Student by day, funnyman by night

By By Ana Breton and By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

There is no guarantee of what Logan Rogan could transform into on any given night.

On Friday, Rogan could become Abe Lincoln’s zombie nephew. On Saturday, he could turn into the ninja turtle version of Forrest Gump.

Rogan, a senior in film studies, is a member of “Laughing Stock,” an improvisational comedy troupe based at the Off Broadway Theatre downtown.

Improv comedy is a spontaneous stage show based purely on audience suggestion. Because there is no script, everything must be made up on the spot.

“Every night is unlike anything (the audience) has seen before,” Rogan said. “And in that case, anything we’ve seen before.”

The show, which runs Friday or Saturday nights, consists of games similar to the ones featured on the “Whose Line is it Anyway?” television show.

The point of improv is to see who receives the most laughs from the audience.

Rogan became interested in improv when he saw a show at the OBT when he was 15. After working as an usher and taking weekly comedy classes at the theater, Rogan became a member of the improv troupe.

He is also an actor in OBT’s parody plays such as “Peta Pun and the Pirates,” which he starred in over the summer.

“It’s like we get to act like cartoon characters of ourselves,” Rogan said.

Rogan said he feeds off audience reaction to keep his energy up during shows.

And if a crowd doesn’t laugh, Rogan said troupe members just try to make each other laugh.

“I think people are entertained when they see other people having a good time,” Rogan said.

Joe Rogan, Logan Rogan’s brother and member of the improv troupe, makes that situation a little bit easier.

“It’s definitely easier knowing you have personal back-up on stage,” said Joe Rogan, who is a former U student.

Improv is also a form of therapy to some of the players.

Logan Rogan said players act out situations that happen to them in real life in their skits, like a recent cancer scare that happened to one of the actors.

“We acted out this scene making fun of what happened to him, but the audience had no idea,” Logan Rogan said. “Although the results turned out negative, he came up to us and said, ‘thanks for letting us laugh about it.'”

A real downside, however, is the players’ pay, which Logan Rogan said only covers “gas and the money we spend on food after the show.”

So most of the players have second and third jobs. While Joe Rogan works as a drama teacher, Logan Rogan works as an actor at the Clark Planetarium.

But Logan Rogan said that love for improv helps them overlook the pay.

“It’s just like a great big playground we get to play in every night,” said Mike Brown, a fellow improv player.

“Laughing Stock” shows take place every Friday and Saturday night at 10 p.m. at the OBT, located at 272 S. Main St. Tickets are $10 for students with a UCard and $14 for regular adult seats.

Mike Terry

Jesse Parent portrays a smoking French woman in an improvised performance with the group Laughing Stock at the Off Broadway Theatre on Saturday night.

Mike Terry

U film studies senior Logan Rogan acts as the MC for the group Laughing Stock’s performance Saturday night at the Off Broadway Theatre.