The Event Space was filled with a huge audience dancing to the blasting music before the sketch-comedy performance ensemble, Fun With Science performed their first show of the semester “Fall With Science.”
Fun With Science is Mulenberg’s co-ed sketch-comedy group, which was founded in the 2010-2011 school year. They produce sketches live on stage as well as film. Current members include Sydney Watt ‘18 (co-president), Michael Masse ’18 (co-president), Mary Fiala ’20 (secretary), Sean Cheney ’20 (public relations), Devin Domeyer (social chair) Finnley Kafer ‘21, Matthew Beaune ‘20, Alex Guenette ‘20, Jenny Silber ‘20, Alyssa Crook ‘19, Kiara Ryan ‘19, Seamus Good ‘18, Christopher Torres ‘18, and Nikk Tetreault ’18.
Auditions for the ensemble were held a few weeks ago, and those auditioning were asked to come prepared with an original sketch and to read a previous Fun With Science sketch.
Before rehearsals for each performance begin, they have to collaborate on what sketches they want to write and perform.
“It varies on how close together our shows are, but we rehearse three hours a week, and so, on average we have about fifteen hours of writing, editing, blocking, etc. of rehearsal time for each show,” said Sean Cheney who is a member of Muhlenberg’s Underground Improv Project. “Another three hours minimum is added on for filming and editing our film sketches, so every show is at minimum twenty hours of group work, not even counting individual hours.”
Cheney explains that if the ensemble just finished a show, their rehearsals consist of the members pitching sketch ideas.
“These can be anything from full fledged, fully written sketches, sketches that are just a rough skeleton and need more added, or even just ideas without anything written down. We get these sketches and talk through what worked, what didn’t, how to tighten it up, or how to add more. As our show approaches, we decide on which sketches we’re doing for our show. We cast them, and then block them over the next few rehearsals,” said Cheney.
Scripts are typically prepared on an individual basis, with members coming in with a sketch to pitch at rehearsal.
“A typical show is usually formatted with the relationship of the sketches in mind. If one sketch is slower and lower energy, then a higher energy fast sketch will be put before or after it.” said Cheney.
Cheney explains that some of the more technically difficult sketches are spaced out so they have enough time to prepare them. They also try to fit in where the film sketches go, and where they make the most sense in terms of comedic style and in convenience of setup. In between big scenes, they have short scenes called “skitlets,” which are generally small jokes that could not be a full sketch, or will allow time to set up for the next scene.
“Fall With Science” opened with a musical performance of the ensemble’s original song called, “We all Have Wanted to Kill Somebody.” The whole ensemble performed in the opening number, which featured the three new members of the group Jenny Silber, Alex Guenette andcFinnley Kafer dancing as zombies, as they were “killed” by the rest of the performers. This performance ensemble is a ‘Berg version of Saturday Night Live and after the first scene they even had opening credits that were previously recorded that parallels the ones on the hit t.v. show.
The show included diversely themed sketches; such as one located in Ikea, a heart-to-heart talk between a father and son while they threw a football back and forth, as well as jokes about Muhlenberg such as selling an arm and leg to pay for tuition and not being able to use ‘Berg bucks at strip clubs. Like Saturday Night Live, they even presented previously recorded commercials such as their parody dating website, “animalhusbandry.com,” where people found true love with animals such as a pig and sloth.
Fun With Science hosts five to six shows each year, so if you missed their first performance of the semester, be on the look out for future performances of fun and lots of laughs.