As the semester winds down, Don’t Throw Shoes is preparing for its final show of the year and looking towards its future.
Shoes is The College of Wooster’s student improv comedy group. This year the group has been comprised of Nate Johnson ’16, Dana Stamos ’16, Michael Hatchett ’16, Ashkan Alikhani ’18, George Marn ’18, Amy Hagedorn ’18, Gabe Dale-Gau ’18 and Madeline Silver-Riskin ’19.
Shoes’ final show will take place on Thursday, May 5 at 8 p.m. at its regular venue, the Douglass Hall basement. Historically, the final show has involved some sort of send-off for the seniors. Stamos, one of the group’s seniors, said that one year she can remember a slideshow of the seniors being played, and other years there have been flowers and cards for those who are graduating. Stamos, Johnson and Hatchett have written a sketch that they plan to perform at the final show, but other than that the show will be good old fashioned Shoes improv.
With Stamos, Hatchett and Johnson all graduating, and several other current members going abroad, the makeup of next year’s Shoes will be very different. Next fall the group will only have Marn, Silver-Riskin and Alikhani as returning members.
“Shoes will definitely be going through a rebuilding period next fall,” said Marn on behalf of the group. “We’re having three seniors graduate and two members going abroad, so we’re losing over half our group.”
However, Marn said that the remaining members would certainly step up to the challenge and that, while the faces and style of the group might change, the goal of Shoes will remain the same: to bring long- and short-form improv comedy to campus.
Stamos, who has been part of the group since her sophomore year, expressed confidence in the future of the group.
“Every year looks different,” she said. “No matter how many people return next year it will be really cool to find a new group and a new group dynamic.”
Stamos has been in Shoes for three years now and says that every year, the group dynamic has been different.
“My first year had so many really big personalities, and that was a really fun introduction to improv — it was a pretty seasoned group, and it was cool to join at a time when everyone was really comfortable with it,” said Stamos. She described 2014-15 as a transition year, with the group learning how to navigate with four personalities having just graduated.
“This year seems like the most like cohesive Shoes I’ve seen, both on stage and off stage,” she continued.
The group says that while it will hold auditions next year, there is no ideal number of members or set amount of new talent they would like to bring in.
“We will take as many people as we think would work well with the group,” said Marn.
Stamos agreed that there was no ideal number of Shoes, and added that in her experience the best members were those that were willing to take risks, have fun and bring a good attitude.
Anyone interested in auditioning for Shoes next year should check out their Facebook page or their table at Scot Spirit day; auditions typically take place within the first few weeks of the fall semester.