Improv 101: La Salle’s funniest hidden gem


Jakob Eiseman, Editor-in-Chief

Nov. 13 was packed with Homecoming events here on La Salle’s campus. Between the men’s and women’s basketball games, matinee of the Masque’s production of “Mavericks” or the festival on the quad, there was something for everyone. To close out the night, La Salle’s improv team Improv 101 put on a special show for all the family and alumni that stuck around through the day’s excitement. This wasn’t just a normal Improv 101 show, because the team brought some alumni of their own. Seven La Salle alumni who were once part of Improv 101 reprised their place on the stage of the Dan Rodden theater for a show to remember. Alex Crosby ‘17, Emily Ermer ‘18, Brian Gelbach ‘18, Mark Bisicchia ‘18, Mike Poggioli ‘19, Tom Harris ‘20 and Jack Rohr ‘20 fell right back into their Improv 101 roots and worked with the current cast to put on a wonderful show.

Improv 101 is an umbrella group of the Masque of La Salle that features a rotating cast of some of the most talented improv comedians at La Salle. They put on shows regularly during the semester and also offer improv workshops to the La Salle community where people can come join in on the fun. “Improv 101 is a lot of fun and helps my creative juices flow. It’s so much fun working with all of the improvers,” said Sanera Powell, a senior digital arts major and member of Improv 101. Powell is a relatively recent addition to Improv 101, but fit right in with the alumni cast and was able to get major laughs from the crowd.

Courtesy of Martin Redanauer

A longtime member of Improv 101, senior computer science student Sam Da Silva said that “the alumni haven’t lost their style at all, they were still incredibly funny and I hope our current cast was able to live up to their shenanigans.” Da Silva, who joined the team during his freshman year said that “being able to go up there on stage and just have some fun with friends is always a great time and I’m so glad I was able to find the team when I did.” 

Although the cast, current and past, were able to fill the stage entirely, Improv 101 currently only has seven cast members, five of whom are seniors who will graduate this year. “You know most of the games we play during shows call for three to four people, and some of the bigger ones need up to six,” said Martin Redanauer, a senior psychology student at La Salle. Redanauer, who also joined the team when he was a freshman, is always trying to get new faces to show up to the improv workshops and have a good time. “Improv can be whatever you want, it really can. It’s just you sharing your sense of humor with everyone and letting loose on stage,” said Redanauer.

Courtesy of Sam Da Silva

“We’re honestly just a group of friends goofing off on stage,” said Kayla Stevens, a senior cast member, “We really enjoy being able to get up there and make people laugh and forget their problems for even just an hour.” Stevens, who improv acted as everything from a talking fish to a three-headed doctor during Saturday’s show, has a deep appreciation for the improv team, starting as a fan of the shows and eventually joining the team as a cast member.

Taking the improv stage for the first time at the alumni show was sophomore communication student Aidan Tyksinski who fit right in with the whole team despite never having met most of the alumni and tackling this talent-packed show as his first with the team. Tyksinski and junior Eila Nash, president of the Masque of La Salle, are recent additions to the team who will continue to carry on Improv 101 when all of the seniors graduate in the spring.

“At first, I liked doing improv because it was an opportunity for me to get on stage and make people laugh. But, as time went on, I got closer with the team and it became more about having fun with friends and now I can’t wait to get up there and joke around every show,” said Jon Colella, a senior communication student. “People should definitely consider joining the team because it’s provided me with countless memories and laughs that I will hold forever, more than any other club I’m a part of and I’m sure it would be the same for anyone who joins us up there,” said Colella.

“You don’t have to worry about anything, you just have fun with it and see what happens. You really never know where a scene is going to go. I just enjoy the ride and it always makes me happy,” said Da Silva when asked why those interested in improv should consider joining Improv 101 and attending workshops.

“The fact that we only have two members lined up for next year is a bit concerning,” said Redanauer when asked the same question, “but I’m sure we will be able to fill out the team because improv really is just something you can’t stop once you try it once.” Anyone interested in attending an Improv 101 workshop or learning more about the organization’s shows is encouraged to reach out to Redanauer at You can also keep up with Improv 101 through the Masque’s social media pages: @themasqueoflasalle on Instagram and on Presence.

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