Stony Brook’s Actors’ Conservatory hosted their annual Night O’ Skits event this past weekend in the GLS/HDV Center, attracting an audience ready for some laughs.
The club’s actors performed a total of 16 skits, including four improvisation games. They had the audience chuckling at jokes about indestructible Nokia phones, references to Harambe and jabs at the Kardashian clan’s rear ends.
Every time post-zinger laughter would dim, one audience member would burst out in giggles, and soon the entire audience would erupt in laughter again.
“The loud laughter fueled the energy,” Jackie Schechtel, a senior psychology major and president of the organization, said.
Both nights of the show were successful, with fairly large turnouts and a decent amount of audience involvement, according to the members of the E-board. Forty-eight viewers were present on Sunday night.
“It’s really incredible seeing them all out there,” Schechtel said. Though she admits that putting the show together is a lot of work, she says that “seeing all the work we put in out there on stage” is so rewarding.
Audience members were even able to interact with the actors as they performed, either by shouting out suggestions during improvisation games or by reacting to the actors’ antics. In one skit, an actor portraying Justin Bieber took selfies with some lucky girls in the front rows.
“You have to immerse yourself in a character and commit yourself,” Krista Manos, a junior clinical laboratory science major and vice president of the club, said. “It’s all about facial expressions.”
One of the highlights of the event was the improvisation. Everything the actors did in those four games was a surprise to them as well as the audience.
“When you come up with a line that really gets the audience going, it’s so rewarding,” Nick Alicata, a sophomore economics major, said.
In one game called the “Interrogation Room,” one actor was assigned to be a criminal and two were assigned to be police officers. The criminal left the room and the audience suggested a crime, an accomplice and a location that the criminal would have to guess based on hints from the police.
The audience chose Kylie Jenner as the accomplice, but as the sketch progressed, one of the police confused Kylie with Caitlyn Jenner. In order to rectify this mistake, four more actors came on stage to try and sway the actor’s direction. They were unsuccessful, and the confused actor continued to describe Caitlyn instead of Kylie until the scene ended.
“The fact that they were doing the wrong thing made it better almost,” Stella Altadonna, a sophomore psychology major from Hofstra University, said.
Altadonna admitted that while watching the mistake was slightly awkward, “the confusion on the actors’ faces made it better for the audience.”
“You’re the only one who should know if you messed up,” Anthony Valenzuela, a junior psychology major and one of the event’s head directors, said.
The club, which aims to perform a total of three productions a year, is made up of a diverse group of students.
“It’s a club open to really any undergraduate, regardless of major,” Irene Constantinidis, a sophomore linguistics major and member of the club, said. “We’re all so stressed about school, but we all come together once a week to do something funny.”
The Actors’ Conservatory is now veering away from comedy sketches and improvisation to focus their talents on a production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” a classic 19th century play. Their auditions took place on Oct. 4, so keep an eye out for their upcoming production.