Gilbert Van Citters/AS Publicity Center

Matt Crowley/The AS Review

Those looking for some end-of-the-quarter excitement will be happy to hear that “You Would!,” Western’s own sketch comedy show, will premiere its sex-themed episode Tuesday, May 24.  The show starts at 8 p.m. in Arntzen 100, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. As always, admission is free.

The group of 25 to 30 producers, directors, actors and other volunteers have been working on the sex episode since the end of last quarter, when planning typically begins for each new installment.

After the writers meet and decide on a number of possible themes, it’s up to executive producer Riley Adamson to decide which one has the most potential, not only for laughs but for the number of sketches.

Adamson, along with assistant executive producer Mary Wakefield, are tasked with organizing the “You Would!” crew throughout the quarter. At the beginning of each quarter, after the theme has been announced, the team begins developing sketches, pulling anything and everything they can out of the theme to try and find the golden nuggets of comedy that lie within. Once the sketches have been reviewed and the best ones decided upon, Wakefield and Adamson divide up the duties, before auditions and filming begins. “You Would!” typically utilizes both live and filmed sketches in their performances.

“If there’s anything really different [about this quarter’s show], it’s that we have more sketches this time around, more [short] sketches, which I think is good,” said Adamson. “We also have more sketches that cross over from video sketches to live sketches, which I think is really cool. It’s something we’ve toyed around with before but we’re going for it this time.”

Adamson admits that while the sketches are fully scripted, it’s up to the individual directors to decide how much room they want to leave for improvisation.

The planning process and even the show are not immune to disaster, however: last year’s technology-themed show saw a number of frustrating sound problems. But for Wakefield, the biggest problems come long before show time, ranging anywhere from getting participants’ schedules aligned to finding the right location for a shoot.

“As a producer, the horrible technical scheduling duties fall on me … getting everyone and everything to work can be really difficult and really frustrating,” she said. “But even then it’s something I like doing, so it’s not necessarily a crisis.”

Both Wakefield and Adamson have been with “You Would!” for more than a year: Wakefield joined last year and Adamson the year before. While both admit that they don’t have extensive backgrounds in theatre or comedy, the joy of working on such a fulfilling project is enough to keep them coming back each quarter.

“I think the best part is just getting to work with all these unique, super-talented people,” said Wakefield. “Every quarter we have different people trying out for acting, we have different people stepping up to work as directors, and editors and camera people, and getting to experience that creativity in one space, especially for someone who is not creative in this way, is really exciting.”

But as rewarding as the process may be, it’s the finished project that makes it all worthwhile.
“There’s always a great feeling of excitement for a live show,” said Wakefield. “Things could go awry really easily … that’s the thrill of a live show.”

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