Improv group Subject to Change provides free performance

Courtesy / Facebook

Courtesy / Facebook

Mary Racette

Subject to Change, a Grand Valley State University improvisational comedy team, performed at the Black Box Theater in the Haas Performing Arts Center on the Allendale campus on Friday, Jan. 25. The free performance was held during Sibs and Kids Weekend.  

Students were invited to bring their siblings and children to the family-friendly improv show. The team offered an entertaining two-hour performance that encouraged audience participation. 

The show consisted of a series of several short-form improv scenes and wrapped up with a long-form improv scene. Subject to Change president Marion Jamot differentiated the two styles of improv. She explained that short form “involves smaller themes with more audience suggestions,” while long form has more of an expansive storytelling format.

During their performance, the 10 members showed the chemistry within the team as they broke into smaller groups and performed various short form scenes. Each scene involved new characters and themes created by the performers. Before many of the scenes, the performers asked for a suggestion from the audience to prompt the rest of the scene.

“Performing at Sibs and Kids Weekend was especially fun because the kids in the audience were much more inclined to give us suggestions throughout the performance,” Jamot said.

Jamot shared Subject to Change’s general goal to provide family-friendly content, especially for their Sibs and Kids Weekend performance. Jamot said that creating content that can appeal to people of any age is an exciting challenge for the team.

Subject to Change holds performances once per month. This month’s performance was the first held at the Black Box Theater. Jamot shared that the group was excited to perform in this space because of its greater capacity and better sound quality.  

Prior to the Jan. 25 performance, the team attended a workshop with the Second City improv company in Chicago. Jamot said they “learned so much” and they were excited to bring what they learned to campus as they continue to grow as improv performers and create higher quality entertainment. Among other aspects of their performance, Subject to Change learned the long form improv scene “Montage” from Second City, which concluded the Sibs and Kids show.  

Along with their shows, Jamot said the improv team likes to expand their community presence by collaborating with other organizations around the GVSU campus and the Grand Rapids area.  

Jamot said the team collaborates with the Student Nurses’ Association each fall for the Comedy for a Cause event. This event raises money for a different charity each year.

Jamot, who has been a member of Subject to Change since her freshman year in 2015, highlighted the benefits she has gained and observed throughout her collegiate improv career. Her list included a boost in confidence, improved listening skills, a greater connection to other people and much more.

“Improv has helped me grow as a person so we want to do the same for others,” Jamot said. “Our goal is to bring laughter and fun on campus.”

Subject to Change will continue to hold performances each month for the rest of the year.