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Don’t Throw Shoes prepares for upcoming show with new members

Theresa Dunne
Features Editor

With just a few weeks of rehearsal under their belts, the five new members of Don’t Throw Shoes are preparing themselves for their first performance in the upcoming weeks. This year, the student improv comedy troupe welcomed Colin Ford ‘19, Bekah Smith ‘19, Ian Ricoy ‘20, Elyse Echegaray ‘20 and Henry Mai ‘20 to their cast of performers. They join returning members Ashkan Alikhani ’18, George Marn ’18 and Madeline Silver-Riskin ’19 in addition to Gabe Dale-Gau ’18 and Amy Hagedorn ’18, who will both return in the spring following a semester abroad.

Knowing that only three existing members would return to campus this semester, Shoes looked forward to rebuilding its cast after graduating three seniors this past spring. Earlier in the month, the group held auditions that featured some of the improv games frequently seen at Shoes shows, as well as longer forms of improv.

While the group did not have a set number of members in mind going into auditions, they believe that such a large group will give them the opportunity to explore and feed off of varying comedic styles, making for more interesting comedy.

“I feel like we have a very strong group this year and I am excited for our first show as a group. We have a lot of fresh new talent this year and the dynamic of our group is going to change a lot,” said Marn.

Based on the necessary teamwork involved to make improv work, Shoes has focused on building trust among current members in recent weeks. As they rehearse, the group partakes in various improv exercises to establish these relationships, depending on the efforts of one another to continue the bit. Because none of them will graduate after this year, the group will use this time to form strong bonds, get to know each other’s comedy styles and use this knowledge to their advantage onstage.

“From what I have seen so far, this is a group who likes to have fun and make good improv at the same time. I’m most looking forward to having a good time with friends, new and old,” said Ford.

While all are excited for their first show together, the new Shoes remain a little apprehensive about performing in front of the student body. However, veteran Shoes convince them that once onstage, they will be so fixated on constantly moving forward in the sketch that the audience will become a mere side note.

Despite a few temporary nerves, the new members look forward to showcasing their talent as a group. They see improv as an opportunity for them to express themselves and find that the lack of structure gives them the chance to explore a different type of creativity, though there may be other motives involved. “I heard there was a cash prize if I make it through the year,” said Echegaray.

Whether or not this is true, keep an eye out for Shoes’ first show in the coming weeks by following them on Facebook. They will not disappoint, so look forward to it and mark your calendar.

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