Kansas State’s On the Spot Improv troupe recently celebrated 10 years as a club on the Manhattan campus.
Founded in November 2009, On the Spot became an official club and drafted its constitution after picking up Ben Hopper, the assistant director for National Academic Advising Association at K-State, as an adviser.
Hopper first saw On The Spot during a Wildcat Warmup event.
“I worked for UPC, and we booked entertainment, and I thought it would be great to work with them in the future,” Hopper said. “That’s when they said they weren’t an official group — so when they asked me to be their adviser I said, ‘Why not?'”
Since the club’s founding, the number of students and the level of talent has increased, Hopper said.
“It has grown so well — the quality of the improvisers is so great that it would have been hard for some of the originals to get in because they’ve gotten so good,” he said.
Since the popularity of the club is growing, they adopted an audition process to help limit the number of students.
“Sometimes we set a hard cap of, ‘We’re not taking more than this number of students,’ but some years the numbers are different,” Nate Kochuyt, president of On the Spot and senior in statistics, said.
The number of auditioning students has increased — about 30 to 40 people audition every year. Kochuyt said improv is attractive because of the qualities it encourages.
“Improv, in general, really helps people out with public speaking skills with as much as we perform — and interview skills, because you never know what you will be asked in an interview,” he said.
On the Spot is not a group limited only to theatre majors.
“We have such a wide variety of majors, obviously there are theatre majors, but we have history majors, English majors, computer science majors — we are all over the place with our majors,” Kochuyt said
On the Spot had its 10 year anniversary show Nov. 11. The event was full of festivities and alumni returned to participate in the show.
“We have alums that are in Dallas, Chicago and even Kansas City pursuing improv so for everyone to come back was exciting,” Hopper said.
Alumni members still stay in touch with the program through a Facebook page designated for On The Spot alumni. This allows them to keep in touch with one another and provide information about possible alumni shows, like the 10 year anniversary show.
Hopper said he also stays in touch with past members.
“This past summer I attended a wedding where they had met in On the Spot, and when former students come to visit we’ll go watch a football game or get something to eat — it’s definitely a family,” he said.