PLATTSBURGH - Completely Stranded's main mission has always been to make people laugh. Now they're helping others do the same.
The improv comedy troupe will be headlining improv classes starting Tuesday, Sept. 21, with members Merritt Billiter and Jason Borrie teaching the classes.
"Jason and I had thought about doing it about three or four years ago," said Billiter, an original member of the group. "We had a lot of people at the end of the school semester last year that were interested in joining at that point, so we thought maybe some of those people would be interested in taking the classes."
The classes will be held every Tuesday for 10 weeks at Oliver Ridley's, 37 Court St.
"The first class will be at 7:30 p.m. and then we will try and decide what works best with the students," said Billiter. "Olive Ridley's was gracious enough to lend us their services to hold the classes there."
The classes will culminate into a special performance with the graduating class, sometime in December.
Although there is a $75 fee per student, Billiter emphasized the importance of having such a skill.
"Some people think they can't learn improv, and maybe they can't, but if you're comfortable enough to be on stage then that's an ability you can use in a lot of different areas."
There is a minimum age requirement of 18, but other than that, Billiter said all ages are encouraged to attend.
"Anyone in their 30s, 40s, and 50s is welcomed to come," he explained. "You're not too old to come join us."
The improv classes will be taught in a "Whose Line is it Anyway?" type of style, without grueling in-depth 10-minute long improv tests.
There is no limit of how many people can sign up and people are welcome to just drop by on the first day of classes.
"The more the merrier. We don't know how many people we'll end up getting," Billiter said. "If we only have three or four that's fine, if we end up with 10 or 12, then that would be awesome!"
If you have any questions about the classes or Completely Stranded's shows they can be reached via Facebook, or by calling Billiter at 570-6896 or Borrie at 569-1635. Information is also available at Olive Ridley's.
"If the classes go really well and people have more interest down the road then this could be something we do once or twice a year," said Billiter. "It depends on the people and if they want to do it or not, and if the interest is there then we'll definitely do it again."
Anayely Garcia an intern with the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.