by Alex Melnick
arts & life editor
Peter Friedrich expresses that despite the recent plans to close the theatre in the Christian Center, he’s very dedicated to the program and the college’s newly formed improve group “Major Havoc.” While the theater inside the CC has been slated for demolition, (with the date still to be announced) Friedrich is unafraid: He has a mobile theater troupe.
Major Havoc has a total of 14 members, who all are expected to act, write, produce, and work sound tech and scenery. Their current project is to essentially perform 60 one-minute plays in an hour, in an improvisation piece that asks audience members to decide from numbers displayed in front of the stage, making the hour-long play a sort of a la carte experience. The plays can be funny, sad or silly. They adhere to no standard format. Improv member Evan Gist says, “It’s like a menu at a restaurant.” All the players assured me it would be utter insanity.
Major Havoc encourages its players to do it all. And it’s not just a single semester act—Friedrich wants the troupe to remain a “permanent team” on campus. The improv group currently meets Wednesday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the theater, and their raucous laughter can be heard throughout the Christian Center’s halls. Major Havoc is above all else, fun.
The troupe is working in conjunction with an improv group at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Friedrich schedules skype conferences for these two groups, and believes that the best mentorship (even above his own) is mentorship by one’s peers. “I may be the director,” Friedrich says, “but the best direction is that [peer interaction].”
This direction results in genuine enthusiasm from the members of Major Havoc. Gist, for example, says this is the type of play he would definetly go to-despite not being a huge drama buff. Major Havoc is designed to be a democratic experience, Gist explains. “This is for the ADD generation,” he says, smirking.