Casual Thursday tries scripted comedy

by Lindsay Barnes | 3/8/05 6:00am

Jesus Christ, the Buddha, Josef Stalin and not one but two cardboard boxes will share the stage Tuesday night, here in Hanover, for one night and one night only. What, aside from an act of God or the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony could assemble such a cavalcade of stars?

The comically warped minds of Casual Thursday, that's what.

On the heels of its first successful show this past fall, Casual Thursday returns again to the stage, this time in the Bentley Theater, for its second-ever scripted show " Or the Girl Gets It!"

Consisting of original sketches written by members of the group, the show is a departure from the group's regular improv fare and gives the group a brand new toy to play with -- a script.

"It's much more a 'Saturday Night Live' thing than a 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' thing," said veteran Casual Thursday member Kevin Pedersen '05.

Pedersen draws a daily comic strip for The Dartmouth.

The writing process began early in the term when each of the players was asked to bring in written scenes to rehearsal. Approaches to the writing task varied from writer to writer.

"Every time I had a brain fart, I would think about whether it made a good sketch," Don Daniels '06 said.

Some even took their inspiration from this very publication.

"I got the idea while reading some article in The D about basketball," said Cole Entress '06, a contributing columnist for The Dartmouth. "I realized I didn't understand any of the slang and sort of imagined the writers didn't either."

From that batch, 14 were chosen for the production and rehearsed them intensively for several weeks. Given the group's background in improvisation, one of the main challenges the troupe faced was keeping the same material fresh after many run-throughs.

"Jokes start to get a little bit dry the more you do them, and then it's just the process of trying to add more and more to the characters through the rehearsal process," Kelly Morr '05 said.

But the group's hope is all that will change come curtain time tonight.

"I think it will be a real pleasant surprise when people laugh at stuff that you had forgotten was funny or didn't think was funny," Morr said.

Casual Thursday insists this is one show that will be worth your entertainment dollar, quite literally.

"What else can you buy with a dollar? You can buy half a Yoo-hoo or an egg or an hour and a half of comedy," said Pedersen. "I think that's a better deal."

"Or the Girl Gets It!" starts at 8 p.m. and admission is indeed $1.