‘That’s My Line!’ evokes laughs

Aspiring actors engage crowd in humor

Christian Urrutia / The Advocate
Oz Herrera-Sobal (left) gestures to other improvisational actors during the “That’s My Line” performance in the Knox Center on March 16.

By Mike Thomas, Scene Editor

Laughter filled the Knox Center March 16 as the student actors in the drama department produced an emblazoning comedy performance, “That’s My Line!”

The Contra Costa College drama department hosted an improvisational comedy in homage to the hit American show “Whose Line Is It Anyway.”  

Improvisational comedy is a type of live action theater in which dialogues, and plots are made up for each scene in the moment.

In “That’s My Line!” the student actors imitated the early 2000s show, but made their performances unique.  

Twelve drama students from drama professor Kathy McCarty’s Acting II class, performed original skits based off themes including politics and past and recent pop culture.

Tickets were $5 and proceeds will be donated to a nonprofit organization of the class’ choice.

Xavier Johnson, a journalism major, hosted the improvisational comedy by coordinating scenes and the actors’ interaction with people in the audience through on-stage games.

During one of the on-stage games, Johnson chose two audience members. He instructed them to put on headphones and proceeded to turn the music volume high enough to temporarily affect their hearing.  

With the guests on-stage, still wearing the headphones, two drama students have a casual conversation about movie topics provided by audience members.

Every time the actors are about to finish a sentence, they would tap the shoulder of the clueless guest. This prompts the volunteer to yell out a random word. The actors would then have to incorporate that word into the next sentence of their casual conversation on a topic selected by the audience.  

The ensuing struggle to hold a conversation on-stage was entertaining and refreshing.

Even though the performance was like an amateur night at the Apollo, these up and coming actors put on a show that kept the crowd entertained and engaged with the performance.

It was the performance of theater major Oz Herrera-Sobal that stood out during the performance.

He did an intriguing Sylvester Stallone impersonation during a scene focused around a mock press conference.

Overall, for a Wednesday night with nothing to do, this was an entertaining event on campus.

Comedy acts like “That’s My Line” not only give drama students the opportunity to showcase their talent, but show that the Knox Center can be used for more than just conventional plays.

Throughout the 2015-16 academic year, this improvisational comedy is a light-hearted approach to bring social issues into focus compared to the three featured productions, “The Laramie Project,” “Wonder of Worlds” and “Almost, Maine.”

When the renovations to the Knox Center are finished there should be an effort to host more comedy performances like “That’s My Line!”

It was refreshing to enjoy a laugh at some of issues and scandals that are going on across the nation.