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Fishbowl Improv premieres first show of semester to nearly full crowd at the Ohio Union

Tim Kubick / For The Lantern

In a show built around shouted-out audience suggestions, there’s no telling what could happen.

Fishbowl Improv provided a night full of laughter when it performed its first show of the semester, “A Fortnight of Fishbowl,” Friday to a crowd of more than 200 in the U.S. Bank Conference Theater at the Ohio Union.

The title “A Fortnight of Fishbowl” was chosen to represent the two weeks that led up to auditions and the premiere of the show.

“We noticed that we were doing the opening show and the auditions within the same two weeks and somebody brought up the idea that two weeks was a fortnight and we were like ‘oh Fortnight of Fishbowl’ that has a cool ring to it,” said Madison Boyer, a second-year in linguistics and Fishbowl member.

The show opened with a slideshow of pictures from Ohio State’s past as a way to honor the history of the university.

During the slideshow, “Grandpa Dale,” played by Katie Drown, a third-year in international studies and Fishbowl member, told the audience a history of Ohio State and described what has changed over the years, including how the Oval used to be known as ‘the Circle’ and how BuckeyeThon used to be called ‘the Cancer ball.’ Grandpa Dale even told the audience his version of how the tradition of the Mirror Lake Jump began.

 “It was 1923 and my good friend Seymour Graves, he was just walking past Mirror Lake during Michigan week and trips right in, ya know? And the next day we just happen to win the game,” Drown said as Grandpa Dale. “So it becomes sort of a tradition, a luck type thing. We start throwing Seymour in year after year. Eventually Seymour gets old. We throw him in and he drowns.”

The rest of the show featured different games that members of Fishbowl played with suggestions shouted out from the audience.

In the game “Interrogation,” one member of Fishbowl left the room as members of the audience made up a crime that he committed. The audience-made crime was that he ripped off a mattress tag with a chainsaw at Chuck E. Cheese with his accomplice the Pope. The Fishbowl member was then let back in the room while two other members of Fishbowl interrogated him and gave him clues to guess what crime he committed.

During intermission, audience members were encouraged to write suggestions of sketches they wanted to see performed. One audience suggestion was “rejected Pixar films,” which was chosen and acted out.

After intermission, members of the audience even had the chance to be in the show.

Jordan Macon, a fourth-year in finance, took the stage during a game called “Sundance” where he made up a plot to a movie, while members of Fishbowl acted it out.

“It was a whole lot of fun. I just got to be creative and random for no apparent reason and I got to make other people laugh,” Macon said. “It was just fun seeing them act out the craziness that I voiced.”

Boyer said she thought the show was a success.

“I thought it went really well,” Boyer said. “I was really happy with how many people were here and I thought everybody in it did a great job.”

Brittnee Halpin, a fourth-year in environmental engineering, said she’s loved seeing the audience grow over the years.

“I’ve seen (Fishbowl Improv) a couple years ago when they were doing dorm shows and like four people showed up,” Halpin said. “It’s great to see the kind of response they get now.”

Auditions for Fishbowl Improv are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 21 and 24 in University Hall 014. Beginning Feb. 3, Fishbowl Improv is scheduled to put on a show every Sunday at the Union in the Round Meeting Room at 8 p.m.

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