On Wednesday, April 16, three cast members of “In Black,” a raunchy and unflinching comedy sketch show put on entirely by students, met for a Q&A with the Manitou Messenger. The interview was brief but full of energy and excitement for the upcoming show. Mandy Leavell ’15, Allison Lonigro ’16 and Bailey Williams ’16 were eager to share their thoughts about the show and why the St. Olaf community should attend.
Manitou Messenger: What is “In Black”? What is the history of the show?
Mandy Leavell: “In Black” was started ten years ago by a group of students. I wish Andy were here; he knows everything about Neo-Futurist stuff. He would be able to write you a whole paper about it.
Allison Lonigro: It was based off another show called “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.” When it first started here, they used the same skits and name but had to change it.
ML: We make our own skits now.
MM: Have any of you been a part of the show before?
AL: This is Mandy’s second year. It’s my first year and Bailey’s, too.
ML: We have two others who are returning. We lost five seniors last year.
MM: Where did you lose them?
Bailey Williams: In the woods. We had to send a St. Olaf Extra out. “Crazy night in the woods, five seniors lost.”
MM: What was the hardest part of the show? What was the easiest?
BW: The writer’s block. You can only write so much.
ML: It isn’t hard to critique the skits, but it is harder to pick which ones to do. We have twenty-eight skits this year, and we started with over sixty.
BW: The easiest thing is getting to know these people. I have had so much fun just laughing with them and working on these skits. I think the easiest part is having a blast with these guys. I love hanging out with these people.
AL: I think about yesterday, just powering through sketches, and I know that it’s obviously harder to write it than it is to act it, but seeing everything come together is so exciting.
ML: This is more on the personal side, but this is one of the first times in college where I have been able to say what is on my mind and be open. I don’t have to worry about what people will think or how I act. I don’t mean how to act in a performance sense, but as a human. I feel so comfortable.
BW: I think we have a special and unique group of people where we can all be open.
MM: Would you say that this is also the most rewarding part of the show?
ML: It’s eight people working for one cohesive thing. We have been working every day since Spring Break to put this on for the campus. Like, we are doing something for St. Olaf College, and that is so cool.
MM: Ok, this is my last question. Why should people come see it?
BW: Umm, why should they not come see it?
ML: I think it’s an opportunity to experience St. Olaf in a different way, not in the classical formal setting. It is the counterculture that we have on campus.
AL: It’s a barrel of laughs.
BW: I also think it’s a good representation of what students think about St. Olaf. It drives a stake into the heart of what it means to be an Ole.
ML: It’s a riot.
MM: Any final comments?
ML: I want to apologize for the tiny hat.
Tickets for all nine shows of ‘”In Black” are sold out. Go to the Facebook event page for more information.