Full Ammo Improv Troupe To Host Comedy Festival
Full Ammo Improv troupe is Penn State’s premier improv comedy troupe, comprised of Penn State students from an array of different majors. The group specializes in performing long form improvisational comedy and performs every other Friday on campus.
The crew even travels to various improv festivals, such as the Del Close Marathon in New York City, the College Improv Regional Tournament in Philadelphia, and the Fracas! Improv Festival in Los Angeles.
The improve troupe performs their ‘The Exorcism of David Blaine’ skit.
The troupe is hosting RAWR666 this weekend, and the comedy festival event is open to the public. This year, it has nine different schools coming to perform — University Of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Pitt, West Chester, Case Western Reserve, American University, University of Maryland, and Emerson College. Various professional teams, as well as a team comprised of Full Ammo alumni, will also attend the event.
“Everything about the festival is free, and that’s something we take pride in,” RAWR666 director Alex Conti said. “We love to bring all of these troupes for the public to see. Improv is something that isn’t easily accessible in the middle of Pennsylvania, so it’s a great opportunity for the community to see something new and unique.”
When it comes to improvisational theater, everything is made up on the spot. There will be a chance during each night of the weekend for anyone to perform, called a “jam.” Individuals of all levels sign up — professional, amateur, college improvisers, and even audience members that have never performed in their lives are welcome to get on stage. Full Ammo then mixes the groups together, giving them a chance to perform with new faces.
“What is so unique about improv and being a part of a troupe like this is becoming close with all of the members. You’re not only best friends but you are able to be on the same wavelength as the other members which enhances performances,” member Emily Akers said. “I also love how there is no script. There is no need to memorize or prepare. As a member, you show up and focus on being present, listening, and having fun with your troupe mates.”
Jeffrey Kornberg founded Full Ammo Improv in 2004, and president Joe McMahon currently leads the group. Originally a short form team, Full Ammo quickly transitioned to long-form improv and it’s been experimenting with the form ever since. The team is self-taught, and Full Ammo does its best to learn new forms and exercises by simultaneously reading about and watching improv, either live or online, from theaters such as the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City.
“From time to time, we manage to beg an alumni with professional training to come back to the university and teach us a thing or two,” Conti said. “It’s definitely an adventure to have no regular coach, but that just makes us work harder and smarter.”
If you’re a fan of performance art, entertainment, or simply want to experience a new side of campus, come out and meet the Full Ammo Improv Troupe. Be sure to check out the troupe’s official schedule this weekend for specific events and fun activities, and take a look at its Twitter and Instagram handles for more information on future performances.