Fooligans involve audience in improv

Ramapo College’s very own student improv troupe, the Fooligans, hold two shows a month: one at 8 p.m. and another at 10 p.m. on the selected date. Each show features loose themes throughout the production, such as last year’s Five Nights at Freddy’s, Korn and Christmas.

Their most recent show was Halloween-themed and called “Halloween friENDS.” The troupe took the stage in the Berrie Center’s Rehearsal Hall on Sunday, Oct. 30, and they had a very festive and active crowd. The audience members were encouraged to come dressed in their costumes, and they massively delivered, dressing up in costumes ranging from Teletubbies to Powerpuff Girls to circus clowns.

Right around 8 p.m., the spooky Halloween music switched into energetic entrance music and the troupe stormed in while the audience cheered. They proceeded to introduce themselves before explaining how the show would work.

During each show, the Fooligans’ co-captains Devon Wells and Julia O’Toole and their troupe perform little improv skits ranging from long form to short form. There is a lot of audience participation, so be prepared for an exciting and engaging evening if you choose to attend a performance.

On Sunday they played about six different games, and each improv troupe member asked for one or more word suggestions from the audience, which ranges from a person, place or a thing. Upon deciding this mystery word, the troupe members would have to include it in their skits. We ended up with some pretty hysterical prompts from “beaver” to “tattoo parlor.”

In one game titled “Intervention,” three members had the chance to play. Two people played the role of parent and the third was their child. The audience engages with the performance and has to decide what strange addiction the child has.

At my show, the audience chose the strange addiction of playing hopscotch with Winnie the Pooh in a graveyard. Once the scene started, the two parents were tasked with trying to explain the addiction the child had without explicitly stating it. Watching this scene, as well as all of the others, was very entertaining, and spoiler alert: the child did guess the addiction correctly.

What I love about the Fooligans is that even if you attend every show, you’ll never have the same experience. That’s the power of improv. Everything is on the spot, which makes for the most entertaining, unplanned comedic moments. It’s great to see students who have a passion for creating a live interactive performance.

I recommend seeing a Fooligans show to anyone I know, because not only will I guarantee that it’ll be entertaining, but I’m sure you will really enjoy it and hopefully want to see another show in the near future or even audition to become a Fooligan yourself.

Photo courtesy of Sam Dibari.