Seeing an Improv Show

It was 10pm on a Saturday night. Maybe a hundred students were packed into a square, entirely black room creatively titled “The Black Box”. Most had chairs or benches to sit on; the unlucky latecomers were standing near the walls. Suddenly the lights went off, came back on, and three students ran out and made up a hilariously inappropriate scene about…well, I can’t remember what exactly it was about. But it was incredible.

This all happened tonight at Mama’s Pot Roast’s “Don’t Come to the Show Show”. Mama’s Pot Roast is an improv comedy group on campus. I found an old Student Life article (our school newspaper) that gives some background on the three groups on campus. WUSTL’s student improv groups are one of the hidden gems on campus. Most people know they exist, but aren’t quite sure when the shows are. Every show is free, and since there are three groups, there is usually a show at least once per month.  The trick is to ask someone in the improv community when the next show is; they aren’t advertised on the WUSTL Record calendar.

WUSTL students are generally smart, but our improv performers take clever to a whole new level. Each scene begins by asking the audience for a word. The performers will pick a word and make up an entire scene from scratch based off of it. You really have to see it to understand.