All-boy group Crammers' Collective delivers a youthful take on improv comedy

Anne Marielle Eugenio
PUBLISHED February 27, 2018 01:05 pm
Crammers' Collective during the improv comedy show "What If". (Photo by Maria Bernadette Romero/Inside Manila)

(Inside Manila) Most Filipinos have been fans of almost anything comedy, from films, TV shows to theater. These have been well-rehearsed for the audience's enjoyment. But what if the show is unscripted and only depends on the performers' spontaneity?

All-boy group Crammers Collective or CraCo can give you an answer through their performance.

Last Saturday, February 25, CraCo sent their audience at the Alliance Francaise de Manille laughing hysterically through their impromptu antics during their show titled "What if?". This was one of Fringe Manila’s events for the festival’s final week.

They had short and long form acts, all of which are equally funny, and you'll be amazed how these guys can think so quickly and kept every minute of the show spontaneous. The boys were joined by another improv group called 6PM, making the show twice as fun.

For a brief background, improv or improvisational theater is actual theater performance, usually comedy, but without any written script or rehearsals. The acts depend on the performers' spontaneity, sometimes coupled with ideas from the audience, like CraCo does.

Did we mention that Crammers Collective consists of boys aged 15-25? For the "What if" show, the performers were Joaquin de Joya, Tonchi Mercado, Miguel Buhay, Pepi Dalmacion, Gian Sugimachi, Jiaan Santos, Kevin Espiritu. Dalmacion, 16, is the youngest in the group.

CraCo’s beginnings

Crammers Collective started in 2015 when Francis Jasson Villanueva wanted to create an all-boy improv group consisting of youth. Pretty soon, it began with a couple of people interested in performing.

Villanueva is part of another improv group called One and a Half Men.

"Some of us we're from the same batch in La Salle [Green Hills]. Some are from the batch below us and then 'yung iba from random other high schools na interested din sa improv," de Joya shared.

Currently, the group holds shows in San Juan monthly and continues to look for other venues. Soon, they will also have a platform in Chino Roces, Makati.

When asked what he liked about improv, he said it's the liberty to express himself.

"How you're free to perform and you are with an ensemble of people who are very inclusive and ready to be accepting of any type of conversation," he added.

Introducing improv to the masses

Although considered as a "thriving art form", improv is not exactly as popular as film, TV or rehearsed theater. With this, CraCo also makes small steps to introduce the art to a wider range of audience.

"Normally we like to extend our hands ‘cause it's mahirap if we try to go outside our area. We look for schools since a lot of us are still studying. We look for festivals like Fringe Festival. We partner up with cafes and restaurants," he said.

If you want to try something a little different from your usual forms of entertainment, improv comedy may be the perfect choice. The unpracticed and spontaneous acts only adds to the charm and promises you a few hours of hilarity, leaving you clutching your tummies with laughter.

(Photos by Maria Bernadette Romero/Inside Manila) 

For more information, visit Fringe and Crammers Collectives on Facebook.



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