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Student Comics Flock from Far and Wide to Inaugural ‘Troupalooza’ Festival

  • Three people stand on stage
  • Two people hold onto each other with wild smiles
  • Four people on stage with a projection of the group's name A Goose Troupe
  • A person yells animatedly
  • Three people on a stage together put their hands together on the floor
  • Two people are wrapped together while two other people talk on stage
  • Jonah Bowen performs stand up.
  • Saskia Penning performs stand-up comedy

Photos by Rian Nelson ’24

Comedy skits about evil foam pits, talking cats, and the Mona Lisa drew laughter at the Semel Theater as comedy troupes from Emerson and across the nation performed at Troupalooza, Emerson’s first-ever student comedy festival.

“This is a dream come true,” said Zoe Seitz ’24 about the three-day festival held from November 3 to November 6. “It has taken a lot to get to the point where we are right now. This event is so important for not just my troupe, but for all comedy troupes across the country.”

The festival was hosted and organized by members of Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars, one of Emerson’s many sketch comedy troupes, including Seitz, Nicholas Favazzo ’25 and Kerri Stephenson ’24. The three-day festival kicked off on Friday night with performances from five Emerson comedy troupes: A Goose Troupe, Emerson Comedy Workshop, Stroopwafel, The Girlie Project and Swomo. The Institute from Tufts University and No Jokes from Northeastern also performed

A Goose Troupe showed video skits while The Girlie Project performed female-centered sketch comedy. Emerson Comedy Workshop did sketches and Swomo added improv to the mix. 

Stroopwafel solely does short-form improv, co-president Elle Baray-Forget ’26 said. They performed interactive improv at Friday’s 6:00 pm show. 

The audience enjoyed Stroopwafel’s in-your-face improv. They played the game “genres” with the audience, where they performed the same bit about a girl’s fascination with snakes as dystopian, a period piece, and a spy movie. 

“I’ve been working with Troupalooza since the beginning and it’s been so fun,” Baray-Forget said. “It’s just everyone coming and supporting each other and being funny.”

There were two Saturday night shows that featured Boris’ Kitchen from Brandeis, Out of Bounds from Brown, 45 Kings from Loyola Chicago, Fourth Quarter All-Stars from the University of Southern California, and the hosts, Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars.

The Fourth Quarter All-Stars traveled all the way from Los Angeles to perform their sketches. The USC group has a close relationship with Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars and hosts their own festival, Sketchella, each February, which Jimmy’s has participated in. 

“We have a really big comedy scene and comedy majors,” USC sophomore Arabella Varieur said. “We’ve been tight with Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars since day one. We love to be around them and support a good cause.”

Kerri Stephenson, Elena Ruiz, Darrell Mondaine, and Cate Cianci
Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars: (Left to right) Kerri Stephenson ’24, Elena Ruiz ’26, Darrell Mondaine ’26, and Cate Cianci ’26.

Troupalooza hosted a stand-up special on Sunday featuring Jonah Bowen ’24, Schwartz and Saskia Penning ’25. 

While tickets to the festival were free, Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars collected donations throughout the weekend for the Jimmy Fund, which benefits the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. To attend the aftershow gala on Sunday, attendees could donate any amount to the Jimmy Fund. Seitz said they raised $250 in total. 

“I’m so over the moon that people came from near and far to be a part of such a historical event,” Seitz said. “It’s  really awesome that we could bring people from all over to share the love of comedy.”

While Troupalooza was the first event of its kind at Emerson, Seitz hopes it continues for years to come. She said Emerson resources like Emerson’s Student Engagement & Leadership department (SEAL) and the Comedic Arts program were especially helpful and supportive. 

“The goal is that this event will carry on forever and ever,” Seitz said. “We know what we have to change and carry with us for next year. I could not be more proud. I’ve been floating and I haven’t come back down.”

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