By Kasey Main
Arriving early before the show, students took their seats in the auditorium ready for a night of laughter. Tick- ets were sold out, the room was filled to capacity, and the sound of chatter grew from the audience. At last, the stage lit up and the crowd cheered for the first Spoons 4 Forks performance of the school year.
S4F consists of five members, but to the group, it is more like five members of one wacky family. They have grown close through their experiences together on stage and off. The group originated in 2002 from Green Room, a theater group, when some members decided to form their own improv comedy troup. Dr. Mark Frisius, a professor in the theology department, serves as the group’s faculty sponsor.
The line of leadership in S4F ranges from president, treasurer, to chaplain.
“My role is to tell everyone what to do,” said Matt Wilson, a senior, club president, and four-year S4F veteran.
Eric Harmon, a senior and three- year veteran, is the treasurer. The shows’ earnings are distributed to other groups on campus and even help fund MIA mission trips.
Senior Becca Yates has been a member for two and a half years and has held the position of chaplain.
“I was the Chaplin. I prayed before our practices, sometimes I give devotionals and then we all prayed before shows,” she said.
Each show consists of around 10 different games that S4F plays, based off a list of about 30. Group members get theme suggestions from the audience to start the acts, Wilson said.
Three of the most popular games Spoons 4 Forks plays are: In and Out Word, Bing Switcheroo, and Earlier. TheInandOutWordgameinvolves a keyword for each of the players and when a particular word is spoken, that person must change scenes.
“Popular games are mostly audience participation games,” Wilson said.
What makes S4F so entertaining is not the game selection, but rather the loony members that make up the group. One performer who really gets into character is junior Matthew Jones, who is in his second year in the club. He knew of S4F back in ju- nior high and high school because the group performed at his church camp. So when Jones transferred to ONU, he jumped at the opportunity to join. Af- ter auditioning, he walked away with this in mind about improv: “You never know what you have to do. I had to be an outlet on a wall for a scene and so that was tricky, but I guess it paid off.”
But what Jones likes most about performing in S4F is the feeling he gets when the audience laughs at something he says. “You let them experience what’s like to be a part of this really wacky-weird world that exists in all of our minds.”
Another member who adds energy into the scenes is sophomore Shayla Hancock, who is also returning for her second year. Like Jones, Hancock heard about Spoons 4 Forks before she was even a student at Olivet, as her older sister was a student here.
She decided to join S4F because, “It’s like make believe for adults,” she said.
Yates has a gift for making things awkward by turning the scene in an odd direction. She first became in- terested in S4F after watching one of their shows, but she did not make the cut on her first attempt.
“I kept going to their shows and then I tried out the next semester and made it,” Yates said.
Despite being cut once, she’s glad she gave it a second shot.
“I didn’t realize how fun it was going to be and how great the people are,” she said.
When Harmon came to ONU, he was participating in theater and was already doing improv at his home- town church. So S4F was a natural step for him. He is a team player when it comes to sharing the spotlight with his teammates because he keeps the scene moving along.
Wilson’s reason for joining Spoons 4 Forks is rather straightforward, “I joined because I’m hilarious!”
Everyone in S4F considers Wilson the “father” figure in the group be- cause he leads the group.
Like many of the current members, Wilson went to see one of the shows his freshmen year, then auditioned after seeing how fun it looked.
No matter how the individual members joined the group, or what personality they each bring to the stage, together they provide the campus with evenings of humor and entertainment.
Spoons 4 Fork’s shows are on Fri- day nights each month at 9 p.m. in Wisner Auditorium. Tickets are sold in Ludwig for $2.