Cecilie Thorgerson; Guest Writer; email@example.com
PLU’s improv group The Clay Crows was awarded second place at the Northwest Regionals of the 10th Annual College Improv Tournament (CIT) at Jet City Improv in Seattle Jan. 14. It’s the first time in PLU’s history that one of its improv groups made it all the way to the finals.
Around 20 PLU students turned up at Jet City Improv to show their support for the Crows and seeing familiar faces in the crowd helped the group’s performance. “Crow” Sadi Wentz explained: “I think having that support in our audience is what makes us good improvisors.”
The Clay Crows was created in 2007 and currently counts nine members. The group is completely student-run, and self-taught. They rely on helping each other, and this has proven to be a great learning experience for the members. “We’ve learned so many lifelong skills through improv about communicating” says “Crow” Morgan Deklyen. “There are a lot of skills that people don’t think about that you learn from improv.”
However, the most important thing for the Crows is having fun while being part of a close-knit group. Going to competitions such as the CIT is also an opportunity to meet students from other improv groups and form new friendships. “It’s so much fun and you just grow as friends,” Morgan explained, “The amount of bonding and community we were able to form is so worth it.”
Even though they came very close to taking home the trophy, The Clay Crows are satisfied with a second place. “I think that ultimately the Crows did win.” Morgan explains about participating in the CIT, “It’s such a unifying experience.”
The members of The Clay Crows are all from various departments at PLU. “You don’t have to be a theatre person to join,” Veteran “Crow” Anthony Aguilar explained. “Some of our best improvisers are actually not theatre people.”
Sophomore member Brian Laughridge joined the group after going to a workshop last Spring. “Now it’s my favorite part of my PLU experience.”
If you’re interested in joining the The Clay Crows, would like to try your hand at improv or simply want to be creative in a fun environment, workshops are held every Fridays at 5:45pm in the Black Box Studio Theatre. Everyone is welcome and no prior theatre experience is required.