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DePaul students launch Springboard Theater Company

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Melody Mangu of Springboard Theater Company. (Kirsten Onsgard / The DePaulia)

Melody Mangu of Springboard Theater Company. (Kirsten Onsgard / The DePaulia)

Springboard Theater Company premieres its third production Saturday — and this time, the theme is improv. “Panic! at the Sketch Show” will showcase talents of multiple DePaul students’  — whether as sketch writers or improv connoisseurs.Formed this year as an outlet for students to get involved in extracurricular theater activities at DePaul, Springboard Theater Company aims to bring a night full of laughs in the comfort of the Brownstones Annex. Springboard’s first productions — “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie and “The Night of Stories” hosted by professor Joyce Miller Bean — have paved the way for the theater company to expand its involvement within the DePaul community.

“All the sketches are original, written by students at DePaul. All DePaul,” director Ella Lubienski, who performed in “The Mousetrap” and “The Night of Stories,” said.

For this production, Lubienski assumes the role as director. Founders Gabe Reiss and Peter Bucci, two freshmen students, decided to extend the role in order to emphasize the involvement that Springboard encourages from theater aficionados.

Artistic director Peter Bucci. (Kirsten Onsgard / The DePaulia)

Artistic director Peter Bucci. (Kirsten Onsgard / The DePaulia)

Peter Bucci, artistic director for Springboard Theater Company, finds himself pleased and optimistic for the theater company and the direction of “Panic!”

“We wanted to get other people involved. We knew Ella, we trusted her. She knows her stuff about acting, improv and comedy,” Bucci said. “She was the most obvious choice. And after “Mousetrap,” Gabe and I decided to step back from the shows to focus more on the structure of Springboard.”

Alongside the fresh direction of “Panic!,” new talent will make its way on stage. The cast consists of four writers, who will also act in some of their written and submitted sketches, and seven actors ­— the improvisers.

“There is a really good mix of experienced actors and newcomers,” Lubienski said. “There are actors who have done one show in their past or have done crew, and then you have your more experienced actors who have taken Second City classes. The ones who are newer are learning from ones who are older.”

One of these promising newcomers is freshman Madeline Mosso, who made her theatrical debut in “The Night of Stories” in April. Thus far, she has been pleasantly surprised with her experiences.

“I told myself to not go into it with any expectations. I didn’t even expect to make it when I auditioned,” Mosso said. “But I found you don’t have to be hilarious to do improv. It’s wittiness. If you’re good in conversation, you’re probably good at improv.”

Madeline Mosso practices skits during a Springboard Theater Company rehearsal Wednesday. (Kirsten Onsgard / The DePaulia)

Madeline Mosso practices skits during a Springboard Theater Company rehearsal Wednesday. (Kirsten Onsgard / The DePaulia)

To offer a glimpse into what to expect, Lubienski described a couple of her favorite sketches.

“We have one that involves moms in a yoga class who are all very typical upper, middle-class yoga moms, but over stereotyped. Their kids have names like Kale, Chamomile and Zapato. Then a normal person shows up,” she said.

Mosso looks forward to one improv game called “Death Poetry Club,” in which three improv poets create haikus on the spot.

Springboard’s “Panic! at the Sketch Show” opens its doors at 6 p.m. for its 7 p.m. show Saturday, May 9. The cost of admission is $3 for students and $5 for general admission.

“It’s nice and easy to watch,” Bucci said. “It’ll be a laid back night. Doesn’t matter if you show up late — come on in.”

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DePaul students launch Springboard Theater Company