The award-winning sketch comedy troupe She Said What paid a visit to their alma mater last week.
The four Queen’s alumni that make up the troupe, Megan MacKeigan, Marni Van Dyk, Emma Hunter and Carly Heffernan, are all ArtSci ’07.
Through sketch comedy, She Said What takes controversial and sensitive topics and distorts them to expose the ridiculousness of society’s pretenses.
The troupe performed a series of sketches, with topics varying from Newfoundlanders discussing the ‘freshman fifteen’, to new and ‘innovative’ forms of birth control.
Craig Walker, the director of the Queen’s School of Drama and Music, said he thought the troupe was a good example for new drama students.
“Each one of [the girls], independently, is a really great example for students here. They’re thoughtful and industrious and resourceful, and it’s great to get students exposed to that,” Walker said.
The troupe’s performance was free for students enrolled in DRAM 100. The George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund, a grant focused on the promotion of public performances and exhibitions, provided funds to pay for the visit.
Walker said he felt “a sense of pride” and nostalgia at seeing the troupe perform at Queen’s.
“Some of them I taught in acting classes, and now they’re doing so well,” Walker said.
The troupe has been working together since they moved to Toronto in 2007.
In 2013, they received the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festivals Best of the Fest award and were nominees for the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Sketch Troupe.
During their time at Queen’s, all four members were involved with extra-curricular performances. All four members were part of the Queen’s Players, and MacKeigan and Hunter were also part of the Barefoot Players and Vogt Productions, now called Power Presents: Drama Studio Series.
MacKeigan said the hardest part of working in theatre as an actor was finding a balance between performing and holding a job.
“The rejections for me were a breeze. The hardest part is maintaining a job while you audition,” MacKeigan said. “You have to audition for about 20-25 things before you land anything at all.”
Marni Van Dyk said the troupe looks for ways to remain concise when writing material for their show.
“When you’re working with a four to five minute scene, it’s easier to bend genres by pushing yourself and trying to diversify the show,” Van Dyk said. “It allows you to fit in more subject matter and become more relatable.”
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