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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Improv troupe returns with shows

    Photo courtesy of the Charles Darwin Experience Members of the Charles Darwin Experience perform during this year’s Valentine’s Day show. The UA’s improv comedy troupe hosts performances at 10 p.m. every Tuesday night in Gallagher Theater.

    Being cast in the Charles Darwin Experience improv comedy troupe was one of the best days in Michael Campbell’s college career.

    So much so that the psychology senior said he plans to pursue acting and comedy in Los Angeles and Chicago.

    “Darwin is the next step to what I want to do in life,” Campbell said. “I love improv the most.”

    With rehearsals and workshops now in full swing, the UA’s own improv comedy group has begun hosting performances in the Student Union Memorial Center’s Gallagher Theater at 10 p.m. on Tuesday nights. The group’s approach to comedy, Campbell said, has evolved into a style similar to the prominent television comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

    “You’ll love the show instantly,” he said. “It’s an escape from school stress and convenient for on-campus students.”

    The Charles Darwin Experience performs for UA sororities, clubs, residence halls and at various other fundraising events.

    Additionally, it competes at college improv festivals around the country, Campbell added. Last year, it finished seventh out of more than 100 competing groups at the College Improv Tournament national finals in Chicago.

    Another improv festival, Fracas!, takes place in California, and in past years, the Charles Darwin Experience has traveled to the festival by car.

    “Lots of memories are made when we are stuck in a car together,” Campbell said. “We are a close knit group.”

    After seeing the group perform at orientation, creative writing junior Bryce Villalpando said she was intimidated by the current members when she auditioned as a freshman. Villalpando was later selected as a member and said the experience has been more than just an extracurricular activity.

    “I found myself in improv,” Villalpando said. “I immediately had friends that took me in like family.”

    Thanks to its regular performances, the group has garnered its fair share of good publicity.

    Undeclared freshman Erik Buckley said his friends had recommended that he attend a show and he said he was pleasantly surprised.

    “I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it was amazing,” Buckley said.

    Additionally, the group had a few regular attendees at the start of this semester. Chemical engineering sophomore Adam Fileccia hasn’t missed a show since last semester.

    “I loved the people on stage and started going every week,” Fileccia said. “Each member has a genuine humor that they bring to the stage.”

    Undeclared freshman Marina Sharpe said she knew about the Charles Darwin Experience before even moving to Tucson from Scottsdale, adding that some of the group’s current members attended her high school, and one of her drama teachers was a Darwin alum. Sharpe said she plans to audition next year for the Charles Darwin Experience.

    “I would die of happiness if I got in,” Sharpe said. “They’re so quick-witted. The ideas they come up with are amazing.”

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