Carroll’s Improv Team Brings Comedy to Campus
By Tiffany March
The Funny Bone Mafia has brought laughter to the stage with every show, each time they perform, pleasing their ever growing campus audience. The team has become so popular that they have been known to add an additional R-rated show after their initial show of the night.
The team acknowledges their growth and looks forward to continued expansion. Vice President, Sam Burns, speaks about some future expectations for the team: “Our goal for this year is to continue to engage the campus and increase attendance for the next rounds of shows. We are collaboration with CAB [Campus Activity Board], CAC [Colleges Against Cancer], and the Theatre Department for our next three shows,” Burns explains.
The team continually fills the house in even the largest theatre on campus – Otteson. Their shows have generated audiences of about 150 people (at a minimum) according to Burns.
Taylor Burzynski, Team President is very happy with their increase in audience. “We’ve gained such a following that it is breathtaking when we go on stage and see so many faces that we have seen before but also so many new ones. We have gone from performing to a max of 50 people to having to schedule two shows a night to accommodate the audience,” stated Burzynski.
The Funny Bone Mafia was recently seen partnering with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship for a benefit show to raise money for a Carroll family. The show was intended to raise funds to help pay for cancer treatment for the team’s resident musician’s brother, John. A total of $1120 was raised at the event.
The team has also done some volunteer work with Pius XI High School in Milwaukee by conducting workshops. The goal of these workshops is to help the high school’s improv team to improve. It is acts like this that have allowed the team to reach out to the Waukesha and the Carroll community.
This is not the only thing this group has been up to lately. In early December, the team took a trip to Minneapolis for their first College Improv Tournament where they placed 4th out of 7 teams. This was a huge learning experience for the team as they were able to receive some constructive criticism from the judges.
Some improv groups (including Mission Improvable and Comedy Sports) have come to Carroll and have worked with Funny Bone Mafia to exchange ideas and notes.
Their work does not end here though; the team has used social media to create some hype. They post the latest information on their Facebook and Twitter to keep their audience updated. The team has also been known to use their sites during the show to connect with the audience and find volunteers to participate in their improv games.
As the team continues to undergo new developments, it is easy to see a strong bond between the team members. The way the members support each other during shows is apparent. The team has an obvious connection that allows them to enjoy themselves on stage while entertaining their audience.
Team member Logan Mathews talked about one of his favorite phrases related to the team: “I really enjoy our team chant ‘let’s get weird’ … it reminds me that I shouldn’t care what people think because, regardless, I’m having fun.”
Overall, the team has experienced much growth and looks forward to growing more as a team and in the local community. Once next semester begins, the team will hold auditions to welcome more members and work on their performance for the College Improv Tournament next year.
“My dream and hope for this team is to go to the National College Improv tournament next year and take home 1st place,” says Burzynski.