The Ramapo News sat down with senior Jon Henry, co-captain of Ramapo’s improv troupe the Fooligans, to discuss their final comedy show of the year, MARK TWAIN IS DEAD: a night of improv tragedy, which took place on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. in the Adler Theater.
Ramapo News (RN): What were some of the games you performed at the show?
Jon Henry (JH): First off, we have a game called “Complaint Department,” where we had one member of the Fooligans who was running a complaint department, and all of the other people in the game came in with a different object. The person running [the] complaint department didn’t know what it was and they had to try and guess based on the clues they got during the scene.
We also had “Genres,” where we had two people running a scene and throughout it we would change the genre.
We did a “Change It” where two people run a scene and continually we make them change lines. Then, we did a beat the game which started off with a character monologue. I took on a character named Bill, just did a whole monologue as him and then we did a series of long form in the world of Bill.
Then, we did “Entrances and Exits,” where each actor in the scene is given one word and when that word is said, if they’re not on stage they have to enter, if they are on stage they have to exit.
RN: Where do you come up with the ideas for the games?
JH: A lot of them are established games that some of us have learned from different places. We have a couple different members of the troupe who have taken official improv classes with either The PIT or Upright Citizens Brigade, which are two of the bigger [improv] groups of the cities, [and] of course there are some things we take from “Whose Line is it Anyway?” All of the members, no matter what level they are in the group, we all bring in things that we’ve learned, and we sort of pool them as a community.
RN: How long have the Fooligans been a group on campus, and how did you get started?
JH: We started my sophomore year. It was founded by me and my friend Harry Fahrer. It feels weird to hear them being referred to as not being a newer group on campus. That feels weird because I was in the room when it was made.
It honestly just started where we were having a conversation where we very theoretically said we should start an improv troupe and the president of our theater honor society was sitting right behind us as we said that, and at that point she decided to push it and make sure it happened, which I’m very glad she did.
RN: How was this show for you?
JH: It was a bit emotional. I think overall it went well. There were a few hiccups of course, but there always is; that’s the name of the game. But there was just this weird feeling when the last scene was over because I just heard Dan call scene and [I thought], “All right, and now we’re gonna…that was our last scene in my last show. Okay.” So it was a bit heartbreaking in that quick moment, but it was good, I’m proud of everyone.
For more information about the Fooligans, check out their Facebook page.