by ANDREW BEGLEY
If you did not see one of the Northridge Improvisational Comedy Club (NICC for short) shows this year, then you missed out. The shows are not your traditional standup comedy but instead an improvised laugh fest that brings raw, unplanned humor to the stage.
Headed by Angela Holahan, the club began in 2016. Angela is one of the co-founders, spearheading its creation after being a part of a similar group while still in high school. Joining her on stage were eight others including: Jeff Diez, Rachel Wagner, Troyana Warren, Zoe Cooper, Alex Hope, Jada Gilliam, Sadie Harris and Troy Kirkpatrick.
Collectively, the group of them come off as good friends who enjoy being in each other’s company. Their friendship can very much be attributed to shared humored as Rachel puts it, “I like being around people who are funny. Instead of having a bad day you can just go to improv because everything is funny.”
Friendship is an important element as the improv on stage is comparable to that of a group of friends just hanging out, cracking jokes and laughing at everything. They also allow for the audience to get involved by asking for certain topic suggestions. One act even incorporated the use of text messages from one of the audience member’s phone. This helped to immerse people, making even the cheesy jokes and slip ups funny for the crowd. You feel like you’re a part of the show.
You could even take it a step further and actually join them as they are holding auditions this coming September. It takes some unique comical skills, but Angela is looking for more newcomers as the group will be down two members next school year; Jeff is going to Washington, DC to study Behavioral Analysis Unit for Mental Health Corrections and Rachel is graduating this spring.
Both Jeff and Rachel were recruited by Angela, with Jeff being one of the co-founders. “We were in band camp and Angela said I was pretty funny. She asked if I wanted to start an improv group with her and I was hesitant at first but then agreed,” said Jeff. He remarked on how, while he won’t be pursuing a career in comedy, the experience has made him more comfortable in front of an audience and less embarrassed around people.
Rachel was all in the moment Angela compared the club to the popular TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway. She cited the entire cast as comical inspirations and while she isn’t looking at a career in comedy either, she thinks it is a significant part of a person’s life. “I think comedy is crucial to living a good life. I mean without laughing, who are you, you know?”
As for when you can see them live and in action, they just finished their fourth and final show of the semester, so you will have to wait. They will be performing four more shows again over the next fall and spring semester. The times and dates are still to be announced so be sure to keep up with TU Engage for information. Don’t regret missing this spontaneous concoction of hilarity.
by ANDREW BEGLEY
A Quiet Place is an original movie that hit theaters this spring. It serves as the first movie John Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt have co-starred together in. The story was written by childhood friends Bryan Woods and Scott Beck with Krasinski helping draft the final script after he joined production. Krasinski also took on the role of director and executive producer on the film.
The movie is a horror film like no other. Throughout its duration, there are very few words spoken, thanks to the plot of the story. Blind creatures relying on their hypersensitive hearing have ravaged the human population, taking them out in large numbers. Forcing survivors to resort to a life of almost total silence to keep from attracting the deadly beasts.
Living on their farm, the Abbott family is among these survivors. Parents Lee and Evelyn have instilled a highly organized system for themselves and their children in order to continue avoiding the sightless predators. Their main form of communication: sign language.
In the role of Lee and Evelyn’s daughter Regan was deaf actress Millicent Simmonds. Because of her deafness, Simmonds presence on set went beyond just her acting. The entire cast had to learn American Sign Language and after starting their training, Simmonds advised having each family member sign in a way specific to their personalities. The father Lee uses short, concise signs as he is stern and focused on survival while Blunt’s motherly Evelyn has more elegant and expressive sings.
The film itself can stand as a major movie milestone for the deaf community. It was able to incorporate silence, subtitles, sign language, and Simmonds all while still putting out an exceptional product. Woods and Beck’s story which was inspired by their love for silent films could lead to more like it in the near future.
Krasinski and Blunt both put on spectacular performances. Krasinski was specifically strong as he nailed the traditional manly man role and created a sympathetic father who is willing to do anything for his family. With very few other cast members outside the Abbott family, it was important to have good, believable acting. They pulled it off with flying colors.
