Dead Serious Takes Third in New England Regional Championships of Improvisation Tournament

December 9, 2014
two actors on improv boston stage

As Wellesley’s only improvisational comedy group, Dead Serious takes pride in being Wellesley’s most prestigious improvisational comedy group.

Dead Serious competed at the end of November in the New England Regional championships of CIT8, the eighth annual national College Improv Tournament. Twelve students represented Dead Serious and Wellesley: Hero Ashman ’16, Katie Barsotti ’15, Clara Bartlett ’16, Aly Brody ’16, Jabree Ellis ’17, Broti Gupta ’16, Abby Hess ’16, Hannah Levine ’15, Carlyn Lindstrom ’17, Adrienne Ogle ’15, Audrey Stevens ’17, and Claire Verbeck ’16.

The format was a series of preliminary rounds during the day where each improv group performed a 20-minute set and was judged against three other groups. The judges were local professional improvisers from the well-established Boston Improv. The winners of the preliminary rounds then competed against each other in a final round later in the evening. Wellesley advanced to the finals by winning its preliminary round against groups from Boston College, Suffolk University, and Tufts University, and garnered a third-place finish in the finals. 

Says senior Hannah Levine, “One of the highlights of the competition was having so many Wellesley students come into Boston to watch us perform and cheer us on. It was a long and tiring day, but one of the funniest moments was when we turned the Improv Boston lobby into a discotheque by dancing and singing along to the music they were playing. Even the workers at the front desk were partying along with us.”  

The players practice for two to four hours a week, learning and honing both long-form and short-form improv techniques. The group performs on and off campus multiple times a semester and hosts a comedy festival once a year. Levine admits the group has “limited knowledge of our origins, but we know that we have been making Wellesley laugh since at least the early 2000s,” or as the online thumbnail description of Dead Serious puts it, “since the dawn of acid-wash jeans.”

The recent competition marked Dead Serious’s first foray into the College Improv Tournament, but the group hopes to make it a tradition. Dead Serious's final show of the semester was on December 9, Levine reports, and featured a guest group of improvisers from Dartmouth College to help start off reading period with some laughs.