Alumni Charlie Foy and Carson Lolley steal the show on Missouri State Improv


Courtesy of Carson Lolley

Acting in a scene together, alumni Carson Lolley and Charlie Foy lead the show for Missouri State Improv. Lolley joined fall 2019, and helped recruit Foy who joined fall 2020. “Over the summer, I saw Carson post about it and I had reached out to a few other members of the team about joining,” Foy said. “You don’t really understand how refreshing it is to know someone on the team you want to be a part of, and she really made the team way more welcoming for me.”

From high school co-captains of the Running with Scissors Improv team to college presidents of the Missouri State Improv team, alumni Carson Lolley and Charlie Foy lead the Missouri State Improv team together. Lolley, class of 2019, was recently voted president of the team, and Foy, class of 2020, was voted vice president. 

“I was super excited to find out that Charlie and I would be performing together again. I had known that he was interested in joining the team since last summer,” Lolley said. “I would say that our chemistry has gotten stronger since high school. A really big part of improv is trust and trusting the people you’re on stage with and trusting that the choices they make in a scene, will make that scene stronger.”

For Foy, however, it was no surprise that he would be joining his old teammate once again.

“I actually found out about the team through her,” Foy said. “She was posting about shows and performances on her Instagram and it got me interested in joining the team as well. So, it wasn’t like I was surprised to be joining her, but I definitely was still excited to be performing with someone that I had already performed within in the past.”

Performing with Running With Scissors, alumni Charlie Foy acts out a scene with the rest of his team. As a senior, Foy was one of three captains for the team. “Short term, I just want to improve and just be better,” Foy said. “I believe that there is never a limit to how much you can learn, and I want to do a lot of self-teaching in the short future.” (Courtesy of Carson Lolley)

The performers spent a year apart from each other after Lolley graduated. In that time, both performers spent countless hours practicing and developing their craft.

“Our time away from each other, in between her leaving high school and me joining in college, it had really helped me see where it was that we had come from and put into perspective where we are now,” Foy said. “That relationship that we have, from being together for so long, definitely helps us as stage partners, and makes our scenes work out very well.”

In high school, the team practiced and performed what is called “short-form” improv, or short scenes in which you usually play a game or have a challenge. For Missouri State, they perform “long-form” improv, or longer scenes that typically have a more formal tone. 

It’s neat to be able to continue to grow alongside someone who started doing improv around the same time you did because you’ve seen each other be terrible at it, and you’ve seen each other start to figure it out.”

— Carson Lolley

“It’s super interesting getting to perform with one of my high school teammates, especially because we are performing a whole new type of improv,” Lolley said. “It’s a whole other challenge, to learn more and improve upon long-form. It’s neat to be able to continue to grow alongside someone who started doing improv around the same time you did because you’ve seen each other be terrible at it, and you’ve seen each other start to figure it out.”

Given the shared experience, the two have already held leadership roles which helped them get elected as President and Vice President of the Missouri State Improv team for next season.

“I think that has helped us bond a bit more now, and I don’t know if we would have this same relationship, had we not shared such a similar experience,” Foy said.

Beyond college, Foy and Lolley both plan on pursuing a future in comedy. While Foy plans on comedy writing and screenwriting, Lolley’s goal is to continue Improv professionally.

“A lot of times if you want to do improv professionally you end up teaching classes for it, and at this point in my life, that’s not necessarily what I want to do,” Lolley said. “I want to be more focused on creating things than teaching others, so I want to make sure that I’m good in all aspects of comedy, because who knows what’ll happen.”