Scatterbomb and the English Department Team Up for Improv Show

by Lauren Raziano, Web Production and Assist. Sports Editor

In the annual collaboration with the English department, Scatterbomb displayed their improv talents on Friday, April 8 in Hayden 100. 

The tradition allows English professors to tell a quirky and humorous story from their lives and then the Scatterbomb members improvise segments inspired by details of their stories.

Caroline Voigt, a Scatterbomb senior, explained how the comedy show runs.

“For this show, we invite two English professors to give one to two minute monologues about experiences in their life. We use details and characters from those stories to improvise scenes. At a normal show, we either do the monologues ourselves or use audience suggestions,” Voigt wrote to the Quadrangle. 

The last Scatterbomb x English Department collaboration was in 2018, so the professors were excited to participate. 

The first professor to say a monologue was department chairperson and professor of English, Adam Koehler, PhD. 

Koehler shared a story about his friend Mark, the bad kid his parents didn’t like, and his other companion, Eric, his parents’ favorite who he referred to as “National Honors Society.” 

He continued with his story about how he lied to parents that he was having a long vacation with Eric but in reality he was with Mark at the Lollapalooza festival, watching the Flaming Lips concert two hours away and crowd surfing. 

Koehler described his experience as a “17-year-old boy in the grunge scene” floating above the crowd but when he looked over, he saw his parents in the midst of the people. And the next day, when his parents asked what he was doing, he lied about being with Eric until his dad, who was reading the newspaper, opened the page to a photo of Koehler raised above the crowd. 

“It’s such a wonderful expression of student creativity, Scatterbomb, as a thing. They do their homework, they are studying the craft, they’re figuring it out,” Koehler said. “So any chance that we get to be part of that process with them is a joy.”

The Scatterbomb group was able to take that story and create references to Kanye, sheep at the heavy metal set, and a story of one member’s first tattoo being a “flaming butt.”

A special scene featured police coming to arrest a couple for graffiti art and finding their children dressed in squirrel furs.

The second professor was Rocco Marinaccio, Ph.D., English professor and faculty advisor of Scatterbomb.

“Dr. Rocco Marinaccio is one of my favorite professors I have had at Manhattan College, so I am excited to see him on stage, out of a classroom environment,” Voigt wrote. 

Marinaccio told a story about how cannabis dispensaries are like a spa where middle-aged women are getting instructed how to use vape pens.

 “It’s more about healthy living than getting baked.” Marinaccio said. 

The Scatterbomb members improvised scenes with the characters of “Linda and Beth” learning how to vape at the PTO night with their sons and the Betty Crocker brownies at the bake sale.

A particular scene was about the PTO mothers going to a focus group for Nic Stix because they were trying to “get off the cigarettes” and raving about the new proposed flavor, “clean linens.” 

Marinaccio was happy to share a monologue with the crowd members and enjoys English majors that get involved with Scatterbomb.

“There have always been lots of English majors and minors in Scatterbomb and so we just always kind of had that relationship,” Marinaccio said. “I’m in the English department and I’m the faculty advisor for Scatterbomb. So yeah, we just have always had that link and when the idea of doing monologues came up, you know, we’re all a bunch of hams who liked telling stories, so we thought it was like a good fit.”

Voigt was thankful to the professors who spoke and attended and acknowledged the help they receive from others who help them improve their improv and comedy talents. 

“Thank you to our coach Carolyn Egan and assistant Coach Jenn Bueti for being so involved, helpful and funny,” Voigt wrote.

As a senior Voigt has enjoyed her time as a part of the scatterbomb group and for pushing her out of her comfort zone. 

“I joined Scatterbomb my junior year and have had a really great experience and learned a lot from stepping outside of my comfort zone. I just wish I joined sooner.” Voigt wrote. 

The final show of the semester, Scatterprom, is tentatively scheduled for May 6.