Single men at Bowdoin College who are dreading a dateless Valentine's Day: Improvabilities has a solution.

Julia Bond '09.

All that's left is for these boys to show up to the Improvabilities show Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. If they lose out on the date, at least they can see a night of great sketch comedy. To explain how Bond will be auctioned off on Saturday night, co-director Dan Brady '08 said, "On Saturday we'll play our own version of 'The Dating Game' in which a member of the audience will end up winning a date with our very own Julia Bond. The two previous times the group played this game, it turned out to be hilarious."

Good luck to Bond, then, hoping that none of these questions will have embarrassing consequences. As one of her fellow females, Emily Goodridge '08, said, "The most difficult thing for me is being a girl. Improv, in general, is dominated by guys and it's easy to get overwhelmed, but it's a challenge and I like that."

But, at least that challenge has its benefits. Goodridge continued, "Twice a week I get to spend a couple of hours with ridiculously funny people, and [imitiating a British accent] I seldom leave practice without having peed my pants."

Then again, Improvabilities may thrive on embarrassing moments like these. Bond didn't reveal anything about her plans for the dating game on Saturday night, but did offer some insight into her new foray into improv comedy.

"Improv is something that forces you to put yourself out there in a way that not many other activities do," she said.

"You're up there on the stage with no idea of whether or not you're going to have a good idea, or be remotely funny, or look like an idiot. You gain a type of confidence that you can't gain by doing many other activities."

The group also benefits from the return of co-director Anthony DiNicola '07, who spent last semester at the O'Neill National Theater Institute.

"Every semester is different with improv, and it's all about getting a new feel with new members and new energies," he said. "There are some great new first-years here this year that I have been working with in rehearsal, and I am having a great time working with them."

While the laughs make it seem like the show is all fun, the group members work hard with the others onstage to make the audience enjoy the show.

"Considering how whimsical it appears to be, improv has a surprising amount of structure," said Brady. "It's been said that the only real rule of improv is agreement. Sometimes you have good ideas that you think will be funny, but you have to abandon them because your scene partner wants the scene to go in a different direction."

The necessary sacrifice in improv comedy makes it an entirely different and almost more difficult performance than stand-up comedy, in addition to the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants style.

"You can't really have an ego in improv, because the scene is more important than who thought of it. It's instinctive to try and create a scene that you think of on the spot, but other people have brilliant ideas, and sometimes sitting back and taking the lead is the best way to perform a scene," said Bond.

With these instincts, Bond may make a great "Dating Game" prize. And if the conversation flags and everyone's out of brilliant ideas, she probably won't be offended if she gives her date a laugh.