To-Do In St. Catharines: Improv Variety Show At Mahtay Cafe

Photo by: Charlie Martin

On Wed. Nov. 8 at 6 p.m., Brock Musical Theatre (BMT) and Brock Improv will be collaborating on an Improv Variety Show at Mahtay Café. This event will be free for anyone interested in attending, with refreshments available for purchase from the café.

Brianna Nelson, a fifth-year concurrent education student and president of BMT, has said that this event will feature performances and games facilitated by the members of both organizations. 

“The performance aspect is open to all club members of Brock Improv and BMT to perform,” said Nelson. “They have to sign up in advance to reserve their spot in the show. If members don’t want to perform, they can also come hang out for the evening and support their friends and Mahtay Café and Lounge.”

Both clubs have both hosted similar events at Mahtay in previous years, but this will be the first time that they have worked together on this kind of event. Nelson describes how this event will be different from the previous events.

“This show will be slightly different from the Mahtay Nights that BMT has hosted in the past, as it will have sections that include improv performances instead of strictly musical performances,” said Nelson. “We are super excited to work with the amazing actors of Brock Improv.”

Katie Foshay, a fifth-year concurrent education student and head of social media and marketing for BMT, detailed some of the performances scheduled for the event.

“From BMT, we have some of our amazing cast members performing musical theatre songs such as ‘Only Us’ from Dear Evan Hansen, ‘You’ll Be Back’ from Hamilton and much more,” she said. “The talented actors from Brock Improv will be performing a variety of improvised scenes and games, similar to the show Whose Line Is It Anyway. Of course, the scenes are completely improvised so there is little to no prior planning before the show begins. The scenes are usually very funny, and have large amounts of audience participation.”

She also stated that these performances are weekly activities for their respective clubs, and that this is their first time putting them together.

“These performances are things that our respective clubs do on a weekly basis, however we’ve never done them in the same space before,” she said. “We are really hoping to get each other’s club members involved in our activities and have lots of fun together.”

This is BMT’s first event of the year, but it is not their first since the pandemic. Foshay detailed how the club has been operating under COVID restrictions.

“Although we did host a variety of virtual events when restrictions were tight, we were able to start moving into in person events last year during our production of Little Women: The Musical,” said Foshay. “We were able to start in-person rehearsals towards the end of our season, as well as hosting an in-person Mahtay night similar to this one once restrictions were lifted in spring of 2022.”

Foshay expressed how the club has started to feel more in-line with how it was before the pandemic.

“We are still enforcing some protocols and procedures that were mandatory during the pandemic, as the health and safety for club members comes first,” said Foshay. “So far this season, we have been able to run in person rehearsals on campus just like we did in the past. From someone who was part of the club prior to the pandemic, this year feels like everything is almost back to normal.”

This Mahtay Night is the first of many in-person events that BMT is aiming to run throughout the school year, including their mainstage show, Cabaret, in early April and more collaborations with other organizations. Fans of improv and musical theatre are invited to join these clubs on Nov. 16 for the first taste of what these clubs have in store for the year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *