Lynn Trefzger performed comedy ventriloquism in the Claudia Crosby Theater on Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m.
“My favorite part of the show was when she had three people on stage and she would tap on each of their shoulders and had different characters and voices for each one,” said Tabitha Longsdon, a freshman psychology major from Robertsdale. “It was great.”
Trefzger is a professional ventriloquist from Cleveland, Ohio. During her show, called “Voices of Comedy,” she used many different puppet characters to bring a hilarious comedic show to audiences of all ages.
Campus Activities Magazine named Trefzger “Funniest Female Performer” in 2006. She said she began performing ventriloquism as a hobby that “got out of hand.”
“I received a dummy for Christmas at the age of nine and picked up ventriloquism rather quickly,” Trefzger said. “I was shy at a young age, so, having this puppet, I realized I could get away with saying things that were funny and sarcastic, and the attention was taken off me.
“At around the age of ten, a family friend saw me play around with my dummy, ‘Simon,’ and told my parents I had talent and should be on stage. He asked me to put together a ten-minute routine, and do little shows during his dance intermissions, and I’ve been performing ever since!”
Trefzger’s show was brought to Troy’s campus by the Troy Arts Council (TAC), specifically John Jinright, associate professor of music at Troy and the chairperson for presenting on TAC’s board of directors.
While TAC is generally known for bringing music performances to the university, Jinright said this year TAC’s board of directors decided to bring in something special for families and children.
“I try to find artists that do outreach activities in our local schools, so this year we have Lynn presenting three school concerts around Pike County,” Jinright said.
“TAC supports theater education in local schools, and Lynn is a great choice for young audiences, as she is a great voice actor and one of the world’s most respected performers in puppetry arts.”
According to Jinright, a lot of work goes into preparing for an event such as this one.
“We try to work with other presenters to keep our costs low, so Lynn is block-booked through Louisiana,” Jinright said. “When we sign the contract, her agent sends the tech rider and press materials, and Event Management helps us keep the lights and sound running in top shape.
“The City of Troy doesn’t have a municipal venue, so we owe a huge debt to Troy (University). We’re grateful for the support of the University.”
Trefzger performs her comedic show using a wide variety of puppets. With each one, she creates a different character and a different story, even including the audience in her wildly funny performances.
Some of the characters in Trefzger’s show include Camelot, the flirtatious and slightly drunk camel, who dubbed a woman in the audience, named Anna, “sassy” and serenaded her.
Another character that audience members met Thursday was a 3-year-old blond-haired girl named Chloe, who told a few child-like jokes and hit Trefzger with a balloon.
Lydia Gilmer, a freshman anthropology major from Chelsea, said she was impressed with the ventriloquist’s performance.
“The different voices were really distinct, the characters were very distinctive, it was all very impressive,” Gilmer said.
Gilmer said her favorite part was when Trefzger used audience members in her show.
“She would pull people up from the audience and every time was just more hilarious than the last,” Gilmer said. “These people were like ‘what am I supposed to do?’ and she just went with it, and it was really funny.”
Audience participation was frequent during the show, as Trefzger would bring up members of the audience and make them her “dummies,” giving them special voices and stories.
Some memorable moments of this human puppetry included making two children tell the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” along with her character “Bear,” and when she created a high-pitched, effeminate voice for a man.
The audience at Thursday’s performance was large and mainly consisted of children, but it also included adults of all ages and university students alike.
Laughter could be heard throughout the theater many times during the show, proving that the comical ventriloquism and puppetry arts are for all ages.
For more information about Lynn Trefzger, her characters, and her upcoming performances, visit her website www.lynnt.com.