Stage Monkeys to hit stage tonight
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 00:09
Stage Monkeys, the University of Southern Mississippi’s student improvisational group, will host its first show of the year tonight. Stage Monkeys consists of a two-hour improvised performance on certain Thursdays of each month. During the shows, the Stage Monkeys will act out a variety of scenarios that the audience provides.
"We’re in a development stage with our format, but traditionally we are a short-form troupe,” said Henry Shepard, president of Stage Monkeys. “That means we play a variety of games, similar to the show ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’. So we play the crowd pleasers like World’s Worst, where we demonstrate the world’s worst member of a certain profession, or Return Clerk, where three customers return items, only they do not know what those items are.”
This will be Shepard’s third year performing for Stage Monkeys.
“We have one goal every year: to entertain the students of USM and to bring more laughs than the previous year,” he said. “This is the beginning of our eleventh year, so we’re going to need to make a lot of people laugh.”
Christian Myrick, a business management major, often attends Stage Monkeys shows.
“I enjoy going to Stage Monkeys because I know for sure that I’m going to get a great laugh before I leave, and it’s a great refresher during a hectic week of school and work,” Myrick said. “My favorite thing about their shows, besides the comedy, of course, is the intentional interaction with the audience. They do a phenomenal job of involving their audience in their shows to make it that much more entertaining.”
For those interested, Stage Monkeys will open its doors to new talent soon.
“We’re actually holding auditions on Sept. 13 in Joseph Greene Hall 115 from 7 to 9 p.m.,” Shepard said. “Anyone is welcome to audition. Theater experience helps but is in no way required. There’s not a lot of pressure during the auditions; we just want to see how fast you can think and how well you handle the improv material we throw at you, sometimes literally.”
John Ridgeway, an entertainment industry major, has been in Stage Monkeys for three years.
“I enjoy being able to act and perform on a regular basis with the troupe,” Ridgeway said. “It’s a childhood wish fulfillment of mine to get to be on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?,’ but this certainly meets that dream. People should come see us to get their laugh on.”
The Stage Monkeys performance begins tonight in Joseph Greene Hall 115 at 7 p.m. For more information about Stage Monkeys and auditions, contact Henry Shepard at firstname.lastname@example.org.