Tucked away in a fluorescent dungeon lies a room that on every Wednesday night bursts with joy. The University of Denver’s self proclaimed “premier” improv group, Skintight Outrage, thrives on the strength of imagination when resources are nonexistent.
On Oct. 19 at 8:30 p.m., at the Lindsey auditorium located in Sturm, the University of Denver’s only improv comedy group performed for an eclectic crowd consisted of 30 people scattered across the front third of the oversized auditorium.
The audience, seated only a foot below the actors under the same fluorescent lighting created an intimate and interactive experience for the audience that could not be replicated even with all the money in the world – that Skintight Outrage clearly lacked.
Josie Mcgarva, a sophomore at the University of Denver, calls Skintight Outrage a “humpday treat”. She describes this “treat” as a mid-week stress relief through laughter, letting loose, and catching up with friends.
Skintight Outrage is composed of nine undergraduate comedic masterminds. Liz Butler, the show’s host for the night, opened the show in a jean jumpsuit, an oversized blazer, and a bucket hat- clearly a thrift store junky.
Behind Butler, onstage, a makeshift marquee sign had been hand drawn onto a whiteboard. The writing “Skintight Outrage” was accompanied by gaudy pink hawaiian flowers.
The show opened to a slow start with a game Butler titled, Strangely Speaking. The two comedians onstage were bound to another’s mental wavelength as they attempted to respond to questions in unison. The couples responses come out as inaudible, drawn out vowels as the pair talked over each other. The audience response lagged, and the skit ended without a punchline.
Rebounding quickly, the next game involved a brave, male volunteer offering up his cellphone to the hands of the comedians to create a script with whatever text messages were within. The scene was then chosen by an enthusiastic audience.
After six ideas were shouted over each other from the audience, Butler settled on a father daughter trip to the aquarium. Ironically, the text conversation the comedian found was a discussion about porn stars that led to an incredibly funny and raunchy description of whales at the aquarium that left the young adult audience erupting in laughter.
Skintight Outrage seemed to float on the audience’s energy as the remaining six games carried on with continuous laughter.
The last game of the night was titled Try That On For Size. Perfectly placed in the shows set, the game was a fast paced, and highly energetic mind game that involved audience participation as well as the entire casts participation in teams.
The action suggested by the audience was decided on by Butler as brushing teeth. From there, the comedians took turns transforming the action into shoveling food into their mouths and then into casting a tiny fairy spell. The movement continued to pass between players, being recreated every turn, until one performer stuttered or repeated themselves.
Try That On For Size left the audience totally engaged as they called out new movements, and cheered for exceptionally creative interpretations of the movements.
What Skintight Outrage appeared to lack in resources, they seemed to make up in genuine entertainment that keeps people coming back for more.
Mcgarva, having attended upwards of 15 performances, found Wednesday’s performance especially funny. The best part about Skintight Outrage is, “bringing new people with me,” Mcgarva explained, “it makes it so much more fun to see the enjoyment that they get from improv, the skits are very versatile and you never know what is going to happen.”