Story by Aki Nagasaka
Sports are not only the reason for students to choose a college to get an education. At Missouri Valley College, one of the MVC values, “diversity,” means not only diversity of the people, but also means diversity of the programs. Students attend Missouri Valley College to join and learn in those variety of programs. There are many creative activities on this campus that people may not know about.
One of the students, Heather Hill, is a transfer student from State Fair Community College in Sedalia. She came to Missouri Valley College to join the improv troupe, the Flatliners, and take her next step in the Theatre department. The original reason why she chose this college was because of the recruitment by Wade Hughes, former associate professor of Theatre. When Hughes visited State Fair Community College to teach improv class, he met Heather and asked her to come to MVC after she finished her associate degree. Because there is a strong program of the improv at MVC, Heather decided to transfer and keep learning in the Theater department.
The members of this year’s Flatliners, including Heather, have performances twice a month in the Morris Experimental Theatre. They are increasing the collection of their comedic arsenal through each show as their experience. “The more you put yourself in that scenario, the more you have to go, ‘Oh, what’s next,’ you have to think about it, the quicker you become,” Heather said. She added “You feel like you make these characters and think what would they do next? That’s a fun process.”
Since Heather decided to be on the stage and make people laugh, she has discovered the key of being secretly funny. Heather said that the basic thing to make people laugh is actually not being funny. “You are going to improv to tell the truth of the character. And then I put you in the crazy situations. People respond better to the truth of the scene,” she added.
The stage gave her not only an escape from the real world, but also helps her navigate through her college life. “It helps me cope from day to day. Getting on the stage and make up stuff, making fun of people all the time. It gave me a boost of confidence that I didn’t think I would have,” Heather said.
Heather’s two little sisters have come to see every show. She said her sisters are her biggest fans and supporters. Heather added, “They are also my harshest critics at the same time. So it’s always a pleasure to have them come out.”
Heather is hoping to go to graduate school to get a master’s degree or study to be a teacher of improv.