Wheeling Improv Troupe Debuts This Friday

By Mario Muscar

A group of individuals in the area have gathered together to give the world one of the things it most needs: yet another improv troupe.

Front Row:  Mario Muscar, Sherrie Dunlevy; 2nd Row: Josh DeBeni, Justin Swoyer, Meghan Ross; 3rd Row: Jennifer Kellner-Muscar, Ryan Sears; 4th Row: Burt Furioli, Butch Maxwell, Vera Barton-Caro, Evan Oslund; Tim Thompson is pictured on right.

Front Row: Mario Muscar, Sherrie Dunlevy; 2nd Row: Josh DeBeni, Justin Swoyer, Meghan Ross; 3rd Row: Jennifer Kellner-Muscar, Ryan Sears; 4th Row: Burt Furioli, Butch Maxwell, Vera Barton-Caro, Evan Oslund; Tim Thompson is pictured on right.

Calling themselves The Left of Centre Improv Players, the group seems to make things up and perform short sketches in an attempt to get audience members to laugh at ridiculous antics. They will have their debut performance this Friday, June 5, from 8 to 9:15 p.m. at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre.



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“Basically, anyone can do this, and I honestly don’t understand why I thought it was a good idea,” said Towngate Theatre director and the group’s leader, Tim Thompson. “I mean, who wants to watch a bunch of adults make fools of themselves onstage? They’re just playing make believe and acting out ridiculous things like they’re kids. I mean, who is going to pay $5 to see this?”

It's Towngate Theatre's 35th anniversary and the public gets the gift with an expanded season of live theatre. Call 304.242.7700 to select from several season packages, including the popular flex subscription.

It’s Towngate Theatre’s 35th anniversary and the public gets the gift with an expanded season of live theatre. Call 304.242.7700 to select from several season packages, including the popular flex subscription.

The Left of Centre Players have spent the past several months rehearsing, getting to know each other, and learning all the improvisational games. Time that probably could have been better spent helping the community, tending a garden, or, really, anything else.

“I’ve really been working on my dog. I mean sometimes you have to be a dog,” said Ryan Sears, a member of the group. “Ruff, ruff, ruff.”

Those wishing to waste their evenings watching a bunch of foolish adults pretend to be Superman on a blind date, an elderly couple retiring at a nudist colony, or some other completely ridiculous scenario that might only be mildly amusing, simply call Oglebay Institute at 304-242-7700 or visit the website at www.oionline.com to reserve tickets. Or just show up the night of the show because you couldn’t think of anything better to do, and a $5 coffee drink from Starbucks just doesn’t sound good for some reason. (Seriously. Trust me. The coffee drink would be immeasurably more pleasurable and less likely to make your stomach hurt when you finish it).

“This article is obviously a parody,” said the author, Mario Muscar. “We can laugh at ourselves. Why don’t you come to the show and laugh at us too.”

Justin Swoyer and Sherrie Dunlevy rehearse one of several skits.

Justin Swoyer and Sherrie Dunlevy rehearse one of several skits.



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