A Quiet Place proved to be both a critical and commercial success as an original film in a time filled with superhero blockbusters, remakes and plenty of sequels. It is reassuring to know that films like this can still be made and loved by average movie goers. Hopefully more like it will follow.
by CARLY BUZZARD
Entertainment for college students is guaranteed at Chisholm Auditorium Wednesday night as the psychology department hosts the movie “The Experimenter”.
Everyone was invited as psychology students laid out popcorn and pizza for those in attendance at Professor Appel’s movie night in Franks Hall.
Appel chose to use the movie night as a “teaching tool” to his psychology students.
Professor Appel is a professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, within the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences at Tiffin University.
Appel said the movie chosen, “The Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story”, was a “fairly accurate Hollywood depiction of psychology.”
“It’s very rare,” Appel said about the accurate depiction of psychology Hollywood made. He said Hollywood usually butchers the idea of psychology.
William Myers, a junior at Tiffin University, wishes to make psychology club an active club on Tiffin’s campus like it used to be.
Myers attended Appel’s movie night in curiosity of the movie along with his interest in psychology and desire to make the club active again.
“It should be intriguing,” Myers said.
Appel said he tries to put a movie night together each year based on Hollywood psychology-based films. He said Kyle Alvarez’s “The Stanford Prison Experiment” was shown as last year’s movie.
Madeline Olson, a Tiffin University psychology major, wants to see how the movie will relate to her interest in psychology.
I’m familiar with the experiment,” Olsen says, “I’m just curious to see how Hollywood portrays it.”
The movie night hosted by Appel serves as not only a teaching tool, but also a homework break for students.
“It’s nice to watch a movie based on your major,” said junior psychology student Allie Schirmer.
Schirmer intends to become the president of the psychology club if it becomes active again. Schirmer says the night should be good for the club.
This is a great opportunity for students to get together, spend some time out of the classroom, while becoming more educated about it from a different perspective.
“Psychology is more important than we think,” Appel said.
Hopefully the movie night plays part in making the psychology club great again.
by AMANDA TRAXLER
Tiffin University’s Theatre Arts program, also known as the Dragons Den Players, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. The Player’s recently staged Neil Simon’s Rumors, which was the first show the theatre program staged here at the university.
When asked where the name Dragons Den Players came from, Dr. Mary Grennen, director of theatre arts, stated “The Dragon’s Den Players’ name was conceived by Joe Knipe, who has designed the sets for all of our productions, since 2007.”
In over one decade, the theatre department has staged 23 productions and has given hundreds of thespians and thousands of audience members the opportunity to enjoy theatre on the TU campus. “Though it is always sad to see our veterans graduate, I assure them that they are always welcome in the Den and hope that they continue to be active in theatre wherever they live,” Dr. Grennen said.
When it comes to selecting a show to stage, the process involves a series of decisions involving staging requirements, casting, technical demands, space, and a fair amount of conjecture with regard to audience response, she said.
“I have been fortunate so far to have selected 23 plays that have all been extremely well-received,” she said.
The set that was used for this semester’s performance of Rumors is only slightly different from the set that was used in 2007. When the show was originally staged, a higher platform was used that required twice the number of stairs. “The first set didn’t even have a rug on the set, and, quite frankly, I’d like to see our present stage rug be replaced with a new one, as it has ‘seen better plays’” Dr. Grennen said.
Though she enjoys every play that she directs, she has always considered Rumors to be one of her favorite modern comedies. She also said that the enjoyment of educational theater truly lies in seeing these young actors bring their own flavor to the parts and reap the rewards of acting before a live audience after the long hours they have rehearsed on early weekend mornings throughout the semester.
“I also believe that many of our actors, set builders, painters, and production crew have no idea how talented they are, and how much they bring to our campus. We are a family, and every single person named in our play programs contributes significantly to the final product,” Dr. Grennen also said.
She chose to revive the first play done by the theatre department was chosen two years ago when she knew that she could cast it with the actors she had.
“It has a fast-paced script, side-splitting humor and vibrant characters. It was a wonderful opportunity to see an already performed play with a new cast and new crews,” she said.
by ALEX BEGLEY
Netflix released the second season of its show A Series of Unfortunate Events. The show is based on Lemony Snicket’s book series of the same name and is further evidence of the success Netflix has adapting source material.
