Improv group visits UAF

Deison Rios/Sun Star Reporter
Sept. 10, 2013

Students Mickey Wilson, a senior in Mining Engineering; and Erika, a freshman in Electrical Engineering, control Adam and Chris from Mission ImPROVable in a game of 'puppet'. Mission ImPrvable is an improv comedy group that puts on comedy shows at university across the nation. The show was held Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 10 p.m. in the Hess Rec Commons at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Kate Strehl/Sun Star

Students Mickey Wilson, a senior in Mining Engineering; and Erika, a freshman in Electrical Engineering, control Adam and Chris from Mission ImPROVable in a game of ‘puppet’. Mission ImPrvable is an improv comedy group that puts on comedy shows at university across the nation. The show was held Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 10 p.m. in the Hess Rec Commons at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Kate Strehl/Sun Star

“This is a once in a lifetime show that will never be repeated again,” comedian Adam Higgins said.

These were the introductory words to Mission Improvable’s show at the Hess Recreational Center Tuesday night. The Student Activities Office sponsored the event, which was free with a PolarExpress card.

The duo act consisted of Higgins and Chris Gorbos, two improv comedians. Although Higgins has performed improve since middle school, both have been performing professionally for approximately 10 years.

“Chicago is the place to be for improv,” Higgins said, which is why both of them decided to move there after college.

Students filled up every seat in the Hess Rec to see the show. Freshman Business student Lucy Hoisington, loved the part of the show “when students went up on stage and moved the performers like mannequins,” Hoisington said.

“I loved the last part of the show with the made up languages,” said 18-year-old Mikey Dewy, a freshman Spanish student. This part of the show, which is also a favorite of Gorbos and Higgins, involved Gorbos acting out an event, person and location while speaking in gibberish.

Gorbos would continue acting out what he had to portray until Higgins could correctly guess it.

Higgins and Gorbos are a part of a national touring improvisation company, Mission Improvable, which was named “Entertainer of the Year” by Campus Activities Magazine earlier this year.

The comedy show is interactive and encourages the audience to be involved. Throughout the show, the audience had control of the show. Students were encouraged to participate from giving the performers personal text messages for a skit, to coming on stage to participate

Sophomore Rachel Adams, volunteered for the skit in which Higgins stood in front of the stage and directed Gorbos to switch between two different scenarios every time Higgins yelled “switch!” Gorbos had a unique accent and tone for each of the scenarios, the faster Higgins yelled “switch!” the more difficult it became for Gorbos to switch back and forth between characters.

Adams, who attended the event last year said that this year’s show was “way better.” Adams, a self-proclaimed improve enthusiast, found the event to be “a great way to blow off steam and get to know new people.”

To prepare for their show, Higgins and Gorbos immersed themselves in Fairbanks and UAF.

“We got to know some students to get a feel of what they’re interested in. We also went around to places like the hot spring to help us relate to our audience better,” Higgins said. This research came in handy when the audience brought up camping and bear attacks.

“This year’s audience was rowdier, funner and dirtier,” Gorbos said.

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