Arts & Entertainment

Catching up with Scatterbomb, Manhattan’s Improv Comedy Group

by Jocelyn Visnov, Asst. Production Editor

Manhattan College’s improv comedy group has returned for spring semester to tickle our funny bones. After flying under the radar for quite some time, members of Scatterbomb are ecstatic to be collaborating together once again. 

Improv is a style of performance in which actors create an entertaining show for their audience with no plans prior to stepping on stage. This means no scripts, no memorizing lines, just pure wit and creativity. 

Aedan Roney, a co-president of the group, explained what exactly improv comedy is all about. 

“It’s a collaborative experience in which all of the performers build a narrative in the moment,” Roney said. “Typically for live shows, nothing is scripted and it’s just about working off of each other and building off one another.” 

Thinking on your feet in front of a live audience is no easy task. Jenn Bueti, a co-president of Scatterbomb, spoke about how the magic happens. 

“It’s completely made up on the spot,” she said. “We do practices for it just to get the creative juices flowing, but usually when we come into a show we would ask for a word suggestion. We use that word to generate ideas in our heads and do sketches and skits off of that. And yeah, it’s just instantaneous comedy.” 

Pre-COVID, Scatterbomb would perform on campus about twice per month. They have started past shows based on seasonal words or phrases to encourage audience participation and foster comedy relevant to the time. Past examples include shows based on Halloween or other holidays and even a denim-themed show. 

Scatterbomb recently held socially distanced auditions, bringing in a few fresh faces to the group. Caroline Voigt, a junior, is among their newest members. She told us a little bit about what it was like to audition for the group. 

“We all started doing exercises just to warm up,” she said. “It would be like, name five things and then it would be a theme for the five things… you have to think on your feet.” 

Caroline received an invitation to callbacks and was soon asked to join the group. “I really have no idea what I’m walking into,” she said. “But they’re all very nice and welcoming and very funny.” 

With their new group fully intact, Scatterbomb plans to start meeting weekly. With masks and social distancing in place, this group is still able to work together in practicing and refining their improvisational skills. 

The team gets by with a little help from a Manhattan and Scatterbomb alum. “Our intention is to meet every week but with our improv coach every other week,” Roney said. “Our improv coach is actually a Manhattan alum who was on the team when she was attending here.” 

Bueti expressed to us that part of what makes the group so successful is the camaraderie they experience offstage. 

“It’s just like a very tight knit family,” Bueti said. “I really am thankful for them and I tell them all the time. This experience being in Scatterbomb has been very crucial to my college experience.”

While they’re unsure exactly when, this group hopes to have at least one COVID-safe show before the semester ends. Until then, you can stay up to date with Scatterbomb and find out when they’re performing by following their Instagram 

@scatterbombmc