University's improv group takes the show on the road

The student improv group Comic Sans performed at the 10th annual Steelstacks Improv Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on January 28. This was the first time in the club's history that Comic Sans was invited to perform at an Improv Comedy Festival.

Co-presidents Sarah Fisher '23, a mathematics major, and Frank Scott '22, MA '23, an accelerated film, television, and media major, took the initiative to get Comic Sans exposure and sent in applications to local improv festivals.

"After a number of weeks spent anxiously awaiting their decision, Steelstacks reached out to us to let us know we'd been selected to open for them on day two," said Scott.

Both Fisher and Scott have been in the troupe for four years now and Scott shared that ever since then its leadership goals have remained the same "bringing Comic Sans to the next level, and one of the core aspects essential to achieving that was the idea of getting our troupe to a festival."

Comic Sans opened the festival's second day.

"It was amazing! We had the chance to warm up the crowd at the start of the day, which was a treat. We ran through the aisles, a palpable current of excitement, anticipation and a hint of nerves as we started our set. After 15 minutes of shenanigans and fun, we took a bow and headed off into the crowd. The best part was still ahead of us: an entire day to spend watching, laughing and studying our art through others that love it as much as we do," said Scott.

The group also had the opportunity to partake in an improv workshop with the festival's headliners, The RaaaatScraps, who perform weekly in New York City. "We were able to take away many lessons about performing for an audience that is not a Quinnipiac audience, along with valuable skills about improvising in general," said Fisher.

"This trip showed us that there's an enormous community of artists out there that love this stuff as much as we do. We aren't alone. We witnessed ways to improvise that we'd never been exposed to before: new formats, new structures. It blew the roof off of everything we knew to be true about improv. It's definitely put a whole new spin on our perspective," said Scott.

Comic Sans had exponentially grown since its inception up until COVID-19.

"During the pandemic, Comic Sans took a huge hit as we were unable to perform in front of an audience and we had to wear masks. A huge part of performing is body language and facial expressions, so wearing a mask took away our ability to portray emotions through facial expressions," said Fisher. "However, since things have gone back to almost normal, Comic Sans has had a big boom and is becoming quite popular."

The group has seen growth in not only troupe size having the most auditionees in Comic Sans history, but also in audience size having more than audience members at our first show of the semester, said Fisher.

Both Fisher and Scott agree that their presence at the university is growing and hope that the troupe is viewed in a more professional official light after opening at Steelstacks.

Bobcats can get more from Comic Sans by following them on Instagram @qu_comicsans, attending their bi-weekly Wednesday improv workshops in Tator 117 at 9:15 p.m. (no prior improv experience necessary), or attending their upcoming shows:

  • Monday, March 20 at 8 p.m. at On the Rocks Pub and Grill | Comic Sans x OTR

  • Thursday, March 30 at 9:15 p.m. in the Piazza | Comic Sans hosting Quinnipiac Tonight

  • Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m. in Buckman Theater | Alumni Show

  • Friday, May 5tat 7 p.m. in Buckman Theater | Senior Roasts / Final Farewell

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