Alumni comedians return for a homecoming performance

Alumni comedians return for a homecoming performance

Jonathan H. Ellyson

Johnny Sittisin (left) and Kevin Brown (right) of "JK" performing improv at the ARC black box theater Saturday September 14.

Jonathan H. Ellyson and Jonathan Ellyson

The improv group JK gave a free performance in the Black Box Theater at American River College on Saturday, Sept. 14. JK is the project of ARC alumni Johnny Sittisin and Kevin Brown, who specialize in longform improv. 

The production opened with ARC’s own improv club playing some improv games.

The full set started with just a “monosyllabic suggestion from the audience” – “hug.” The performance was excellent, with lots of laughter from the theatergoers as the troupe acted out what spontaneously came to mind.

Towards the end of the seemingly random set things started to come full circle. Smaller bits were connected to other portions of the show, making it semi-cohesive and very entertaining to watch. A short question and answer period followed JK’s performance.

Sittisin started ARC in 2006, and then transferred to Sacramento State after graduating in 2008. He earned a master’s degree in English in 2012. Brown started ARC in 2001, then took some time off from college. Eventually he transferred and graduated from Sacramento State in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in history. During their time at ARC both were part of the improv club and took improv classes taught by Pamela Downs.

Since college they’ve performed improv professionally at ComedySportz Sacramento and Blacktop Comedy. JK formed four months ago after Brown and Sittisin got together to start an improv duo under the tagline “two guys. improv.”

JK performed the show for free, donating all proceeds to the ARC Improv club, which is raising money to attend the American College Theater Festival. For Brown, returning to ARC after so long was “like coming back to see your ex, and finding out she got hot.” The theater wing had construction done since they had been here last.

The next step for this comedy team is a move to Chicago where they plan to study improv at Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade, and eventually perform there professionally.