Some might say there is no better way to start your weekend than with a ton of fun and laughter. Everyone on campus knows that the group to On January 27, aspiring young comedians gathered in Barney Davis at 9 a.m. to audition as a Burpee.
The Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company is an improvisational comedy troupe founded in 1979 at Denison, and is widely known as the nation’s oldest collegiate improv group. The Burpees are famous for various events across campus, one of them being a 24-hour show held on Nov. 13, 2017, which raised funds to be donated for hurricane relief. They are also known for their iconic member and Denison alum, Steve Carell.
New members were encouraged to bring all their energy as they started the day with introductions followed by a series of fun games, which warmed them up with activities that enabled them to stretch their limbs, exercise their vocal chords and get their heart beats up. They were then able to utilize this energy while performing solo for the whole audience.
Before starting with the day’s activities, current members of the Burpees family stood in a line and introduced themselves. They each had a “Burpee name,” which was as wacky as many of their personalities. At the end, the new members were asked to present a ‘song’ in front of the whole audience.
“Just because we call it a song doesn’t mean you have to sing for us. All we want is for you to come forward and present anything that makes us laugh,” explained Burpee Sara Hartsock ’18, while talking about the day’s schedule.
Participants were then split into groups to start the day’s activities. All new comers were assigned to current Burpee members, who enthusiastically welcomed them to laugh as loud as possible. As the Burpee’s motto says go “out on a limb,” new members were inspired to be as creative as possible when given their chance to shine in the spotlight.
The auditions were held over a span of many hours on the weekend, where new members would put on their best show while current Burpee members decided their placements through a unanimous vote. Only freshman and transfer sophomores were eligible to apply, who enthusiastically aimed to inspire laughter across the room.
At the end of the day, the new additions to the Burpees in 2018 are Jordan Zelvin ‘21, Lily LeVanis ‘21, Sarah Hendricks ‘21, Anna Mae Murphy ‘21 and Quinn Lonergan ‘21. With this new lineup, there are sure to be exciting things coming from the Burpees in the next year.