The Whethermen “duke” it out

U.Va. and Duke University go face to face in improv showdown

The University’s improv troupe The Whethermen duked it out with Duke University Improv Friday. The two groups displayed an amazing range of wit, intuition, creativity and mind-reading prowess as they played a variety of improvisation games. The actors allowed the audience to decide many of the factors of these games such as locations, relationships of actors and titles.

Actors showed off their rhyming and intuition skills in an opening rap battle. The spontaneous discourse among the performers elicited several loud chuckles from the audience. The front row of audience members even brought wine to drink during the show. During one scene, an improv actor ran forward and gulped down a nearly full glass, followed by a second. Not to be left out of the action, the second player joined in, also downing a generous glass of wine.

But alcohol wasn’t the only thing provided by the audience. Most games, especially one called “Excuses,” relied on the audience for random suggestions as to what the actors would talk about. Whethermen performer Art Kulatti, a third-year College student, said that the distance between strangers is easily combated by the nature of improv.

“Just being improvisers is what makes us all so comfortable performing together,” Kulatti said. “We did have slight stylistic differences in the way our groups performed and we do not know the certain strengths and weaknesses of each individual as we do with our own group. [However], in improv we have to be able to trust our scene partners with whatever they say and accept it and roll with it. I think that’s what makes improv such a good medium for strangers to perform together and it to work so well.”

Throughout the show, actors came up with hilarious and brilliant connections on their feet, but they also connected with one another seamlessly.

I am still convinced that mind-reading was somehow involved, but you may have to see it to believe me. Be sure to check out their Graduation Spectacular April 26 in the Chemistry Auditorium.

Published April 9, 2014 in Arts and Entertainment, tableau

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