Organized in 2002 by Corey Brown, who graduated the following year, SWASH currently consists of 8 troupers:
Richard "Dick" Palmer, a sophomore Theatre Arts major from Advance, NC, says he finds his humor "through everyday life and the nonsense spewed by the general public.
T.J. Walker, a junior from Rocky Mount, is working towards a BFA in Theatre Design and Production. His comedic influences include Abbott & Costello, Monty Python, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Mad TV, the Three Stooges, and the wrappers off Laffy Taffy.
Katlyn Wyllie, the group's current leader, is a sophomore majoring in Media Studies. Active in theatre since she was 10, her interest in improv comedy was piqued when she noticed that "most of the women on improv shows were not very funny."
Carla Robinson, a junior, is an NC Teaching Fellow working towards a Theatre Education degree. "A lot of people our age grew up with Saturday Night Live and Mad TV," she says, "so we always pull from that zany kind of comedy, but nothing outweighs our own personal experiences. There is truth in comedy, and nothing can be truer on stage than something that happened to us in real life."
Joe Minnich is a sophomore chemistry major from Ridgely, MD. He had never been involved with theatre until joining SWASH. He names as his comedic influences Kids in the Hall, Mr. Show, and notes that his work is the "opposite of Jeff Foxworthy." Matthew White, a junior from Elizabeth City, has been involved in theatre productions since his sophomore year in high school. Currently a design and production major in Theatre Arts, he's been influenced by Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Jim Carey, Dave Chappelle, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac and Lenny Bruce.
Isaac Thomas, one of the newest members, is a freshman with an intended Communications major. A Burlington, NC native, he had no theatre experience before joining SWASH. Red Skelton, Marcel Marceau, and Ryan Styles are comedians whose work he's admnired.
Emily Mathis, a junior Communications major from Raleigh, has performed in her high school's showchoir. Her comedic influence, she says, is "life."
The SWASH Renovation Tour performance at R.A. Fountain will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5. Admission is $2.
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