‘Yeah, I’m THAT guy,’ says Eagle improv comedy student
Logan Western’s journey into the world of theater began in Sandersville, a small town in middle Georgia, where he discovered his passion for the stage. His first role as an ensemble member in a middle school production of “Aladdin Junior” ignited a lifelong love for the theater. The following year, he took the lead in “Second Samuel,” a heartfelt comedy, which solidified his desire to pursue a career in the performing arts.
“My favorite part of a show isn’t even the performing part; it’s afterwards when I get to talk to the audience,” said Western. “I get to gauge how good of a time they had. It’s so much fun for me to see their reactions. If it’s a drama and I hear a sniffle in the audience, I think, ‘Yes, I’m doing my job right.’”
Fast forward a decade, and Western is a theater major at Georgia Southern University, where his journey took an unexpected turn in the spring of 2020 amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. His determination, coupled with his love for the craft, kept him pushing forward even as stage performances faced unprecedented hurdles.
His love of connecting with the audience would have to find new avenues, and it wouldn’t take long to find one. Rather than waiting to interact with the audience after the performance, he pursued works with audience involvement in the pieces themselves.
In the fall of 2020, Western had the opportunity to perform with an improv troupe at the University, despite the challenges of performing with masks and social distancing. This experience marked a turning point in Logan’s journey, as he began to appreciate the power of audience interaction and spontaneity in theater.
In recent years, there have been more shows on campus where audience members have a direct role in the performance. In these shows, Western is able to help train his castmates for the improv side of their roles.
“I lean more toward the baptized-by-fire approach,” he said laughingly. “There have been a couple of times where I have to do the improv audience bits for them, and I’ll throw out the most off-the-wall questions that have absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Sometimes I’ll get up there and when it’s the scenes where we’re supposed to be reenacting something, I do it way over exaggerated.”
Adding, “Yeah, I’m that guy.”
Western’s experiences at Georgia Southern have helped him develop stage skills which apply to traditional and modern approaches to theater. His dedication extends beyond the stage, as he has explored the technical aspects of theater, gaining a holistic understanding of the art form.
His latest endeavor is in the upcoming improvisational comedy show, “Lethal Lecture.” This murder mystery combines Western’s love of the stage and his quick-wit improv skills with the audience becoming an active part of the performance.
“Lethal Lecture” is presented by the student theater group, The Masquers. The show will run Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah in Jenkins Hall Theatre. Tickets are $12 for general admission, and discounts are available for military, seniors and children. Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff are free with Eagle ID. For more information, go to this website.
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