Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Heywire Competes for Laughs

Haywire during their practices. Photo by Shemal Sarma.

Heywire, Augustana’s original improv group, attended the Illinois Collegiate Improv Regional competition in Chicago on Saturday, January 28th. Attending were six of Heywire’s members, who hope to broaden their improv abilities for a wider audience.
Heywire performs regularly in the Blackbox Theatre at Augustana, offering students a break from the stress of college life. All members go through an audition process and are selected to help the group find the perfect mix of personalities.
The Illinois Collegiate Improv Regional is the first competitive appearance for the group. The idea to try competitive improv was led by senior president Camilo Duarte, who wanted the members to learn from other college-level improv groups.
“This is the first time Heywire gets to put its name outside of Augustana,” said Duarte. The group aims to forge new connections, both with past Heywire alumni and with improv groups from other colleges that are attending the competition.
The tournament will also provide a learning experience for the students attending. With so many different college improv groups taking part in the event, Heywire plans to return to Augustana with new games and skit ideas for their shows, as well as an improved ability to perform for different audiences and senses of humor.
“This competition is important because it will make us step out of ourselves as improv performers,” explained junior Keenan Odenkirk, one of the Heywire members attending the competition. “In a short amount of time, we’ll be on stage in front of people who really know what they’re doing, who are comparing us against a bunch of other people who also know what they’re doing, and who have a different sense of humor than what we’re used to performing for. That will make us work harder and better ultimately.”
The Illinois Collegiate Improv Regional competition is not the first new step for Heywire as a group. Last year, the group partnered with the local professional improv group Comedy Sportz.
“Every year we have continuously grown, trying new methods and new skits. Last year we started a partnership with Comedy Sportz. I think that the next natural step for Heywire is to go competitive,” said sophomore Ethan Conley-Keck.
Regardless of the competition’s results, Heywire plans to continue performing at Augustana for their fellow students.
“The important thing when we go out there is to show what we love to do,” said Duarte. “Everyone in Heywire loves to do improv, and loves each other, and the great thing about it is that we all get to create something together. That’s the beauty of improv.”

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Heywire Competes for Laughs