Backward Thinkers move forward with comedy
For most, the thought of standing on a stage with an audience who is expecting to laugh is terrifying, but for the members of The Backward Thinker Society, it’s exciting.
“(My favorite part) is the rush of not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s like skydiving, without jumping out of a plane,” said Sami Johnson, one of the original founders of The Backward Thinker Society.
It all started when students Cameron Cylkowski, Matt Tatone, Trevor Dowd, Tyler Edmondson and Johnson thought about creating an improvisational comedy group last spring, they said. The five officers started to play around and test out ideas; then they realized their love of improvisational comedy and wanted to share it with the rest of the theatre community, said Edmondson, the president of the organization.
The creators believe there was a gap in the theatre acts on campus and wanted to bring something more to UW-Eau Claire, Johnson said. She also said it’s a different theatre experience for the audience because they help create what is performed.
“If you’re a fan of ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ you’ll be a fan of The Backward Thinker Society,” the officers said. Their performances are full of games that create lots of laugh and are only successful with lots of audience participation, they said.
“I love it when I’m in scene and everything is clicking. Everything blows up in hilarity,” Edmondson said.
The Backward Thinker Society described themselves as a close group of 10 people who are successful because of their teamwork.
“In order to build off each other’s jokes, (the actors) have to trust each other,” Cylkowski said.
Edmondson said that being on a stage without a script is not an easy situation to jump into.
“There is no preparation for the shows, so the members need to be able to work together to be successful,” he said.
He added that with teamwork, trust and an exciting audience, performing becomes fun.
“The show goes where the audience takes us. They make the scene sometimes,” Dowd said.
He said the group is still in its infancy and is always trying to do new things. They are still working on their identity and figuring out exactly where they want to take their comedy, he said.
Aside from their on campus performances, The Backward Thinker Society jumps at any other opportunities to perform, Dowd said. On March 25 and 26, they are participating in a 28-hour marathon of comedy in Green Bay.
The Backward Thinker Society will perform next at 8 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 in the Council Fire Room in Davies. The regular admission cost is $3 or $2 for those who bring a non-perishable food item.