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Point Blank Live Again! streams live on campus

Point Blank Comedy Collective puts on encore production

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Co-News Editor

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Photo by Jordyn Hronec
Point Blank Live Again! actors perform a sketch involving a group of anarchist housewives who pretend to be in a book club.

Last year, “Point Blank Live!” captivated the student body with its original comedy and Saturday Night Live-esque sketches. In fact, the event was voted “2018’s Point Park Event of the Year.”

But since then, the Point Blank Comedy Collective was officially established, and they returned this year with a vengeance.

On Sunday, March 31 at 8 p.m., the comedy collective performed “Point Blank Live Again!” (PBLA), both to a live audience in the library GRW theater and over livestream. According to Point Blank Comedy Collective president, Chris Copen, it was no easy feat following last year’s debut.

“It was extremely difficult,” Copen, a sophomore cinema production major, said. “We had to find interesting ways to tie in last year, but make it so that if you didn’t see last year, you still knew what was going on.”

According to Copen, Sunday night’s live audience consisted of over 140 attendants. On the two nights leading up to the main show, there were preview shows that students could attend. On the first night, over 60 students attended, and on the second night, over 80 students.

The show consisted of both live and pre-recorded sketches, shown on monitors to the live audience. Sketch concepts included the performance of an Amish improv group at the Lancaster County Fair, an English class where students shared samples of naughty fanfiction, a group of anarchist wives in a Facebook club and a parody of a typical dance class at Point Park.

Throughout the series of sketches, there was also a consistent plotline.

George Rowland White, the namesake of Point Park’s dance complex and the very theater in which PBLA was performed, played the role of the antagonist who hired a troupe of professional actors, keen on taking the place of the original PBLA crew in order to make more money. White was played by Jake Berlin, a junior mass communication major.

Hayley Oakley, a junior sports, arts and entertainment major, is the vice president of Point Blank Comedy Collective and served as the production team executive of PBLA. According to Oakley, the collective wasn’t originally planning on putting on the production.

“We didn’t know if we wanted to do it,” Oakley said. “It was such a huge thing to take on. Originally we weren’t going to do it again. We were going to do monthly sketch comedy shows, and then people begged us to do Point Blank Live again, and it was successful.”

According to Oakley and Copen, production on PBLA began in November and took four months to put together.

Logan LaMaster, a sophomore sports, arts and entertainment management major, served as both an actor in the show, as well as a writer.

“My favorite part about working on the production was how much it all came together,” LaMater said. “It’s all student-run, we don’t have any help from anyone else. It was the most fun part of it all, was that it was all students and we got to be really passionate about it.”

Pablo Uribasterra, a freshman musical theater major, stepped into the role of director for PBLA. According to Uribasterra, he also served as the show’s co-head writer and wrote the music and lyrics for the musical numbers.

Photo by Jordyn Hronec
The cast of Point Blank Live Again! performs one of the last sketches of the production.

“It really takes a village to tackle something like this where we’re switching back and forth between film and stage the entire time,” Uribasterra said.

As a freshman, Uribasterra said that jumping into PBLA had its difficulties, but was also relatively easy once he got involved.

“I was very involved when we started considering PBLA in December,” Uribasterra said. “So I’m relatively used to it. This is actually the first thing that I’ve done other than performing in a really long time.”

But despite difficulties and hesitation in following up last year’s event, this year’s audience was pleased with the outcome.

“The show was really funny, it was cute, it was quirky, it was silly,” Elena Shahen, senior mass communications major and PBLA audience member, said. “All of the sketches were all really funny and unique.”

According to Oakley, Point Blank Comedy Collective is also satisfied with PBLA.

“We were very happy with how it turned out,” Oakley said. “We had a bigger team this time, we had a lot more departments backing us up, and it turned out really, really well. We’ll see if we do it again next year.”

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