The show must go on: LineUs goes digital

With most events and social gatherings cancelled due to COVID-19 and the Lay Low period, many students are getting pretty bored stuck in their dorm rooms with no place to go. Netflix can only entertain for so long.
Luckily, the infamous Gustavus improv comedy troupe has come to the rescue. LineUs, now calling themselves OnLineUs, announced on their Instagram on Saturday that they will be performing an online version of their show this Friday at 9 p.m.
During a typical, non-COVID year, LineUs puts on shows once a month as well as a special performance right before Midnight Express each semester. During these shows, actors play a variety of short form and long form improv games to entertain their audience.
Although this is the first show of the semester, Senior Holly Fitterer says they’ve been rehearsing since well before the school year even started.
“Right away we started some Zoom rehearsals trying to see what old things we could translate into an online platform and get comfortable with the setup,” Fitterer said.
Before the Lay Low period, rehearsals were held in a hybrid format where they would alternate meeting online and in person. In-person rehearsals were moved to Wallenberg Auditorium in Nobel in order to fit everyone comfortably while maintaining social distancing.
“All of these adaptations have been pretty difficult to work with, but we want to ensure that we are upholding all of the rules we have on campus and keeping everyone as safe as possible,” Fitterer said.
Because they were already comfortable rehearsing in an online format, the Lay Low period surprise didn’t affect their process, and they quickly got to preparing for their online show.
According to Fitterer, LineUs is more than just a random group of students doing improv together.
“Yeah, the improv is fun and funny, but honestly it wouldn’t be the same without the people involved,” Fitterer said.
Fitterer initially joined LineUs after her friends encouraged her to audition.
“I was just hoping that I could take part in such a cool group of performers,” she said. That cool group of performers turned out to be some of her closest friends on campus. “Heck, some of us even have matching LineUs tattoos.”
Senior Maryn Cella has a similar story to joining LineUs.
“I joined LineUs to make friends, and it definitely worked. The people in LineUs are incredible,” Cella said.
Cella is LineUs’ business manager, so she’s responsible for social media, planning shows and researching ways to make the group even better.
“Managing LineUs has taught me so much and really enlightened me to the ins and outs of entertainment production, and I love it so much,” Cella said.
Fans of LineUs are excited for Friday’s show.
“It’s going to be different than anything LineUs has done so far, but we have been working hard to come up with creative ways to do online improv, and I think it’s going to be a really funny show,” Senior Martha Scherschligt said.
Fans can expect some old favorites as well as some fresh new games the group has cooked up.
“Everyone can look forward to giggling with us as we figure out what the internet is,” Scherschligt said.

The show will be streaming from LineUs’ Youtube channel, “LineUs Improv,” at 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. Students can follow the LineUs Instagram and Facebook (@LineUsImprov) for more updates and audience participation.

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