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Fishbowl Improv readies itself for 2nd annual festival

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 Members of Fishbowl Improv during a warmup exercise at their practice on Tuesday, February 18 in University Hall. Fishbowl Improv will be hosting The Tides improv festival this Friday and Saturday at the Ohio Union. Credit: Sallee Ann Ruibal / Lantern photographer


Members of Fishbowl Improv during a warmup exercise at their practice on Tuesday, February 18 in University Hall. Fishbowl Improv will be hosting The Tides improv festival this Friday and Saturday at the Ohio Union.
Credit: Sallee Ann Ruibal / Lantern photographer

Fishbowl Improv plans to make a splash with its second improvisation festival, “The Tides,” at the Ohio Union this weekend.

Teams from colleges in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, along with five professional groups from Chicago and New York, are traveling to Columbus to perform at the festival.

OSU’s other improvisation group, 8th Floor Improv, will also be performing at the festival.

Ethan Scheck, president of Fishbowl and a fourth-year in journalism, is managing the festival along with the group’s vice president and secretary.

This is Fishbowl’s second year putting on this festival, which was called “The Tides of March,” a spin on the Ides of March, last year. Because this year’s festival takes place in February, it’s simply “The Tides.”

“The reason we wanted to do it in the first place, it’s fun first of all, and because you’re meeting people,” Scheck said. “You make connections with college people and meet people in professional groups.”

Stephen Doughten, vice president of Fishbowl and fifth-year in biomedical engineering and neuroscience, said the festival will showcase multiple forms of improvisation.

“All these different teams have learned all these different forms,” Doughten said. “Everybody has this little bit of a different style. It’s like watching different television shows with all the different styles.”

Scheck said Fishbowl has not gotten stagnant because there’s always something new to try.

“There’s no shortage of differences or little quirks,” Scheck said, adding that he looks forward to sharing those elements of improv with others.

The festival this year includes Felt, a professional puppet improvisation show from Chicago.

The college teams will get to take part in workshops taught by professional improvisation teams, Doughten said.

“My favorite part of the festival is the workshops every time. People giving the workshops are top of the line. Every time, you walk out of there feeling like you’re better at something you love doing,” Doughten said.

Along with workshops, each team will give its own performance.

Scheck said at the end of the festival, the different improvisation groups will get a chance to perform alongside each other in “jam sets.”

“I’m very excited for jam sets, which means we’re going to have people from different groups performing together, and I am just excited to play with people I’ve been watching for the past few years,” Scheck said.

Adam Hacker, a second-year in psychology, discovered Fishbowl his freshman year after seeing a poster for its tryouts and will be a part of this year’s festival.

“I thought it sounded fun, and I tried out and got in. It’s been the experience of my college career,” Hacker said.

The festival starts on Friday at 8 p.m., doors at 7:30.  It starts back up on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Editor’s note: Ethan Scheck is a former Lantern reporter.

6 comments

  1. Where in the Union is this being held? The Union is a big place?

  2. It will be in The Ohio Staters Traditions Room on Friday from 8pm-midnight and The US Bank Conference Theater on Saturday from 4:30pm-midnight.

  3. Can you grab a beer from Woody’s and bring it with you???

  4. You’d have to ask Union staff, but the improvisers will not stop you.

  5. “Yes, and beer is fine.”

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