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Studio 013 Refugee’s improv show entertains students into the morning

Studio+013+Refugees+owned+the+stage+at+Westowne+Square+for+hours+of+improv+comedy
Studio 013 Refugees owned the stage at Westowne Square for hours of improv comedy

Studio 013 Refugees owned the stage at Westowne Square for hours of improv comedy

Photo by Photo courtesy of Thomas Southall

Photo by Photo courtesy of Thomas Southall

Studio 013 Refugees owned the stage at Westowne Square for hours of improv comedy

Thomas Southall

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A group of college students stood on a stage from 6 p.m. till 6 a.m this past Saturday outside the Alumni Memorial Building. No, it wasn’t a protest or an activism movement made to garner attention, it was something a little less polarizing and a lot more fun: comedy.

The Studio 013 Refugees is Marquette’s comedy improv club, and every year they host a 12-hour improv show. They practice twice a week in two-hour sessions. The show became a staple for the Refugees in 1999 and still involves constant laughter. In the cool September night in front of a couple rows of chairs, the Refugees performed improv skits, some lasting five minutes and others lasting roughly half an hour. The air was charged with energy. For each skit the Refugees asked the crowd for suggestions such as names, places or job professions. One of the skits they did was called “A Day in the Life,” in which the groups gets an audience member up on the stage to talk about their day. The Refugees then act out their day three times, getting faster each time.

Co-presidents Thomas Swartz, a senior in the College of Business Administration, and Connor Welch, a senior in the College of Communication said the secret to performing improv is be yourself and practice a lot.

“One of the things that we always tell people at auditions is that you don’t have to try to be funny,” Swartz said. “A lot of the humor just comes organically. Another thing is to not be stressed out about what you’re saying. Just say what comes to mind, you can always justify it later in the scene.”

Welch advised people to go all out and not be afraid to make mistakes.

“There are a lot of people who take pride in not cracking; I don’t like that,” Welch said. “If something is funny, laugh at it. Laughter is the best medicine.”

I arrived to the show around 10 p.m. right when things were getting exciting. I was seated in the back watching the group do a skit about elderly strippers. It was impressive to see how well the ‘Fugees play off each other with such fluid energy as well as their acting chops. From my chair I saw people change characters at a drop of a hat. It was fun to watch because in a way, the crowd was just as much as part of the show as the ‘Fugees.

Roughly eight years ago, the group used to do a 24-hour show, but as time went they decreased the time to 12 hours. They managed to stay on their game for so long with help from a lot of coffee, energy drinks and adrenaline to get through the hectic, fast-paced show.

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