Arts & Culture

Back in Five

by Julia Marsh

There is something funny about Back in Five. It could be that they are Grace’s very own improvisational comedy troupe. Back in Five stages one show per month, and no two shows are exactly alike.
Back in Five was born from last year’s winter comedy show, “Grace College Comedy Hour (And a Half).” For two weekends a cast of talented students packed out Little Theatre and performed ninety minutes of scripted sketches and improvisational wizardry.
Their show was more than a hit—it was a phenomenon. Upon returning to Grace this fall, the remaining members of that original cast—Madisson Heinl, Samuel Neudeck, Brock Rhodes, Cheryl Spencer and Eric Totheroh—decided that even that much of a good thing was definitely not enough.
“This year we decided to bring back all of the returning students who were in the comedy show, since we enjoyed it so much last year,” said Eric Totheroh, who co-directed that show with 2012 graduate Paul Morales, Rachel Litzinger (née Ladew) and Brock Rhodes.
Rhodes now serves as director of Back in Five, though cast member Cheryl Spencer notes that all of the performers “pitch in to direct ourselves.”
Back in Five obviously exists to be funny and to make fellow Gracies laugh, but what is their mission?
“Back in Five is our way of providing some sort of entertainment for Grace students who may feel that there is not much to do in this community. If nothing else, it keeps us entertained,” Totheroh said.
The members of Back in Five reportedly have almost as much fun cracking wise in rehearsals as their audiences have while they perform. “Practices are never boring,” said Madisson Heinl, a member of Back in Five. Heinl joined the group last year because of her passion for acting.
“The five of us know how to play to the comedic strengths of any other person in the group. We get to work together to make students laugh and have many laughs ourselves in the process. I always look forward to practicing with Cheryl, Brock, Eric, and Sam because I know that we will laugh while trying to figure out how to make others laugh!” she said.
Back in Five is not here just to practice. “Practice is fun, but it is better when you actually have someone to laugh at you,” Totheroh said. “I like making a fool of myself onstage, so I am always looking forward to the next performance.”
If you are looking for a good time, Back in Five is here for you.