Lab Rats Comedy is not only a show people cannot see every day, but it is a show that cannot be seen the same way twice. Because the Lab Rats shows are improv, every performance is one of a kind.
Due to this originality, Lab Rats Comedy is inviting every student to come out and watch their spring semester performances, beginning with their show at 8 p.m. Friday on McComas' main stage.
This performance, like all their other shows, has a few things that makes it original and entertaining. It is completely improvised, save for a sketch typically played via video, that is played prior to the show and during intermission.
Keegan Lindsey, a freshman who will be participating in his second Lab Rats show this Friday, said the focus on humor over drama is what drew him to the organization.
"There’s no script, and the focus of the Lab Rats is on comedy over any sort of drama," Lindsey said.
Lab Rats Comedy is made up of students, with roughly 17 students involved. A special thing about these students during their performances is that there is no wrong way for them to act onstage.
Luke Lutz, the Lab Rats sketch director, said the structure and comedic nature of their performances help them stand out among other student organizations.
"Because the shows hang so heavily on the audience and their suggestions, I feel like there’s nothing really like Lab Rats Comedy in our area," Lutz said. "You’re a part of the show, and that’s something special."
When Lab Rats Comedy puts on a show, not only is it a fun adrenaline rush for the people onstage, but it also relies heavily on the audience’s reactions and suggestions.
Though their primary focus is the audience, there is also plenty the audience does not get to see. This includes the performers practicing twice a week, as well as marketing for their shows.
Lutz said these practices help build and strengthen the team as a whole, including his own comedic relationship with his sister, Ashlynn Lutz.
"My favorite thing about performing is getting to do scenes with my sister Ashlynn," Lutz said. "Growing up together, we would always do little skits or bits, and now we get to do it in front of people on stage, and it’s just surreal."
While the shows are improvised, practicing for them is extremely important for this organization so they can do better onstage and with a live audience.
Blaine Wohlgemuth, a long-time active member of the Lab Rats and previous head director and long-form director, said the key to improv is practice.
"The more you do improv, the better you are at it because you never know what you’re going to get," Wohlgemuth said.
The group also recently incorporated punch cards, which allows students to "go to the first four shows" and get in "the fifth show for free," said Cameron Ladner, this semester's long-form director.
If a student does miss a show, their last performance may not be free, but Lab Rats Comedy is currently planning for all proceeds from their last performance of the semester to go to St. Jude. This way, every entrance fee of $5 will be given as a donation.
However, the biggest part of Lab Rats Comedy is how people feel as a result of what they do, whether that is the audience or the performers.
Wohlgemuth said his favorite thing about being a Lab Rat is that he "can go onstage and be an idiot, and people laugh."
While the performances rely heavily upon the audience and their reactions, much of why the actors work together so well is because of their trust and the bonds they have with each other in these scenes.
Students can buy tickets for $5, and the first show can be expected to take about an hour and a half.