Staff Writer Jake Torres attended Latenite’s Fall Anthology on opening night on December 9 at 11 pm in the Lerner Black Box.

Walking into the Lerner Black Box to be greeted with actors dancing on roller skates in pajamas while acting out Wii Sports tennis—it was an incredible match, by the way—set the tone for the rest of the night perfectly.

For those unfamiliar, Latenite is a student-run sketch comedy/theater group that delivers a series of sketches in anthologies every semester. Latenite’s new anthology was filled with eight well-inspired and profound sketches: Truth or Dare, War and Peace, Dogging, Meeting in Progress, The Painter, This Socks, Push n Pool, and Table for Two. 

Truth or Dare follows a fun slumber party that takes a demonic turn. War and Peace was a shorter sketch that partially spoke about the injustices bears face in society. Dogging introduced an alternative to Tinder or similar dating apps if you aren’t having any luck where you can swipe to watch people do it wherever!

During Meeting in Progress we learned that “Eve didn’t eat the apple because Adam called her fat,” which resulted in someone sitting next to me saying, “that’s going in my LitHum essay.” The Painter showcases the duality of man and child and helped me find out I was sitting next to the President of the United States.

In This Socks, we got a glimpse into what a future would look like if we worshipped sock puppets. Push n Pool questioned what you would do in a high tense situation at a frat party. Table for Two showcases the issues of modern dating with normal people having a normal first date.

According to the program notes, Latenite’s goal is “To offer a space for artistic experimentation in a non-competitive, intensely creative environment.” Latenite accomplished this goal effortlessly. It was easy for me, with no prior experience with sketch comedy, to follow along, enjoy the show, and feel the creativity put into the acts.

The directors and writers were experimental with their sketches; as a result, the sketches felt compelling and each offered their own unique experience. Each sketch, and especially Push n Pool, was filled with copious amounts of random but clever jokes that any college student could understand or relate to.

Additionally, the use of lighting throughout the show allowed for every line and moment to feel impactful. This was especially true in Dogging, where the light was directed at the actor while he spilled his emotions and thoughts to the crowd, and the light was also used to emphasize the final moments of the sketch. 

Some actors who stood out were Morgan Marguilles, Leul Abate, Jackson Schwartz, Sydney Gerlach, Paul Hanna, and Ayomide Olusola Abayomi Soleye. Morgan’s bear was scarily convincing and hilarious, especially when dancing with Thomas Fisk as the poll collector in War and Peace.

It must have been pretty difficult for Thomas and Morgan to stay in character during their final act. Leul and Jackson executed Dogging perfectly. They were both able to stay in character while calmly and casually talking about “watching people do it in the park” or other public spaces. Sydney delivered a heartfelt and compelling revolutionary speech that easily turned me against the socks during This Socks. Paul and Ayomide played the role of frat boys a little too well, leading to the crowd exploding in laughter with the sudden change to disco dancing.

Overall, Latenite was a super creative and witty performance. The show itself is not related to Columbia, but one could point to many similarities to life at Columbia from the show, especially in Meeting In Progress which had many socially and culturally relevant references. The directors did an amazing job, managing so many moving parts with tons of actors moving on and off the sets. I highly recommend checking it out before their shows are over! Unfortunately, the tickets are out of stock, so you will need to get a first-come, first-serve standby ticket. I am looking forward to going to the next Latenite anthology!

Black Box via Bwog Archives