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Mission IMPROVable will present games and skits and lead the audience through a series of “missions” 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 in the Farinon Snack Bar.

“We usually bring stand up comedians, so Mission IMPROVable is a fun alternative,” says Marquis Scholar Maddie Stavis ’08 (Bryn Mawr, Pa.), LAF comedy co-chair. “We are always looking to diversify our programming, and last year’s response to this different form of comedy convinced us that we should bring the improv troupe back to campus.”

Mission IMPROVable’s act is similar to the popular television show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” but with a twist. Just like in the old TV series “Mission Impossible,” the six actors pretend to be agents. The audience members are the co-agents and participate in the theater games or “missions” by yelling out suggestions.

“Their hilarious ‘missions’ are elaborations of time-tested party games like charades and telephone, made new again by expanded, self-punishing rules. Whether they’re allowed to communicate only in gibberish or forced to repeat bits of business over and over again by whichever of their cruel comrades is momentarily in the director’s chair, these eagerly inventive performers simply never stop working,” says Steve Synder, theater critic of The Orlando Weekly. “The frequent audience-participation routines are cheerful advertisements for solidarity and teamwork, not cruel feasts of humiliation.”

The group was formed at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where the original six members came together. After two years, the group moved to Chicago, home of “long-form” improvisation and ensemble training. The members studied the ins and outs of improvisation, completing training programs at The Second City, Improv Olympic, and Annoyance Theater.

Since then, members of the group have performed alongside performers from shows such as “Saturday Night Live,” “Mad TV,” and “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

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