troupe is not the only possible benefit of auditioning.

“One thing about auditions that I love is that you make so many new friends,” she said. “For [ first-years], I think it’s a beautiful experience to be in a room creating something that’s fun with other people, and you meet people that way.”

In April, all three troupes will participate in the Oberlin College Improv Conference, which will include performances by all troupes, both amateur and professional, as well as improv workshops open to all Oberlin College students.