The only place you can find Dean Ira Mayo and Jamiyl Mosley, director of Residence Life, charging in to save the day is Live! with Alpha Psi, It’s Saturday Night!
Although the two are an unlikely pair of superheroes, Mayo and Mosley fit right in with Alpha Psi Omega’s annual SNL performance, which is full of original sketches as expected.
This year’s directors, senior Colleen Kelly and junior Kim Vogel, proposed the show in May and started rehearsal in September. Mayo and Mosley came up with the skit and approached Alpha Psi.
“Dean Mayo and Jamiyl requested to be a part of this show,” Kelly said. “They had this idea. It worked out wonderfully.”
SNL is a student-run production from the writing to the directing, with the only exception being the host.
As per usual, the host of SNL is a different faculty or staff member each year. This year, Associate Director of Athletics Karin Torchia is the first female host.
“I had to write my own monologue, come up with the idea [and] memorize it,” she said. “I didn’t have any acting experience at all. They really welcomed me and taught me a lot of things.”
Torchia wasn’t the only one learning. Freshman Ben Mendelson enjoyed the unique opportunity SNL offers to write, direct and act, despite the previous experience he had in comedy.
“I did improv in high school and I’m a stand-up comic,” he said. “[SNL] is similar, but it’s a lot cooler because I’m in college now and we have the freedom to do all the things. It’s all students.”
New faces, like Mendelson’s, are just what junior Ryan Kincade enjoyed most about this year’s show. As a writer for SNL he knows that new faces mean new ideas.
“Writing the skits is something you have to be really creative about,” Kincade said. “[It] usually starts at an individual level. One person has an idea and we as a cast explore that idea by talking it out with each other.”
These numerous ideas turned into sketches of various topics, such as Al Pacino filming a commercial for LifeSavers candy and a Goth Christmas.
“We took a lot of time this year on the actual scripts themselves,” Kelly said. “Because we had such emphasis on everybody writing and having their own part it was very helpful to have more time because we got to put more time into the craft of writing than we ever have before.”
However, this year’s show will be a little different, as SNL takes over the theater in the Bart Luedeke Center rather than the usual venue at The Spitz, the studio theater in Fine Arts.
“This is going to be our first year having it in the BLC Theater,” senior Andrea Susnick said. “But it’s still the same sketch comedy show. The skits are all original.”
The advantages to this new space are clear upon first glance. The BLC Theater is a lot bigger than the Spitz, giving both the actors and the audience more space.
“Sometimes in Fine Arts, because this draws such a large crowd, it gets very hectic, as opposed to having people crammed in The Spitz. For this one, they’ll have a different kind of seating,” Kelly said. “It’s going to be a new experience.”
However, that space comes at a price.
“In terms of backstage it’s very limited,” Susnick said. “There’s not very much space at all. So it’s going to be difficult to see how we have costume changes and just fitting everyone on these two wings.”
Still, all the members of Alpha Psi Omega worked together. Senior Gregory Binder has taken part in SNL since his freshman year and said this cast is “focused on one goal.”
Kelly, who directed SNL last year, agrees that the entire cast stepped up when the production was moved to the BLC.
“Everyone just came together this year so well,” she said. “That’s the main difference between this year and last year: how much time we’ve put into it and how much people genuinely care [about] and appreciate this show.”
SNL will be performed in the BLC Theater tomorrow night at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets for the show are $5.