At the end of every academic semester, the Marist College HuMarists, the school’s official improv and sketch comedy group, perform their “Big Show” that they prepare and practice for throughout the months leading up to it. The club is the longest reigning student-ran organization on campus at over twenty-five years and counting. This semester the group’s main event show will be taking place on December 10th at 9:30 P.M. in the Nelly Golleti Theater on campus.
Not many people are familiar with the work that goes into arranging such a show. Anthony Passaretti, senior captain of the HuMarists, is used to the curious questions asking about what practices are like for the group. “Its like nonstop work. We meet three times a week. A lot of people don’t understand. Like people are always asking us, ‘What do you do at improv practice? Like how could you possibly meet that much?’” Passaretti said. “I always try to tell them, ‘Its like batting practice, you don’t know what pitch is coming, but the more you do it, the better you get a hit on the ball.” The HuMarists practice Sunday night, Wednesday afternoon during activity hour, and then again Wednesday evening with the practices usually varying in duration.
The practices usually consist of different drills that strive to build comfort as well as help the scenes and skits develop a better flow. There are various exercises used to accomplish this. Considering that there is no script to refer to, another asset that these drills look to address are getting the participants to think on their feet and react as quickly as they can. These drills build up to the end of practice where the group will then put what they’ve worked on into an actual improv skit. The HuMarists are also responsible for filming and editing their own short video clips that are revealed at their “Big Show.”
Including Passaretti, there is a total of six members that make up the comedy group. After losing three members to graduation and one to studying abroad, juniors Nick Stearns and Danielle Corbett are the only two returning members not named Anthony Passaretti. This means that half of the club is getting ready for their first ever HuMarist show. Freshmen Greg Dicostanzo, Jack Hall, and Junior Steve Luca are the new members going through this process for the first time.
“To be honest, I’m transferring after this semester, so I’m just going to leave it all on the stage and not worry too much about how I do,” said Hall. “I’m not really nervous about the show right now, but I know right before I go on stage I will be.”
Similar to past semesters, the HuMarists are expecting a packed Nelly Golleti Theater for their show. According to Passaretti, “Single night attendance, we’re the top thing in here.”
If you’re looking for a night filled with laughter and unexpected witty jokes, then the HuMarists’ “Big Show” is a must see for you.