Buffalo State students don’t have to leave campus or spend a dime to enjoy a night of comedy.
The student-run comedy show, Friday Night Live (FNL), provides 90 minutes of improvisational sketches beginning at 10:30 p.m. most Fridays during the academic year. The performances, held either in the Warren Enters Theatre in Upton Hall or the Flexible Theater in the Donald Savage Communication Building, are free and open to the public.
The group’s Facebook page lists dates and locations.
FNL is a campus tradition that Casting Hall Productions began 10 years ago. To participate in the improv group, students must audition and commit to all shows. This year the troupe is composed of eight students representing three majors.
“FNL is a really fun and cool group that works hard to make people laugh,” said Mandy Hebblethwaite, a sophomore television and film arts major.
Professional comedians Richard Satterwhite and Dale Fischer serve as FNL advisers.
“The ultimate goal for the cast is to work together as a team and work with one group goal in mind,” said Satterwhite, who brings more than 20 years of improv experience to the table. Currently, he serves as the vice president for special projects and events at ComedySportz in Amherst, New York, where he also performs.
“Improv takes me back to when I was a kid, and my imagination was allowed to go crazy, and I had fun. This is what this is supposed to be about.”
Senior theater major Vernia Garvin describes working with FNL as a release.
“It’s the freedom to make people accept you for all the craziness that you are. It’s putting a smile on the face of someone who has had a terrible week,” Garvin said. “Most importantly, it’s everyone coming together to share their stories.”
And it’s unpredictable.
“You never know which direction an improv scene is going to go. We tell students to be in the moment and give it your all,” Satterwhite said. “You have to have a willingness to just go for it.