Section: Arts

Beyond Therapy goes above and beyond for first show

Beyond Therapy goes above and beyond for first show

Courtesy of Libby Gardner

By Lauren Katz

Thirty minutes before the start of  Beyond Therapy’s show this past Friday night, all seats  in the Black Box Theater were filled. The standing room disappeared soon after. Such a large crowd was to be expected — after all, it was the group’s first comedy show of the season.

The show was comprised of eight sketches written and directed by the members of Beyond Therapy. Topics ranged from murder and intense pranking to adult diapers and Oreos, and each scene seemed to outdo the last in over-the-top humor and high energy.

The actors were all talented, and each member was able to fully deliver their comedic lines, even when they had to play multiple roles that required different mindsets. Ben Fisher ’17 appeared in three of the scenes and brought a completely different character to each one. From playing the clueless boyfriend in “Jack Valence” to a ditzy sorority girl in “Icebreakers,” Fisher embraced each role with distinctive physicality and spot-on comedic timing.

Kyra Baldwin ’17 played an innocent character in “Park Bench,” and it was intriguing to watch her slowly adopt a creepier disposition as she revealed details of the murder she committed. Ben Marx ’17 and Anna Dowling ’15 played off each other perfectly as casting directors in “Latrina,” and Mike Jest ’15 showcased excellent stage presence as a game-show host in “Wheel of Cheese.”    

Overall the writing was engaging, and each writer brought his or her own style to the mix. Elizabeth Norman ’16 utilized a more realistic form of comedy in her two sketches, and her story about sorority girls in “Icebreakers” was particularly amusing. Norman, as sorority girl “Bridget,” asked the newcomers questions that escalated in ridiculous humor, beginning with “Which ice cream flavor would you be and why?” all the way up to “What is your favorite sexual fantasy?” The questions alone left the audience cracking up, but Norman’s ability to create such a contrasting character was particularly striking.  

Though she only had one sketch in the show, Libby Gardner ’15 displayed original style in “Oreo.” The story followed Elliot Cromer ’15 and Gardner, “Pal 1” and “Pal 2”, as they went about their day playing and eating lunch. Gardner and Cromer displayed excellent physical comedy in creating an adorable friendship. Gardner’s conclusion, however, was the shocking element. Gardner defied expectations when “Pal 2” stole “Pal 1’s” Oreos and, instead of sharing, Cromer punched Gardner in the face and screamed for her to release his Oreos — the one spoken line in the entire sketch. The shock factor worked in Gardner’s favor and created a comedic moment that elicited gasps from the audience.

Jest contributed five scenes to the sketch, each escalating in humor. He utilized the shock factor in most of the scenes he produced. “Tiger,” for example, which portrayed Jake (Fisher) introducing his girlfriend Claire (Baldwin) to his family, began as a normal evening would. However, the audience quickly found that Jake’s brother Danny, played by Charlie Diserens ’15, believed he was a tiger, and Claire had to come to terms with this surprising reality.

Laughs erupted from the audience with every joke, and the full house roared with applause at the end of the show.  It seems safe to say that nobody was disappointed.


Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at