By: David Meister
The Crate of Apes Comedy Troupe will be performing in one of its biggest shows ever this week. “Knightmare on Ape Street” will take place on Friday at 7 p.m. in the TV studio, in the William Randolph Hearst Center for Communications and Interactive Media.
The show is being produced in conjunction with the Saint Rose Television Club (SRTV) and will be broadcast live on the SRTV YouTube channel. This is the first time the two clubs have collaborated on a live show of this magnitude.
“Knightmare” will be filmed in front of a live studio audience of 20 on a first come, first-served basis. Both clubs wanted to create a one of a kind experience for students and fans. Those who aren’t one of the first 20 will still be able to see the show as an overflow area will be set up in building’s vestibule for guests to watch on the big TV.
“I am really excited for this event, as it is one of the largest Saint Rose Television has hosted.” said Samuel Lund, president of SRTV. The club, founded on Oct. 7 2015, now has 30 members, and has never undertaken a show of this size.
SRTV creates multiple shows regularly. The “Knightly News” is produced as a live show on Mondays at 4:30 p.m. and reports on local news, weather, and sports. On Wednesdays, the club has a general meeting at 4 p.m. then produces “Stranger Than Fiction” which is a weird news show. And on Fridays, they film other shows including “The Talk” which covers serious topics in the news today in the style of a talk show and “Meet Your Professor” which showcases the faculty of Saint Rose. All shows are eventually uploaded to their YouTube channel for the community to see.
All students from any major are invited and encouraged to attend the show and future meetings of SRTV as Lund promotes the club as open to all, and allows its membership to express themselves through the shows and productions they make.
“The whole idea behind SRTV is to give students a creative outlet and to assist them in the pursuance of their ideas,” said Lund.
The idea came from Leanne DeMartino, a sophomore communications major, and member of the club reinforcing that if a member of SRTV has an idea and they want to create it, they’re more than welcome to and the club will back them.
DeMartino’s idea has grown since its first conception from small thought to something big. “Sam and I sat down and started brainstorming. We covered a white board completely with doodles and ideas. The show went from just being an idea to something that was actually possible.” said DeMartino.
She also wanted to create a show that showcases student talent here at Saint Rose. It will serve as a practical experience as well.
“I knew I wanted to put something together and I thought it would be a great opportunity for SRTV,” said DeMartino. “Since the club is about learning how to use the studio it allowed for another learning opportunity for the club.”
Learning experiences are the key goals of any student trying to get into the field of television. Just ask Elizabeth Richards, an assistant professor of communications and club advisor to SRTV.
“A production of this scope is a big challenge for SRTV, but whether the club pulls it off perfectly or endures mistakes, it is a good thing,” said Richards. “Club members will gain a boost of confidence and will learn through doing how to successfully produce this type of live show.” Learning from mistakes is also a value Richards instills in her production classes as well as the club.
For Crate of Apes, this is their second opportunity of the semester to have a show. Their first was titled “Why Are We Still Doing This?” which was held on Sept. 27 on campus. The club was founded in 2014 and currently has nine performers. They are also open to any student regardless of major. Meetings are held Mondays at 5 p.m. in Albertus 406 and Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in the Lima Lounge.
Crate of Apes President, Greg Meyers, is also looking forward to having the chance for his troupe to have a new channel for their entertainment and comedy. “This is super exciting not just for SRTV and the Apes, but for our fans as well,” said Meyers. “This is one of the few opportunities they have to watch us perform without having to be physically present at the show.”
Previous shows by Crate of Apes were held at Saint Joseph’s Hall and off-campus locations and Meyers admits they are not as structured as “Knightmare” will be. Having a rigid structure is a challenge, one that Meyers and Crate of Apes looks forward to overcoming.
“We don’t have to adhere to strict time slots,” said Meyers. “Each game sort of has a life of its own. Timing out games and transitions is by far the trickiest factor to plan out.”
Events Coordinator for Crate of Apes, Marc Tabales, echoed the sentiments of Meyers and also acknowledged the distinct differences this show will have
. “We have a smaller stage, smaller crowd, and cameras,” said Tabales. “But we are really excited about this show.” Traditional Apes shows had a larger venue and crowd size, and with a bigger degree of freedom.
Crate of Apes shows are not your typical stand-up comedy either. They also stress audience interaction.
“We play a variety of improvisational games, similar to the TV show ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’” Meyers said. “Some of the games include Objection, Change it, and a Crate of Apes original, created by Vice President Kyle Pratt ‘Debate!’”
Intermission won’t be boring either as the Golden Notes Acapella Club, another Saint Rose club, will be performing. Their inclusion was a contribution from Lund to the project and DeMartino made the connection happen. Lund wants to keep the show fun and interesting at all times and thought inviting the Golden Notes would do just that.
This will be a show that showcases future talent on the comedy, music, and television production fronts and will be something members on all sides can remember for a long time.
“It’s been a lot of fun putting it together and it’s going to be something I’m gonna look back at in the future and be proud of.” DeMartino’s little idea has become big and now with the help of her club, Crate of Apes, and the Golden Notes, it will become an experience everyone will remember for a long time.
“I do recommend coming out.” said Meyers, “It’s going to be an intimate experience for sure and very different than most shows we’ve done before.”