Comedy improv group creates laughs and community


GVL / Meghan Tripp

Omari Seaberry, Staff Writer

Subject to Change is an audition-based improv comedy group at Grand Valley State University that performs shows on campus and at many other comedy clubs around Grand Rapids.

The organization held auditions last Thursday for the new school year and plans to continue to share their unplanned improvisation through weekly club workshops, shows and new community engagement efforts.    

The organization was founded by GVSU student Lewis Stone in 2012 to give students an inclusive space to express their creativity through improvisational comedy. Former Subject to Change President, Leah Erben, said Stone was “very committed to bringing joy and laughter to students.”

After 10 years, Subject to Change is still committed to creating a strong and safe community for students who love to laugh and make others laugh. 

During the club’s workshops, the group works together to improve their skills as comedians. Students aim to use improv not only as a chance to perform, but as a healthy exercise for students to grow their listening skills, communication skills and confidence. 

Subject to Change vice president, Isabella Gielniak, said all members of Subject to Change work to put on shows together, not just the executive board. 

Additionally, the organization works with other members of the GVSU community to develop their performances. One such organization, GV Stage, helps the group with lighting and gathers tickets from guests. 

“Our president’s roommate studies the piano, so he was the one to play the music for our shows,” Gielniak said.

Subject to Change has monthly shows on the GVSU Allendale campus. Additionally, the club wants to further branch out into the Grand Rapids improv comedy scene.  

“Grand Rapids has a lot of comedy clubs and festivals like Laugh Fest GR, so we are looking to get more involved with those,” Gielniak said.

The group also travels to Traverse City to perform at a bed & breakfast every year. Gielniak said the group hopes to take a trip to Chicago, Illinois this year. This year, Subject to Change is hoping to add philanthropic efforts to their agenda as well.

The group will be partnering with Gilda’s Club, a community organization run in Grand Rapids that hosts Laugh Fest GR and raise money for families who have been affected by cancer. 

“We give a lot through our interactions with the audience and bringing the community closer together, so we wanted to think of other ways to do something for them,” Gielniak said.

The club holds weekly workshops for members every Thursday.

Subject to Change posts updates about upcoming shows on their Instagram @gvstcimprov.