Guerrilla Troupe offers comedic escape

Kiersten Mathis and Ian Kastner improvise a scene during one of their shows Saturday night in which they find out they are long lost twins. G-Troupe uses an assortment of games and audience suggestions to make every show unique. Nathan de la Cerda | Multimedia Journalist

By KJ Burkley | Reporter

After their first few shows this past weekend, Guerrilla Troupe looks to their future shows optimistically.

The group, which is made up entirely of Baylor students, came together to entertain audiences with their jocular material.

The theater-inspired group opened its comedy season strong with full houses for their first weekend of shows. These performances will be just some of many during the school year.

The atmosphere was electric at Hooper-Shaefer Building, as the crowd roared with laughter during segments. Baylor junior and first-year Troupe member Henry Beard said that the cast enjoys performing together.

“By the second and third show, we are usually on fire and everything is clicking,” Beard said. “But what I love about the first show is that it’s really fun because we are here with our friends, and we are having so much fun. I think I did one of the best jobs so far this year tonight [Saturday].”

Guerrilla Troupe introduced different segments of the show they would play in what they call games. Forward-Reverse is a game in which three cast members act out a scene on the spot while a fourth member would shout out TV remote commands that they would have to do while performing that scene.

Another game was titled Budget Cut, where four members acted out a scene and at the end of it, one member would be cut from the scene if the audience cheered for them the loudest. The remaining cast members would have to cover the absent member’s part. The audience would keep cutting actors until one member was left to act out all the parts in the scene.

Forward-Reverse and Budget Cut were just two of the six games Guerrilla Troupe performed, each getting enormous rounds of laughter. In addition to crowd reactions, Guerrilla Troupe took suggestions from the audience to give either occupations, character descriptions or scene details that members playing each game would have to act out.

Audience participation and reaction energize the performance, Waco junior Chris Coley said, which makes the Troupe’s performances great.

“I thought it was a good show and great crowd,” Coley said after the final show Saturday night. “The more [the crowd is] involved in our performances, the more energy they give to us. Energy feeds the comedy we produce, so the more interactions we get from people give us a good insight of what works that night and what doesn’t.”

Guerrilla Troupe’s show impacted the group itself as well. After the show, many friends, family and members of the Troupe gathered on stage to chat and congratulate each other.

Flagstaff, Ariz., junior Lauren Roe said that the bond of this group will continue to contribute to good shows.

“Our first shows help us get a sense that we, the collective, are moving, shaping and creating altogether,” Roe said. “That’s why I’m looking forward to play around with concepts and things — and to get to grow, not only as an individual artist, but as a group together.”

Coley said that as the year goes on, the group and shows will only continue to get better, and the group loves the idea of providing a quality show that Baylor students can sit back and enjoy.

“We’re all excited, and we’re all optimistic about this year,” Coley said. “I think these shows this weekend are proof that we are starting in a good place, and that there is much to learn and conquer. We want people to have fun with it and help provide a comedic get-away for the Baylor community.”