Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Upbringing, Formative Experience, and Their Effect on Improv Comedy Performance at UIUC
Author(s):Melamed, Brian
Subject(s):Performance/Expressive Culture
Social Spaces
Abstract:This project investigates the effect of childhood experiences in forming an interest in comedy and aspirations to pursue comedy in the post-collegiate sphere. The author did participant observation and conducted three interviews, with members of the improv comedy community at UIUC and with alumni professional performers. The research investigates how the informants’ experiences in performing at a younger age were shaped by family and peers, and how these experiences affect their involvement in comedy today and influence their aspirations for the future. The results illuminate that improv groups on campus do not operate as part of the University and that the subculture of improv comedy on campus is rather small. All interviewees had a drive to act or perform at a young age and started taking their comedy seriously once they entered college. The project includes a proposal for continued research.
Issue Date:2006-12-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-08-22

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.

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