Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, March 29, 1999

Lots of laughs in Collegeville

Tiffany Ogle of Waverly, is one of the "Attention-Starved Children," who are the latest alternative to binge drinking Friday nights at Brother Willie's Pub on St. John's University in Collegeville.

This improv comedy troupe has been in existence for two months and is already drawing crowds of 500 people to their performances.

After a failed attempt to put together a comedy group last year, St. John senior Andy Zimney formed the "Attention-Starved Children" troupe in the late fall. Zimney sent out a mass e-mail searching for applicants. With over 30 people responding, auditions were held on two nights in December.

Andy selected the top eight applicants, who include: "Scratch 'N' Tiff Ogle (the only freshman), Nate "I Need a Date" Koering, Karine "Abdoul Ja" Nelson, Joe "I Miss the Menards Man" Beckman, Zach "Can I Buy a Vowel" Wilczyk, Becky "My Favorite" Martin, Jeff "I'm Wet So Throw Me In The" Streier, and Jerry "That's What I'm Talkin About" Tischleder.

The best aspect of the Attention-Starved Children's shows in the troupe's opinion, is the strong audience participation. Each game that is played calls for some type of audience intervention. Mostly names, locations, and occupations are given out to supplement the skits when the audience shouts them out.

The group started practicing during January, when they met six days a week. Their first performance was for a variety show, and next for Upward Bound Teenagers. Their first full-length program, at Brother Willie's Pub which was packed forty-five minutes before show time, was Jan. 19. A second full-house show at Brother Willie's Pub was March 5.

So what's next for the troupe? The College of St. Benedict's and St. John's University Event Council hired the troupe to perform March l2, for "Little Siblings' Weekend."

Other colleges have also booked them to perform on their campuses. The troupe plans to modify their act for younger audiences by implementing the "brown-bag rule." Anyone who uses an inappropriate word will have a grocery bag placed over their head for the remainder of the skit.

The "Attention-Starved Children" will continue to perform at The College of St. Benedict's and St. John's University and are also looking for more off campus shows. According to local reviews, the troupe provides an hour and a half of non-stop laughter.

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