The second season followed up a well-received first series with more critical acclaim. Much of its success can be attributed to its great casting. Neil Patrick Harris, best known for his role as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, brings a fantastic performance as the antagonist Count Olaf. His presence on-screen is dominating and he manages to bring to life the zany and cartoonish villainy of Count Olaf. This is thanks in part to his Broadway background, including Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
The young Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes also put forth amazing performances, representing the siblings Violet and Klaus Baudelaire. Along with their baby sister, Sunny, they are the protagonists of the show. It is easy to immediately empathize and feel sympathetic for them which keeps you interested in watching them as they go on a long and tortuous journey. Joining them are a variety of interesting supporting characters, many of which are played by major guest starring actors, such as Will Arnett, Cobie Smulders and Nathan Fillion among others.
The stories’ unique combination of dark yet quirky humor is masterfully brought to screen. It provides a great show for kids while also having deeper life lessons behind its admittedly cheesy jokes. Snicket’s whacky characters and settings are mixed with real life struggles. Twisted motives, ignorance to wickedness, and even death are no strangers to the show. Yet it still remains comedic by almost making fun of its own depressing nature. The genius comes in that it is a story full of tragedy that keeps you searching for the hope that, despite everything, things will get better.
If you are searching for another show to binge watch on Netflix, A Series of Unfortunate Events is a good candidate. Let your inner child out, get a good laugh, and be grateful that its series of events have not befallen you.
by BRANDON UTLEY
The lights. The cameras. The drag queens? Tiffin University’s LGBTQ+ organization SPECTRUM hosted their 6th annual Drag Night event on March 27. The night was full of star-studded performances by students and faculty alike. Returning host Deija D owned the stage from the moment she entered the room and did not let up until her final bow.
See a portion of Deija's performance below (video by AMANDA TRAXLER)
“Drag night was a culmination of the organization's efforts as well as the love our [actors] have for the event,” said SPECTRUM education coordinator Raymond Goodrum.
SPECTRUM co-president Sami Kramer added, “I think drag night went really well. We had so many amazing people come out to watch and help us set up and tear down. Our performances this year were absolutely amazing. Everyone involved did such a great job.”
See Residence Life Area Coordinator Megan Somodi perform below (video by BRANDON UTLEY)
Deija D even posted a heartfelt message on her personal Facebook profile stating, “Last night was an absolute dream and the complete reason I do what I do.” She never fails to disappoint as an eccentric host and even said that she cannot wait until next year.
As per tradition, audience applause chose the winners. This year, best group went to none other than Dean of Students Mike Herdlick and Dr. Steven Hurwitz; the best male drag was awarded to Nichole Berry; and the best female drag went to Ian Holbrook.
“With so much support from Tiffin University, drag night continues being bigger and better each year,” said Goodrum.
by BRANDON UTLEY
This quote by Challenge Champion Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio is the tagline the reality stars on MTV’s The Challenge live by. Now, I understand that reality television is not everyone’s forte, but give this show a chance. The Challenge is by far my favorite reality show on television.
The show has been in production since 1998, and has been growing in quality ever since. After the producers saw high ratings for a special crossover competition special for the 1997 seasons of MTV shows The Real World and Road Rules, The Real/World Road Rules Challenge was born (since renamed The Challenge).
With MTV struggling to bring forth high rating television in recent years, they have been heavily relying on their juggernaut challenge competition series. The series has something for everyone, drama, romance, and action.
The show has gone through a lot of iterations over the years, from the original Real World vs. Road Rules setup, to the more recent Battle of the Bloodlines and Dirty XXX. Along with the varying themes, the show also ran through various reincarnations of the gameplay format. The first few seasons shared a similar format. The challengers competed in a basic competition, the winners were put in the “inner circle,” and a challenger was voted out of the game. In more recent seasons, however, the game gets more intense. The challengers compete in brutal, over-the-top competitions around the world and the losers compete against each other in physical elimination rounds.
Even if you do not know the show, you most likely know someone who has been on the show. WWE Superstar, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, appeared on the 2001 season of The Real World: Back to New York and competed in multiple Challenge seasons. Jamie Chung, who currently plays Clarice Fong on FOX’s X-Men series The Gifted, originally appeared on the 2004 season The Real World: San Diego and competed on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II. Chung is known as the most successful alumna of the franchise. Last, but not least, Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, who originally appeared on The Real World: Key West in 2006 and has competed in 16 seasons of the show, recently appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Bananas has made a name for himself as the most successful Challenge competitor in series history, winning six seasons and making a total of $685,543.
