October 28, 2020

Mixed Signals serve up spooky special

By  Emma Streckenbein

The Library Auditorium was filled to the brim with tricks, treats and improv comedy on Sunday, Oct. 29 as the Mixed Signals, the College’s premiere improv comedy troupe, gathered to deliver its annual Halloween-themed performance, where the troupe introduced a new game and five new cast members.

The Mixed Signals set the mood for the “Spooks and Goofs Extravaganza” by incorporating spine-chilling improv games, such as Ding and Die, Eulogy, Satan’s Lap and the Monster Game.

“I loved Eulogy,” said Gail Cevallos, a sophomore marketing major who sported a yellow raincoat referencing Georgie from the latest “It” film adaption.

“It was so interactive, and I personally found it even funnier because the eulogy was given for Pennywise the Dancing Clown.”

The improv group introduces characters from different popular films. (Natalie La Spisa / Staff Photographer)

Although the crowd cackled at the usual games they’ve come to know and love, the Mixed Signals decided to throw a new game into the mix — Hollywood Director.

In this game, Evan Noone, a junior technology education major and member of the troupe, was picked to play the role of the director while three others served as actors.

After drawing inspiration from a word suggested by the audience, the director assigned roles and directed a scene, re-directing it as he or she saw fit.

Hilarity ensued when Noone created a zany scene between a greenhouse employee, an unpaid intern and a fire marshal.

He re-directed the scene three times, first instructing the actors to perform as if they were underwater, then forbidding them to bend their limbs, and finally, requiring them to perform the scene as the cast of “Stomp the Yard.” Needless to say, the audience was in stitches.

“I love the new game,” said alumna Emily Mullen (’17), a former Mixed Signal.

“It’s really clever. The three people acting in it are kind of like puppets, and it gives the control to the one improver, which is really interesting to see from a fellow improver’s perspective.”

The Mixed Signals, who dressed as the seven deadly sins, encouraged audience members to show up in their spookiest attire. This suggestion included the five new members, who dressed as characters from the movie “Inside Out.”

“My cheeks hurt from laughing, which is bad because I’m dressed as Sadness,” said Stephanie Sonbati, a freshman English and journalism double major and a new member of the Mixed Signals. “I’ve broken character.”

Sonbati and the other new members did not perform at the Halloween-themed show, but the Mixed Signals hope to incorporate them next semester.

The new members will undergo training, during which they will learn crucial improv skills and practice their signature games, according to Paul Chukrallah, a junior marketing major and Mixed Signal.

“(The new members) are all freshmen,” Chukrallah said of her the group’s diversity. “They’re all super talented, and we can’t wait to see them onstage.”

The performance introduced several memorable characters, which included a lasagna-loving wife who became Medusa and turned her husband and in-laws to stone, a little boy who longed to befriend a porcupine and even Satan, who judged the sins of a child who stayed up past his bedtime.

“There were a lot of really intelligent jokes, and I loved the chemistry that (the Mixed Signals) have,” said alumnus Ian Cooley (’17), a former member. “To see that that still exists warms my heart.”

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