“My Mom Right Out of the Shower:” ETC Preview

Cast+members+Brian+Regan%2C+Louisa+Gould%2C+Paul+Jung+and+Will+Granger+run+through+one+of+the+skits+in+their+upcoming+December+14+and+15+shows.+The+performers+block+the+scene+and+work+to+memorize+and+perfect+their+lines.

Cast members Brian Regan, Louisa Gould, Paul Jung and Will Granger run through one of the skits in their upcoming December 14 and 15 shows. The performers block the scene and work to memorize and perfect their lines.

Abby Blair, Maroon-News Staff

With finals fast approaching, it is easy for many students to spiral into a whirlpool of stress. However, one excellent source of humor and levity during this busy time is the Experimental Theater Company (ETC). This small band of students is a sketch comedy group that performs impressive, original skits at the end of each semester.

One of the notable aspects of ETC is that each performance includes a unique cast, since members frequently leave and reenter the group. Each semester, this small group of students becomes a family, according to senior and co-president Gabby Durr.

“I joined my fall semester of my first year, and I literally just followed whatever the upperclassmen did and was really timid. But now I’ve been the co-president for two years, and I love being immersed in every little aspect of the show,” Durr said. “Each show has its own inside jokes and best moments that we carry with us. The group is constantly changing, but it has truly been my family for four years.”

The 11 members that make up ETC work tirelessly throughout the semester to put together a total of 25 original skits that are all written, directed and cast by the group members. Rehearsals in the beginning of the semester are all about production. The majority of their time is spent brainstorming and writing skits both individually and with partners, and at the end of each rehearsal, they sit and read all the new material produced that week.

This style of comedic performance is different from than that of some of the other comedy groups on campus, even though members of ETC tend to be involved in multiple groups. Sophomore Griffin Fenady is a member of both ETC and Charred Goosebeak, an improv comedy group. He noted how sketch comedy and improv may seem similar but require two different mental skill sets.

“I always feel very nervous before Charred Goosebeak shows but I never feel nervous before ETC shows. I think with ETC, I feel more in control because everything has been thoroughly planned, whereas Goosebeak requires me to constantly think on my feet as nothing is planned,” Fenady said.

The show always runs at the tail end of each semester, and is often an excellent escape for students who have been tirelessly preparing for finals. For the cast, the weeks leading up to the performance involve voting skits into the show and rehearsing them. This semester, they narrowed the total of about 50 skits to 25 by voting for the ones they wanted in the show and eliminating the ones that did not get many votes. The final week of rehearsal is spent doing run-throughs and seeing what sticks. One challenge the group faces is weeding out things that may be funny to them but may not resonate with a crowd.

Once the semester ends, the cycle starts again the next semester with more new members and completely new skits. Senior and co-president of the group George Karamanoukian noted that the group is in need of a post-show tradition to celebrate the end of truly unique semester of ETC.

“Post show we don’t really have any traditions, though this year we may just have to make one. A wrap-up party of sorts with a twist may have to be in the works,” Karamanoukian said.

This semester, the members of ETC will show off their hard work on December 14 and 15, at 7 p.m. in Brehmer Theater in the Dana Arts Center with their performance titled “My Mom Right Out of the Shower.” Don’t miss this chance to relax, have a great laugh and see which skit gave this show its name.

Contact Abby Blair at [email protected]