They’re unique. They’re funny. And they’re hitting the road. During spring break this year, the Black V improv team will be adventuring around Iowa (with a potential stop in Omaha) on their biennial tour. While on tour, they’ll be performing shows, leading workshops and creating general hilarity.
The Black V values family-friendly comedy with an emphasis on original content. Though pop culture references do occasionally sneak into some of the team’s scenes, they try not to rely too heavily on pop culture. This means audience members across multiple generations and life experiences can appreciate the story-based games and scenes the Black V is known for. Team member Abbey Slattery is excited to spread the Black V’s brand of humor across multiple tour locations.
“I think that comedy in general is just a really useful way to spread laughter to people,” Slattery said. “And the Black V is pretty good at just making people laugh in general. It’s not a discriminating type of humor, so all kinds of people can get it.”
Along with Slattery, other team members this semester include Lincoln Morris, Will Norris, Julia VanDyk, James Teutschmann, Caroline Trewet, Alison Schutt, Lucas Heiberger, Becky Ochoa and stage manager Abby Bliss. Because the Black V hasn’t been on tour since spring break 2014, this will be the first tour experience for the majority of the team. For Ochoa, this will be the longest trip she’s ever taken with people other than her immediate family members.
“I’ve hardly ever taken trips with just friends,” Ochoa said. “And if I have, it’s for like a day. So this will be my first extended trip with not my family. Then performance-wise, I haven’t really ever gone on tour with anything before, so it’ll be an adventure to experience new places and see new things, just doing improv every day.”
Slattery hasn’t been on tour before either and shares a similar mindset with Ochoa.
“I’ve never done this touring thing where we’re jumping around to different places that we’re going to because they want us there,” Slattery said. “Most of my trips have just been a cool place I’ve wanted to go, but this is more of an opportunity to share something I care a lot about with people from all over.”
The Black V will be performing somewhere between seven and 10 shows in eight days over the course of their tour. Though the team is up to the challenge, that’s a lot of original content to produce so closely together.
“I think that’s what I’m a little nervous about,” Ochoa said. “Having enough stamina, being creative enough. Being able to come up with new stuff.”
In addition to sharing their performances with others and staying creatively energetic, the Black V is looking forward to some team bonding time. They will be performing often, but have also planned plenty of time to have non-improv fun together. No matter what happens, they have the skills to adjust to any situation.
“I’m excited,” Ochoa said. “It’ll be fun. It’ll be crazy. It’ll be an adventure.”