By Micaela Itona
If you’ve heard of Key and Peele or Broad City – you’ve seen witnessed firsthand the kind of talent that comes out of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theatre. Based in New York and Los Angeles, The UCB Theatre is an improv comedy and sketch theatre and training center, which hosts a number of comedy acts from newcomers to veterans on the comedy scene and offers improve classes and workshops. The UCB Touring Company, a special sector of the UCB made specifically to tour schools and other theatre troupes, made a stop at NJIT’s own Highlander Pub last Thursday night, February 4. They performed a one-of-a-kind, live, improvised set, akin to skits performed on the popular TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Hosted by the Student Activities Council, the event was free and open to students.
Newark’s only student-run inprov group, Improv Technicians, opened up the show with a 30-minute set after taking a one or two word suggestion from the crowd about what their skit should be about. The difference between a live improv show, and say, a written sketch for television, is that you “feed off the energy of the room” during improv and you “never know what’s going to be funny”, according to UCB actor Luke Field, who’s been performing and writing for UCB since 2010. “There’s real excitement in the fact that this is the only time you’ll ever do this show, and there’s excitement in not knowing what’s happening next,” says Yoni Lotan, a member of UCB since 2008.
When asked for a piece of advice for Improv Technicians or to the NJIT student body, Stefan Schuette advised – “Shoot for the stars. Wait, no – shoot for the moon, that way if you miss, you’ll land upon the stars.”
You can find out more about UCB at http://ucbcomedy.com/, and follow Improv Technicians on Instagram @ImprovTechnicians and Twitter @ITImprovTech