RVCC's Improv Family

By Aishwarya Gondhi / Staff Writer and Christian Rosario / Editor-in-Chief

An innocent man waits just outside the door. Inside the room, an all-powerful group debates what made-up crime they will  accuse him of committing. Then they bring him in. Two cops interrogate the “criminal” and hint at his crime. After a few minutes, the group stops the interrogation and asks the man to guess the crime.

This is not an example of police corruption; rather, just a typical improvisational performance by Raritan Valley Community College’s Improv Club.

According to Improv Club President Sagar Solanki, what attracts the club's members to these types of performances is a lack of scripts. Instead of scripts, performances evolve from the collaboration among performers.  "This type of acting requires a performer to put their creative side of the brain on the spotlight and just go with the flow,” Solanki said.

The Improv Club became an official RVCC club last year, and with about 40 active members, it is one of the largest and fastest growing clubs on campus. But despite its youth, it is not entirely new.

The first Improv Club dates back about 10 years, when a group of theater students met regularly to do improv for fun. But as these students transferred to different colleges and universities, the club died out.

In spring 2011, theater major Deanna Amacker restarted the club. Soon after, it became known for its unique and hilarious meetings, and it attracted students’ attention. However, last year members learned that the club was not an official college club because it had never gone through the proper procedures with Student Life.

Now that it’s official, the Improv Club used its status to host Late Night Improv, its first public performance. The event raised $102 in ticket sales, which the club is donating to help complete the third floor of the Ray Bateman Center for Student Life and Leadership.

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The members of Raritan Valley Community College's Improv Club at Late Night Improv. Photo courtesy of Thando Campbell.

Solanki said the goal for the club this year is to raise students’ awareness of it by hosting events and collaborating on events with other clubs and organizations. He also wants to attract a diverse group of students and insists that the club is not just for theater majors.

“For anyone who feels shy or thinks that improv isn’t for them, they’re wrong,” Solanki said. “Improv Club isn’t as difficult to participate in as you might think. I had a similar thought when I first joined, and so did many others, but personally, I feel this club helps people expand their comfort zones and also helps people accept others for the way they are.”

Improv Club meetings are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-2:30 p.m. in S 247.

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The Record is Raritan Valley Community College’s independent online student newspaper. The Record provides a medium for information on all things related to the college community as well as an outlet for students to practice writing skills. The mission of The Record is to encourage student involvement in campus activities and publicize matters of concern to the college community.

Founded in 1988, The Record was distributed as a print-publication until switching to an exclusively online format in 2006. Due to a lack of funds, The Record has been on hiatus from 2011-2013. The Record continues to report online today, evolving to meet the continually changing demands of the news industry.