It’s time to throw away the scripts — the Upright Citizens Brigade is coming to town. Better known as UCB, this motley crew of comedians, actors, mathematicians and financial analyst are sure to keep you laughing all night long.
Friday, September 28, UCB performed in the Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College. The two-hour show was full of laughter and screams from the audience because the show was about them.
The UCB crew uses a gimmick to their performances, making every show different: the performers will ask the audience to write their script. It happens so naturally that it’s hard to notice, but the actors on stage give out questions like “What is Keene State known for?” “Who are the celebrities on campus?” and ask for intriguing one sentence stories about something you have experienced in the last week. The UCB keeps the audience engaged because their stories are the performance.
Some of the events brought up in UCB’s exclusive performance for Keene were “Jumanji”, the battle between Prime Roast and Brewbakers, squirrels, the epidemic of Walmart shopping carts on campus, and KSC interim president Melinda Treadwell.
Before each act began the USB crew will interview one audience member on stage. The random individual is interviewed for about fifteen minutes. The interview was styled like a integration more than a interview, the performers went deep into the audience member’s life.
Even with their lack of knowledge about the city of Keene and the campus, the performers were able to display what it means to be a Keene State student.
Making jokes about wanting to live Pondside Three and displaying the love students have with interim President Melinda Treadwell. Sophomore Alyssa Gesualdi says “I couldn’t stop laughing, and it was even better hearing my statements about campus being used.”
The UCB actors were able to perform with the information that was given to them in less than a half hour, with no notes or preconceptions as to what they would be doing. The only props they used were the air, and four chairs left on stage. In particular, student KelliAnne Cammarata had an interesting view on UCB actor Patrick Keene’s comedic style: “His humor and entry into his jokes were very reminiscent of John Mulaney.” All four actors brought a different character to the show; Gender was fluid and accents filled the stage.
Audience members stayed post-current call to talk to the four showstoppers. Theatre students took time to ask question about what the UCB performers did to get to a moment like this. The actors answered everything and engaged in starting conversations as well, wondering where the students were from and what their majors where.
Junior at Keene State College Jessica Shawles said “I was really amazed to see the four actors after the show, it was a great opportunity to compliment them on their amazing show.”
Upright Citizens Brigade has stations in New York City, New York and Los Angeles, California where they give classes and clinics. Actors who studied and worked with UCB include Seth Morris, Donald Glover, and Amy Poehler.
Adriana Daniel can be contacted at