Upper School Play: Seriously Funny

When asking the ensemble of Seriously Funny to describe the show, there is one word commonly used to explain it: indescribable.

I would see the show if you want to be thoroughly confused in the best way. It is seriously funny, which I know is a cliche joke.

-Leili Singer ’26

Seriously Funny is a collection of skits devised by the ensemble from beginning to end. Each line of dialogue, character, and scenario is a product of a unique rehearsal process that encouraged improvisation and collaboration. When speaking to cast member Kate LaGatta ’25, she mentions her enjoyment for the unique process. “At the beginning, we would do a lot of improvising scenes. When we got back from break, we had the script finalized in a week.” Of that script, Kate is thrilled to have written a monologue. She’s also thrilled she doesn’t have to do an accent, which many of her castmates are tasked with.

In the show I act and do accents. Whether they are good or bad is to be determined.

-Alex Fox ’25

The show finds hilarity by utilizing the age-old theatrical forms of clowning and Commedia Dell’Arte. Orli Azoulay ’26 says that the rehearsal process ran parallel with a history lesson in theater; “Commedia Dell’Arte is one of the first documented cases of parody. We are not only learning comedy, but also where it came from.” In the show, Orli uses what they learned to portray a variety of roles including a kidnapping victim, a bumbling servant, a cat, and more.

The director of Seriously Funny, Jesse Garlick, is no stranger to Beaver. In fact, he attended Beaver for 7th and 8th grade. “Directing this show is so special,” he says. “I’m back in the room where I discovered my love of theater and imparting that on the next generation.” Garlick returns to Beaver with the goal of manufacturing a show that will make everyone laugh at least once. This is not a lofty ambition by any means, either, as he has entrusted the ensemble to display an array of skits with jokes that could not be more diverse. “If you want to have a good time, this is the show for you. It’s a time to join fellow humans in a space with the active role of laughter.” 

Older forms of theatrical comedy aren’t the only inspirations behind the show. Infomercials, rap, Rachael Ray, and other modern cultural touchstones serve as the basis for many of the goofs and gags. For example, one skit plays out as a monologue spoken by four of the actors detailing Barack Obama’s legislation on peanut butter and jelly. Another showcases a conversation between animals on public transit. There is no rhyme or reason to what materializes on stage, encouraging the audience to sit back and enjoy the wild ride.

The show takes someone and brings them all around the world. Paris, Tuscany, the streets, the kitchen, and most importantly home.

-Toby Otting ’23

Seriously Funny is showing at Beaver from January 26-28 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase here.

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