With My Mother’s Fleabag, Asinine Sketch and Improv Comedy, Hello… Shovelhead!, and other amusing groups entertaining students across campus, Boston College is home to a hilarious, diverse, and burgeoning comedy improv scene within its music, art, and performance category of over 300 registered clubs. One student organization stands out among the rest, however: the Committee for Creative Enactments (CCE) is unique in its non-cut, all-accepting nature as an improv and murder mystery affiliation, featuring both scripted and improvised characters in its shows and welcoming any interested individual to join, regardless of expertise.
Founded in 1988, CCE is an organization of roughly 30-40 active members-varying in light of the comedic dichotomy of the group-that aims to utilize each individual’s talents in catering to the BC community’s sense of humor. The club is open to anyone on campus, and because it performs both comedy improv and murder mystery shows throughout the year, students are encouraged to participate in a variety of ways-from attending a meeting and attempting improv for the first time to actively partaking in performances.
“Our main goal is to bring laughter to the BC community,” said Shelby Massa, president of CCE and LSOE ’14, in an email. “We pride ourselves in creating an environment where people can feel comfortable trying comedy and really working to improve their improv skills. I think that’s really at the core of who we are and what we want to do.”
Historically, CCE is known for its murder mystery shows, which take place once a semester in the O’Connell House and are written and produced by club members-for 2013-14, Kaitlyn Quaranta, A&S ’14, and John Kumcu, A&S ’15, have served as the directors. This past weekend, the spring murder mystery shows were held on Friday and Saturday night in O’Connell. By contrast, CCE holds improv shows several times each semester within various buildings on campus, and these tend to follow themes, such as Halloween or Valentine’s Day. Further, on April 11, CCE hosted its senior showcase to honor those graduating this spring.
In addition to these on-campus events, CCE has attended and participated in the annual College Comedy Festival and Beanpot Tournament-which is sponsored by Improv Boston as a showcase for New England’s high-quality, collegiate comedy and takes place in February-for the last several years. This year, the club members won first place in the competition, which was held from Feb. 20-22. “[Winning first] was very exciting for everyone, especially our improv coaches Kelsey Maher [A&S ’14] and Jill Lawler [CSON ’15],” Massa said. “They put together a great team, worked really hard, and it definitely showed.” Alongside them, Zander Weiss, A&S ’15, serves as vice president of house and props; Rachel Maillet, A&S ’15, is vice president of costumes; Starlin Shi, A&S ’16 is treasurer; Sara Daley, A&S ’15 is secretary; and Brendan Connelly, A&S ’14, is webmaster.
From 7-10 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday and 12-2 p.m. each Sunday, the group meets to practice improv, rehearse for the semester’s featured murder mystery, and discuss attending timely improv events such as the Improv Beanpot. Each gathering’s agenda centers on teaching and crafting improvisation skills. “At the meetings we do improv, or rehearse for that semester’s murder mystery,” Massa said. “Sometimes, we have alumni who have gone on to professional improv groups who will come back to help us fine tune our improv skills.”
For anyone interested in joining the CCE, the best way to get involved is to attend any of the club’s weekly practices and observe or take part in the hilarity personally, regardless of prior improv experience. “Our practices are open, so we encourage everyone to come, whether you’ve done improv for years, or you are looking for something new to try,” Massa said.
Additionally, Massa added that going to CCE’s improv and murder mystery shows to cheer the club members on in their comedic endeavors is always beneficial-both for the observer and the performer. “We love it when we get a big crowd and it just makes everything more fun,” she said. In addition to these routes for involvement, “You can also like us on Facebook (The CCE) or follow us on Twitter (@WeAreCCE), where we post show and practice information,” Massa said. Especially due to its no-cut policy, the organization avidly welcomes and encourages any student to join at any time.