At 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday October 19, Sturm Hall is eerily quiet compared to its bustling day time alter ego. Like a secret speakeasy that only a select few know about, Lindsay Auditorium opens its doors every Wednesday to host Skintight Outrage, DU’s premiere improv team. Consisting of nine students, Skintight Outrage is an elite comedy team where all of its members are required to audition for a spot. Everything performed is unscripted and no performance is the same. Every student at DU is welcome to audition for the team but only the funniest of the funny get to call themselves a member of the team.
The room is filled with nervous, giddy, energy. People are here to laugh and Skintight Outrage plans to deliver. The stage is minimally set up. Next to the professor’s podium there are nine chairs lined up facing the audience. On the whiteboard behind the stage there is a colorful sketch of Skintight Outrage’s name. Team members wear normal street clothes with an occasional flower barrette or pair of colorful socks in the mix. Liz Brown, the host of tonight’s show adorns an oversized blazer and overalls, she is one of two members wearing overalls. There are about thirty people in the audience on this particular night, an average amount, according to sophomore Katie Frohling.
“I’ve been going to Skintight Outrage shows since I was a Freshman, it’s still the highlight of my week,” said Frohling.
For those like Frohling who prefer to participate from the sidelines, Skintight Outrage gives its audience the opportunity to get involved with the performance. For each new skit the team performs, they ask the audience to shout out specific topics, adding to the hilarious spontaneity of the performance. One performance even asks for a brave volunteer’s cell phone so performers can read their texts aloud to the audience.
Skintight Outrage’s show is separated into several “games”. For each new game, some variation of the team’s members is selected to perform on a topic which they know nothing about. The first game of the night includes all nine members. Each participant has to argue a specific point on a topic of the audience’s choosing, the others must find a reason to object to these points and then present their own “findings”. The results end up being hilarious and weird.
First-time Skintight Outrage attendee Griffin Powell, had no idea what to expect when it came to the show.
“It was surprisingly laid back. I did not expect the performers to be so relaxed performing in front of a large group of people.”
As the show progresses, the audience watches the team perform several more games. These games are Strangely Speaking, Interrogation, Phone Conversation, My Movie, Try That On for Size, Onion, and News Report. The show includes a large range of performances, each consisting of different improv elements, however each one still manages to garner huge laughs from the audience. Every team member gets to perform in one game or more and some games even include a guest performance from an honorary team member positioned in the audience.
Frohling has been to nearly every Skintight Outrage show this year and has not had the same experience yet.
“They do the same games each week, but no game is really the same because nothing is planned in improv skits.”
Based on audience reaction, one game in particular, Onion seems to be a fan favorite. Four members are tasked with “peeling” back the layers of the onion by joining in the scene one by one and then leaving one by one as they perform the audience’s chosen topic. For this specific game the performers have a different character they must act as for the different scenes. This complex game is clearly meant for the most seasoned of improv performers as they have to remember characters, scenes, and topics in reverse order.
“All of them are super talented. They have to come up with these characters and ideas on the spot and nothing is scripted.” said Frohling.