SAC moves to a virtual improv experience


Senseless Acts of Comedy members Keaton Brandt, Taylor Bockrath and Nijel Smith. (Photo courtesy of Senseless Acts of Comedy)

By Jillian Verzwyvelt

Senseless Acts of Comedy (SAC), TCU’s student-run improv troupe, is adjusting to virtual performances as a result of COVID-19.

While performing live can be difficult, moving online has provided its own set of challenges.

Taylor Bockrath, a sophomore theater major who joined the team last spring, and Brayden Raqueño, a senior theater major and a co-president of SAC, said the group is learning to adapt their improv to a virtual medium.

“Feeding off the energy of our audience is a huge part of the show,” said Bockrath, “but now we don’t get to hear the laughs, and it’s silent most of the time.”

Raqueño said the team met before the first week of school to go through a long list of games typically played at their live performances and left with a list roughly one-third the size, consisting of games that can be played or modified to fit the new format.

Raqueño said while SAC continues to adapt and find new ways to engage with the audience and each other, the audience can expect to see some of the same games played in previous semesters.

“Two crowd favorites we’ll continue to play are Town Hall Meeting and Rhu Rhu Rhu,” he said. “We’re glad we can still play those because they’re some of our favorites too.”

Bockrath was also quick to mention how performing online poses benefits for viewers, such as greater ease in offering suggestions through Zoom’s chat feature and the ability to reach a broader audience.

“One of the really cool things about doing a virtual format is that everybody gets to watch,” she said. “My family gets to watch, and now alumni are able to participate in the show. That wasn’t the case if you weren’t on campus.”

In previous years, SAC performances were held in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium, but all shows this semester will be virtual.

Senseless Acts of Comedy competed in the 13th Southwest Regional College Improv Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Senseless Acts of Comedy)

SAC has been a comedy staple for the TCU community for about 18 years. This past January, the group placed second in the Southwest Regional College Improv Tournament.

The team estimated about 200 people attended the first show.

Individuals looking to become involved in SAC or gain improv experience can join the team for “Loose Ends” every Tuesday at 8 p.m. over Zoom.

The group will perform every Thursday at 9 p.m. over Zoom.

Zoom links for both Loose Ends and SAC are on the group’s Instagram account – @senselessacts.