Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Once Emilee Benge went through her first acting class at Indiana University Kokomo, she knew she wanted to make improvisation a more prominent part of the theatre department.

Homecoming Week Day 3, WednesdaySumAntics performing in the commons.

Her and a group of friends got together and started playing the improvisation games they learned in class. From there, Benge launched it as an official campus organization for her senior project and has seen nothing but success.

On Thursday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m., in Kresge Auditorium, SumAntics will present their spring show, "Throwback Thursday," playing off the three graduating seniors and their final show of the year. The show is free and open to the campus and community. There will be some adult content.

"We want to take you on a ride down memory lane," said Benge, a senior graduating in May. "Embarrassing photos and stories that people don't want seen or told about them will be on display, and we are dressing up like we did when we were kids."

The theme will have little to do with the content, because most of the games will rely on audience participation and interaction. However, SumAntics encourages everyone to come dressed up in their favorite outfits that represent their childhood.

New games will be played, featuring new faces and more audience interaction. Viewers will have an opportunity to write down suggestions of scenes, random nouns, different settings, characters, celebrities, and personalities before the show starts. Once lucky audience member will be the center of attention toward the end of the show.

Sarah Ferenc and Mary Olk will also graduate this May, and accompany Benge in an improv game that will showcase the three of them.

"There's nothing else like this in Kokomo for free," Benge said. "It's quality, live entertainment, relatable, and provides some fun and laughter as we gear up for the end of the semester."

This semester the group has worked extensively on character and story development, in addition to building good rapport between the group members so they are comfortable working together on stage.

SumAntics has been successful this academic year, with putting on two shows and performing at five Visit in Person Days. The group now has 11 members, all coming from different majors. They have integrated more practices in order to master the fundamentals and be able to rehearse the more advanced improvisation games.

Benge is sad to leave the group, but knows that SumAntics will continue to do great things in the future.

"We've worked really hard and accomplished so many goals, and it's weird to think I won't be apart of it for much longer," Benge said. "There is no doubt that the group will continue to thrive because there are so many great people involved."

Story written by Mary Olk. Mary is a student writer for the Office of Media and Marketing.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.