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Senseless Acts of Comedy

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Senseless Acts of Comedy is the short and long-form improvisational theatre troupe of Texas Christian University.

Serving as TCU's primary improv group on campus, Senseless Acts of Comedy or SAC as it is commonly abbreviated, was founded in 2002 by Andrew Hamer. The name is a parody of Random Acts of Violence. Beginning in 2003, the troupe adopted a weekly format every Thursday night at 9 p.m., which continues to this day. The size, membership and overall direction of the troupe has changed based on interest and skills of each respective incarnation.

SAC has since become a staple of the college, performing at freshman orientations, chancellor retreats, as well as Big 12 presentations. Over 90 members have officially been a part of the organization over the span of 16 years. The troupe has always maintained that the organization will be a source for free comedy.[1]

Show Format and History[edit]

Unlike most college improv groups, Senseless Acts of Comedy features rotating membership as the organization is passed down from generation to generation. The result is many changes in the format of the show as it has evolved over the years. The group originally consisted of eleven members who performed three times during their first semester. In the beginning, the group performed in matching purple and blue bowling shirts in Moudy 141 on campus. The show began at 9:30p.m. every Thursday evening and ran for around an hour. Occasionally sketch videos would be shown before the shows to energize the crowds.[2]

After the departure of the original founding members, the group adopted a uniform consisting of matching black ties with different colored shirts. This changed shortly after to it's current incarnation of matching black shirts and pants with individually colored ties. This outfit has been maintained by the group ever since. During the later half of the decade, the group focused more heavily on the various methods of improv and moved in to long-form as well. In 2006, the group was permanently black-listed from it's original performance space in Moudy by the school's administration. The group has since relocated to the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium in the campus commons.

In it's more current incarnation, the group has increased the use of multimedia and Social Networking in the show, creating more of a Variety Show vibe. Weekly sketch videos are prepared for each show and uploaded to the group's YouTube page after each show. Specialty shows such as benefit shows for non-profit organizations, black light Halloween shows, ComedySportz influenced shows and more are featured throughout the semester's calendar. Several members have hosted their own related shows on the school's radio station KTCU-FM. In 2014, the group made an "almost-feature length" self-titled movie and premiered it at that week's show.[3]

In 2016 the group won the Southwest Regional title at the College Improv Tournament, advancing on to the finals in Chicago, Illinois. Ultimately they lost to Paperback Rhino from University of Iowa. The group repeated the act in 2017 but again were defeated in the finals by Cat Booty from Columbia College Chicago.[4]

Recently, the group has played host to a growing comedy scene at TCU, opening for touring comedians such as Jon Heder, Dave Coulier, Retta, Kenan Thompson and Vanessa Bayer.[5]

Alumni from the cast have gone on to perform at various comedy theaters across the United States including Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, iO West and The Second City.

2014 Alumni Show[edit]

On January 18th, 2014, the group held it's first-ever Alumni Show, inviting members from the past fourteen year history to reappear on the stage. 33 performers appeared with many others sending in their video greetings in an opening video. The show was also the group's first ever event to be Live streamed. The result was a sold-out event over two hours long which was recored and posted to the group's YouTube channel.

Subsequent Groups[edit]

TCU's student population has limited the growth of the comedy program at the school to one long-standing improv group. However, steps have been taken to give other students an opportunity to appear on stage. A more casual free-to-join group entitled Loose Ends meets every week in the Tom Brown Pete Wright Apartment Commons on campus. This workshop is led by members of the troupe and is open to all levels of experience.

In 2012, the group founded a second spin-off entitled Monday Night Comedy, which serves as a less improv-focused stage similar to Open Mic Night events at other schools. Performers are welcome to share poems, do improv, sing, rap, and more at the weekly event.

See also[edit]

  • Texas Christian University
  • Improvisational theatre


External links[edit]

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