By Lauren Eichenauer
THERESA WALTZ/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Charles Darwin Experience members Jason Moore, a theatre production sophomore; theater production junior Molly Jasper; theater arts junior Lauren Sherwood; creative writing junior Brooke Wonders; dramatic theory sophomore Brian McGrath; theater arts sophomore Drew Grubich and theater arts freshman Tiffany Broshar perform a game called "Slide Show" at their weekly performance Tuesday at 10 p.m. in Modern Languages, Room 350. Tonight, the group will perform as part of the annual S.I.C.K. Fest.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday Apr. 19, 2002
Arizona's two most infamous university rivals are coming together this weekend with a common dream: hilarious harmony.
University of Arizona's comedy groups Mechanically Separated Chicken, Comedy Corner and The Charles Darwin Experience face Arizona State University's comedy troupes Barren Mind Improv and Farce Side Comedy Hour for the 10th annual S.I.C.K. (Southwest Intergalactic Comedy Kermis) Festival.
Instead of the usual competition between UA and ASU, such as sports and academics, the S.I.C.K. Festival takes the otherwise fickle rivals to comedic heights.
"We're bringing some of our best sketches to perform down there," said Kiki Harbster, ASU biology freshman and Farce Side Comedy Hour performer.
"We want to try and be as funny as our meager human bodies can possibly tolerate," said Justin Thomas, UA theater arts sophomore and director of Comedy Corner.
All the groups attempt to have free weekly shows at their respective schools. Members agree, however, that the festival brings in much more of an audience than the group shows do individually.
With a cover charge, added attendance and group products, this marks a "big-time" break for the groups.
"Some of the campus shows have notoriously low turnouts, especially this time of year," said Adam Pawlus, media arts senior. "Playing to 50 is fine, but playing to 100 is a lot more fun."
"The festival tends to draw in members that normally do not attend weekly shows," Thomas said, "and some that may never have been exposed to this type of performance before."
While they may run into hardships during the year with lack of attendance and seemingly endless rehearsals, in the end, members find they can look back and laugh. Seasoned participants have no fear that the strength of this year's festival will be as contagious as it has been in previous years.
"In the past, we've gotten really good crowds," Thomas said. "Energy levels both in the crowd and in the performers are sky-high. It's great. This year, we are planning to do some video taping of the show, and we will have T-shirts."
The expectations surrounding the festival do not include fierce competition. Entertainers in this ongoing event agree that it's all fun and games minus the "devilish" or "catty" quarrels.
"We love the ASU groups. Literally. Physically. In a completely biblical sense," Thomas said. "Those guys are loads of fun, and we really like having them down. Plus, rivalry between comedy troupes just seems really stupid and sort of antithetical, too. In comedy, you just have to laugh at the fact that the concept of rivalry even exists."
Across the desert, the maroon and gold jokers also foresee a chummy festival taking place.
"We're excited to perform in front of an audience that doesn't know us. I'm definitely interested in seeing what U of A has got and what type of audience they have," Harbster said. "Meeting up with some new and funny people to have a good time is always fun."
Not only do the two schools get along at these annual shindigs, but they are actually friends. This just might be the friendliest rivalry between the two schools to date.
"Those kids are brilliant and hilarious, so why wouldn't we want to be friends with them?" Thomas said.
The S.I.C.K. Festival is Saturday at 7 p.m. in Social Sciences, Room 100. Admission is $5 at the door.
This year, the festival is being hosted by Comedy Corner alumnus Arnie Niekamp, or who Thomas calls, "The guy that every girl at the U of A has had a secret crush on at one time or another."