Improv groups revisit buried rivalry

By warren Peace

Well folks, it’s happening again: Xavier’s two improv troupes, Toolbox and Don’t Tell Anna (DTA), are feuding. 

This should come as a surprise to no one: The troupes have been fighting since their inception, and it seems after a long period of peace, DTA is trying to reignite the rivalry. 

On Monday morning, members of Toolbox woke up to find all of their signage and advertising defaced. The name “Toolbox” was crossed out and replaced with insulting puns such as “FOOLbox,” “CRUELbox” and even “Kareem ABDULbox.” 

Toolbox was quick to call out DTA on their Instagram page. 

“These guys clearly don’t know how to say ‘yes, and’ to being funny,” the group posted. 

“Clearly you guys are saying ‘yes, and’ to being a bunch of little b*tches,” DTA shot back in the comments.

This aggression doesn’t come from nowhere. This rivalry is as old as the two groups themselves. Toolbox was originally founded in 2010 when the co-presidents of DTA, Aaron Jaeger and the original “Anna”, Anna Hendrix, found themselves in a fierce debate over short-form versus long-form improv. 

Short-form improv involves quick gags and disconnected scenes, while long-form involves improvisers act out longer, interconnected scenes. Hendrix called the latter type of improv “theater-kid bullsh*t,” so Jaeger started his own troupe where he could do his “theater-kid bullsh*t” in peace. 

The troupes began a fierce war for territory. The Arrupe Overlook was clearly the advantageous performing space; no one wants to walk all the way to the Kennedy Auditorium for some lame improv show. 

However, Jaeger had an advantage: His roommate worked for Gallagher Student Center, and he promised to never force him to come to a Toolbox show again if he gave them a permanent residency in Arrupe. A deal was struck, and DTA was left in the dust.

Hendrix was quick to retaliate, and her actions would directly result in the great Toolbox Massacre of 2011. She commanded her troupe to infiltrate their rival’s next performance. Just as Toolbox was getting suggestions for a game of Four Square, DTA members stood up and began to pantomime throwing tomatoes at the performers. 

Being the theater kids they are, the Toolbox kids began to pantomime getting pelted. But things got more aggressive: Toolbox utilized their creativity to throw back larger items such as big tomatoes and even bigger tomatoes.

This is when the DTA kids started pantomiming guns. “Bang bang, I shoot you!” a young DTA recruit was heard saying. The Toolbox kids were fake cornered in Arrupe and fake slaughtered. 

This began DTA’s tenure as the dominating improv force on campus. Everyone who attended their shows was forced to provide documentation proving they weren’t a theater kid. 

It is prophesied that in the year 2064, Aaron Jaeger III will arrive on campus, determined to avenge his grandfather’s fake death and reclaim Toolbox’s glory. 

He will challenge DTA’s president, a cyborg with Hendrix’s brain, to an ultimate improv showdown the winner will claim the whole campus for themselves.

Legend has it this improv showdown will be a true showcase of the worst improv has to offer: The worst overacting, the least clever gags, the most contrived games and a run time an hour over what everyone in the audience expects. 

The showdown is expected to be so unfunny, in fact, it will create a black hole of humor into which both groups, the entire audience and eventually the whole world will be sucked. No one knows exactly what will happen after that. 

It’s anyone’s guess as to why DTA is trying to reignite the rivalry. Perhaps Robo-Anna is emerging to rule from the shadows. Or perhaps this is all a part of Jaeger’s plan for his grandson to reclaim his legacy.

All I can say is the next time your roommate invites you to their improv show, run for the fucking hills.