Lecture Hall 1 should be filled with laughter this evening as the Pappy Parker Players work their improv skills in their first show of the semester.
The show is set to begin at 8 p.m. Admission is $3, and everyone who attends the show will be given free admission to an after-party, which will be limited to those who attended the performance.
The Pappy Parkers are a small improvisational group made up of both undergraduate and graduate students at Binghamton University. The Pappys have been active on campus for 16 years and currently have eight members, two of which are new.
One of the new members, Jon Karlas, a freshman majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said that he specializes in “making pretty MySpace profiles.” The other is Jonah Einstein, a junior environmental studies major.
The five returning members are Ben Eisenkop, who serves as the group’s president; Scott Reing, a senior majoring in PPL; Jeremy Gundel, a junior majoring in creative writing; Tracey Gordon, a junior majoring in English; Matt Camussi, a computer engineering first-year graduate student; and Noah Meyer, a sophomore majoring in environmental studies.
Those who plan to attend the performance should expect to “laugh, cry, sit, endure a large vernacular and experience a variety of emotions,” Gundel said.
At previous performances, the Pappys entertained crowds of “approximately 168 people,” according to Meyer. Members are expecting a similar turnout for this performance.
The group meets three times a week, although Karlas’ first response was “eight days a week.”
At the meetings, they perform skits and “practice rounds” of improv games.
One of these games is called Freeze, and it involves two group members acting out a random scene and having another member call out “freeze” when they want to take one person out and jump in themselves, thereby changing the plot of the skit.
Another is “Backwards-Forwards,” in which two members act out a skit. Every time one of the Pappys claps, the actors are supposed to stop what they’re saying and repeat the phrase he or she just said. The next member then repeats the phrase he or she said before that, and so on so that the skit plays in rewind mode. With another clap, the skit will fast forward in the opposite direction.
Both of these games will be performed at tonight’s show.
No experience is needed to join the Pappy Parkers.
The group holds auditions every semester following the “Dollar Show,” an event that takes place each semester and features the various a capella groups on campus. Although there is no set number, the group functions most efficiently when there are 10 or fewer members.
“I think we are the most selective group on campus,” Eisenkop said.
For students interested in learning more about the group, Reing had the following advice: “Scott Reing will do anything in spandex. Additionally, we have a Web site at pappyparkerplayers.com.”