On campus, Theater

Practice, Even the Improv Troupe Needs It

Four members of the Backdoor Improv Troupe stand shoulder to shoulder as they reherse.
Ethan Schlegel, Samuel Loyd, Kat Sexton, and Daniel Reagan of the Backdoor Improv Troupe perform an exercise at their rehearsal on Jan. 21, 2022 Exercises like these help improve the troupe’s improv skills so they are prepared for their performances.
Photo by Audrey Wilkins.

In the hopes of bringing laughter, the Backdoor Improv Troupe is rehearsing for their spring semester season in the Jere Whitson Building every Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The Backdoor Improv Troupe was established in November 2020 by its current president Briley Barnett, a junior communications major at Tech. Barnett has been doing improv since she was nine.

“I was lucky enough to study under a handful of different improv instructors in high school and I had attempted to start a troupe my senior year; so, when I got to Tech and saw they had no improv established on campus, I decided I would have to make it happen,” Barnett said.

Even though the spring semester season is just beginning for the troupe, Barnett has high hopes about the rehearsals and shows to come.

“We have only met once for the spring 2022 semester, but we have some strong returning members,” Barnett said. “I would love to see a few more join and get involved, but we are just glad to be back at all.”

Barnett hopes that this season, and all others to follow, will let members as well as audiences have a good time.

“I hope that our members get a sense of community, as well as just allow themselves an outlet to be creative and silly,” Barnett said. “In the high stress environment that can be college academia, I think it is important to also make time to destress and have fun.”

As of now, it appears that Barnett’s goals are being fulfilled. Wyatt Broome, a student at Tech, has been to several of the Backdoor Improv Troupe’s performances. He thinks that the Backdoor Improv Troupe can make people laugh in all sorts of ways.

Broome said, “The vastly different perspectives and humor that each troupe member brings to the show draws me into the performances. Through the characters and impersonations of the members, you get a feeling of their personalities. Being in a pandemic, the shows offer a very personal experience of laughter that you’ve missed over the last few years.”

Broome also believes the diversity of the troupe extends beyond their shows and into the campus community.

“As a small community, it is crucial to uplift local talent and introduce a new artform to people that have never experienced it. From creating new audience members to new troupe members, the Backdoor Troupe is critical in diversifying the arts on our campus,” Broome said.

The Backdoor Improv Troupe blends community, diversity and fun together for audiences and members alike. With these qualities, the troupe is sure to have a spring season to remember.