It's a hellish time to be a college student, what with finals and maybe even graduation looming, but a handful of College of Charleston students have taken it upon themselves to lighten the mood on campus. Tiny Shorts, a comedy troupe featuring eight CofC performing arts majors, presents a late-semester, light-hearted romp called We're Never Getting Laid After This.
Judging by the show's title, the group isn't afraid to put their reputations on the line for the sake of comedy. "We don't really hold back," says Nicholas Heitman, a part-time senior who started the group with some high school pals from Hilton Head. "We just kind of sit down, and we all go with whatever comes to mind when we're writing. We don't allow anything to hold us back as far as offensiveness or risque material."
The group specializes in sketch comedy, but the show will also include improv and stand-up, plus a few surprises courtesy of DanceFX and the Trippintones, an a cappella group made up of CofC students.
Tiny Shorts sketches include one about pirates applying for jobs at the library and a spoof on Pee-wee Herman. Heitman describes the group's writing process as casual and occasionally beer-fueled. "We take pride in the fact that we're not as structured," he says. "We kind of have our own way of going about our writing processes and everything. We're very relaxed about it. It's more of when we meet up to write, it's just a bunch of friends hanging out, having drinks, and writing comedy. I think that gives our material a different feel, because we're not stressed to the point where we feel like, OK, we have this deadline to write this sketch. It's more just us hanging out and having a good time, and the comedy kind of comes out of that."
The group debuted in December with a show called Chairs Are Hard to Sit In at Theatre 99. The show sold out, so Heitman hopes they'll get more exposure at the 200-seat Hippodrome. Although he wants to reach a broad audience, he says their target demographic is college students. "We mainly aim for kind of a college-level humor," he says. Eventually, he hopes to take the show on the road and start posting funny videos to YouTube, though he admits some members are more invested in the group than others.
"I'd like to keep the group going, but it's tough with the majority of the people being students in the group, because once they graduate, a lot of them have different plans," he says. "At least half of the group, this is just kind of a fun college thing that they're doing now, and once they graduate, they're off to whatever they've got planned. And the other half sees this as a potential to take somewhere else."
Heitman, for one, is committed to making a mark on the local comedy scene. Just as soon as finals are over.