SARAH WUELLNER, Copy Editor — The pandemic has created many challenges for the performing arts. Yet, actors are still finding creative ways to jump over the hurdles.
Denison has let many clubs continue meeting in person despite COVID-19 restrictions. The Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Co., an improv group, still meets and works on their performances despite the challenges.
Their first show this year was on October 9 by the Slayter Student Union flagpole. The Densionian had the chance to speak with a few of the improv actors about the group: Jordan Zelvin ‘21 said her best memory with the group was the 24-hour show or just hanging out with the group outside of rehearsals.
“Yes, we are an improv group and we train together to become better performers, but we’re also genuine friends,” said Zelvin. “These are some of the silliest folks I know, and I can’t describe how amazing it is to be surrounded by a group of people with which you can be 100 percent yourself.”
After performing the 24-hour show before getting sent home last year, they did zoom calls to find creative solutions to performing and staying safe. The show is used to raise money for a charity of choice. The group is like a community, last year they performed their 40-year reunion show where generations of The Burpee’s came to perform, including famous alum, 2020 commencement speaker and original Burpee, Steve Carell ‘84.
The Densionian then spoke with Elliot Hoinville ‘22. Hoinville says they have worked hard to put themselves out there and perform.
“My favorite thing about the group is how much we support each other both in and out of the context of improv as a group. We support each other not only as performers but as friends as well,” says Hoinville.
Additionally, The Denisonian heard from Anna Mae Murphy ‘21, who says the Burpee’s has been probably her best experience at Denison. Her favorite memory was also the 24-hour show and she is sad that they cannot perform it this year due to the pandemic.
“Sophomore year my friend, Lily [Levanis ’21], and I were the only ones awake and had to keep the show going, so we just exchanged bad pickup lines and were cracking ourselves up,” said Murphy. The group may perform through a virtual show this year, but Murphy still encourages everyone to audition that is interested. “We have no clue what auditions will look like this year but whatever we do, please come out and have some fun with us!”
The Burpee’s next show will be at the Denison graveyard on Friday, Oct. 30 2020 at midnight, leading into Halloween on the 31.