The first student-led sketch group has been created on campus.
The group was started by Caroline Stella, acting junior, and is an all-female group called The Matriarchy.
Sketch comedy is a type of performance comprised of short sketches that are only a few minutes long and are written by the group.
“I interned this summer at the People’s Improv Theater in New York, and I took a sketch class and it really inspired me to make this group,” Stella said. “Also, Leslie Marie Coffman [OCU alumna] always talked about creating a sketch comedy group, and I figured I might as well start it. If I don’t, no one else will.”
The group consists of six women: Franziska Harms, acting junior; Shelby McCarver, acting sophomore; Mary McLain, film production sophomore; Joanne Hoch, acting junior; Sage Tokach, acting junior, and Stella. The group came together by word-of-mouth and finding people who are interested in sketch writing. They meet once a week at Stella’s house and are assigned topics to write about for the week.
“Everyone has been so encouraging. I’d never shown my sketches to anyone before and they’ve been a great sounding board to bounce ideas off of,” Harms said. “Also, it’s hilarious. Every Sunday we meet and I get to laugh all afternoon.”
The group plans to break the stereotype that women can’t be funny without men, Stella said.
“When the movie Bridesmaids came out, it was mind blowing to people that women could be funny,” she said. “In movies, TV and plays, women don’t really get that opportunity. We just want to demonstrate that women are funny and don’t necessarily need a leading man. It’s a celebration of the matriarchy.”
This is the first sketch comedy group on campus, and they plan to do two performances before the end of this semester.
“I just feel like this is very good for the campus. We focus a lot on classical training and this is a different genre to get into. Also, learning to write is a crucial part of creating your own work,” Stella said.