Dr. Charlie Mitchell’s Comedy Practice class started as an experiment to gauge interest in a possible comedy minor within UF’s School of Theatre and Dance. In only its second year, the class has grown to be one of the most popular and sought after electives. On Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, the students in the class took the stage at the Hippodrome Theatre for the second annual stand-up comedy night.
Students wrote and performed their own original material for a packed house. They worked on their material with Stephen Rosenfield of the American Comedy Institute in New York City. Thanks to a generous donation, Rosenfield was flown down to Florida and housed for a week as he taught master classes on comedy and worked one-on-one with students, critiquing their material.
Students were all given their five minutes on stage, and every single performer had the crowed laughing. Andy Iglesias, a second-year BA Theatre student, describes the stand-up performance as one of the best experiences of his college career.
“Having the opportunity to write material in class and then have it critiqued by Stephen Rosenfield was incredible,” says Iglesias. “We were able to get so much great feedback and instruction from one of comedy's most well-known instructors. Being able to make people laugh was exhilarating. This entire experience has inspired me to write more and more every single day, and to continue to pursue stand-up at the professional level.”
The students in Mitchell’s Comedy Practice class are now working on writing material for their sketch comedy show, which will take place in March and promises to be just as entertaining.
Support for the comedy initiative is provided by the Hohns Family Term Fund in the College of the Arts at the University of Florida.