Impulse Comedy Troupe Brings Laughs

This past Saturday, the Periwig Club hosted an online night of comedy featuring Impulse, Lawrenceville’s improvisational comedy troupe. The members played a variety of games that required them to frequently interact with the audience throughout the night.

This past Saturday, the Periwig Club hosted an online night of comedy featuring Impulse, Lawrenceville’s improvisational comedy troupe. The members played a variety of games that required them to frequently interact with the audience throughout the night. The troupe began their show by playing “Emotion Motion,” in which Eric Frankel ’23 and Zack Finacchio ’21 stunned with their rendition of two ice fishermen bouncing between supporting and insulting each other. They also played “Hitchhiker,” where Bobby Cloninger ’22 played a traumatized Pixar Lamp attempting to escape a film studio, only for truck driver Roddy Atwood ’22 to turn him in once he realized his true identity.

The final game of the night was “Park Bench,” in which participants took turns trying to make their partner leave a hypothetical “bench.” According to Impulse Co-Head Orlando Doull ’21, “Park Bench” is special because it is “an Impulse tradition…[that they] play at the end of every performance.”

With this show being their first virtual performance, the group faced many challenges while planning for the event. According to Impulse Co-Head Atwood, “In improv, you rely on your body and its interactions with other people to make scenes work,” which initially caused a lot of difficulty in rehearsals due to the lack of in-person engagement.

Finacchio agreed, saying, “Impulse is really dependent on energy and feeding off one another, which is really difficult over Zoom.”

The club quickly adapted, however. According to Finacchio, their main aim became “highlighting what Zoom can do rather than presenting a watered-down performance,” which led to innovations like Finacchio’s usage of a virtual background to imitate Evelyn Dugan ’21, his partner during “Park Bench.” “It gave us an opportunity to do something we wouldn’t have been able to traditionally do,” he said.

Looking at the future, Atwood said, “We want to have an in-person show in the Spring Term.” He is hesitant, however, since they will “need to work within the safety guidelines...and will probably not be able to reintroduce touching and physical movement.”

Despite the challenges of adapting their performance to a new platform, Atwood believes that they ultimately held a successful event, saying, “We really made it work, and I’m super proud of everybody at Impulse for being able to pull this off.”

Attendee Brian Tan ’21 reflected, “I loved how creative they were with the ways that they incorporated Zoom features into their show. It was a great treat to be able to see them, and I’m glad that they were able to keep traditional games like ‘60-30-10-1’ and ‘Hitchhiker.’”

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