Imagine staying up for 24 hours straight while performing humorous routines non-stop, because that is exactly what Denison’s comedy group Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company succeeded in doing last Friday to Saturday.
The Burpees put on a show starting at 10 p.m. on Friday night that continued until 10 p.m. Saturday nightn order to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Performing in Herrick Hall, students, faculty, and community members were encouraged to stop in at any time during the show for some laughs.
“I really liked how I could go whenever I wanted and not be sure of what I would see,” audience member Brooke Stiles ‘20 said. “It was really funny and very laid back so overall I had a great time.”
The group used a variety of acts, games and stories to pass the time.
As new crowd waves came, they explained their two types of performances. Short form was often used for quick sketches, games and improv routines so that many routines could be performed in a short amount of time. The opposite, long form, is used to develop characters and a plot more so than short form. Within each form, there is a variety of options. A long form that started as “a club meeting for turtle fans” soon turned into a group of quick improvs centering around the idea of turtles.
“The show as a whole was incredibly successful, so much fun, and left all of us dead tired,” Burpees’ president Nick Salasky ‘17 said. “Incredibly, the best portions of our show came when there was only one person or no one in the audience. That portion of the night is when all of our weirdest ideas and characters come out.”
The Burpees ended up raising $203 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The group mentioned that St. Jude’s requires $22 million to run every day. Therefore, the actors expressed the importance of making every penny count.
With donations came requests, allowing the audience to interact in the show.
“We got everything from requests to play a game, talk about a certain subject, and I think one of the most fun ones which was to perform an improvised synchronized swimming routine, which was done to Toto’s ‘Africa’ I must point out,” Salasky said.
Throughout the whole time period, at least one Burpee was always performing. Even more interesting, Salasky mentioned that there was always at least one audience member, except for a half hour between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Audience or not, the show went on, which eventually took a toll on the performers.
“The worst part is the muscle and mental distress that comes after the show. Putting all of our energy into acting energized and funny definitely takes its toll. We already have a member that had an on-the-mend cold relapse and redouble. The things we do for fun and good causes,” Salsky said.
If anyone had a busy 24 hours and could not make the show, fear not for the Burpees are bound to take the stage soon. They just have to catch up on some sleep first.