Personally, I started watching this show during its 21st season, Rivals, which paired each competitor with someone they despised and forced them to work together. New, innovative themes such as this and their infamous Battle of the Exes are what kept me interested all these years. From tightrope walking between skyscrapers to swimming 150 feet underwater between yachts, this show never fails to disappoint with jaw-dropping competitions. Since starting, I have gone back and watched the first 20 seasons and the show has only improved since its origin in the late 90’s.
The Challenge has cemented itself as a staple in reality tv history and does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The show has become so successful, it has spawned a spin-off series that puts celebrities and professional athletes against the series champs in a much shorter competition for charity.
The 31st season, The Challenge: Vendettas, currently airs on Tuesday nights on MTV and includes cast members from The Real World, Road Rules, The Challenge, Are You the One?, MTV UK’s Ex on the Beach, MTV UK’s Geordie Shore, and CBS’s Big Brother. If you want an interesting, competitive, and dramatic reality program to enjoy, check this one out.
by ABBEY HOBBS, Staff writer
Tiffin University Musical Art’s program is presenting its annual ProMusic Festival on April 12 featuring members of the band, dance team, and choir.
High school students from all around Ohio come to Tiffin University to participate in this event and showcase their skills. The festival is two days long. The first day features the band; the second day features the choir. Each day, performances will be held in the Marion Center with a final performance at the Ritz Theater.
There will be an appearance by Chloe Feoranzo, a musician who plays for Postmodern Jukebox, who will judge the final performance as well as preform as the featured artist. “We are very excited to have her here at TU as a part of our ProMusic Festival this year!” said Ben Herrick, director of the TU band.
All TU students involved in band and choir are required to work this festival. The high school students work hand in hand with TU students, learning new skills and getting to know the art directors.
Leann Vandeveer, a junior at TU, has worked the festival the past three years and believes that it is a great experience for both college and high school students. “It’s truly great to have everyone from so many different places and backgrounds come together for this event,” she said.
At the end of each day there will be a performance from either the band or the choir. Students will be given feedback by the guest judges on their growth and performance at the end of the festival. Tiffin University uses this event to find recruitment's and spread information to every student who may be interested in attending this university.
Video by MACKENZI RICKMAN
CHLOE FEORANZO (from Postmodern Jukebox)
with an All-Star Jazz Band featuring Ragtime Rick
THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 7pm
The freshman softball players pose after winning the talent show.
TIFFIN—Tiffin University’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee hosted a talent show on Tuesday night that showed cased 13 acts and many laughs.
Some of the acts included dancing, playing the piano, comedy, sport specific skills, and solving a Rubik’s Cube.
The talent show is an annual event designed to show case the hidden talents of TU students and to get SAAC members involved in outreach, SAAC representative and event host Olivia Davis said. The event began at 7:30 p.m. and there was not an empty seat in the room.
Each sports team entered an act and competed against each other for the title of “2018 SAAC Talent Show Champion.” Athletic Director Lonny Allen, Provost Dr. Peter Holbrook and Dr. Kelly Daniels volunteered as judges for the contest.
Once all the acts were completed three finalists were called up to the stage. The finalists were the swim and dive team who performed magic, the women’s soccer team and their edition of a popular Saturday Night Live skit, and the softball team who choreographed a synchronized swimming routine.
Softball player Chelsey Trusty said, “We were all really nervous. I was shaking before we went on stage because I was so nervous.”
Davis announced that the softball team had won, much to the delight of Trusty and her teammates, “I was happy we won. I was excited when we won because the softball team had never won it before.”
The softball team was not the only group of people who left the event smiling. Davis spoke very highly of the event, “We had a fun night, and couldn’t have asked for a better turn out!”
The next SAAC sponsored event is Thursday, February 8 at the men’s and women’s basketball games against Ferris State. They will be raising money and selling t-shirts to donate to the Make-a-Wish foundation. First tip is at 5:30 p.m. in the Gilmore Student Center.
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