Improv Spotlight: Vera Barton-Caro and Evan Oslund

by Mario Muscar

This Saturday, October 8, the Left of Centre Players will take the stage at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre for a night of improvisational comedy that is sure to delight and amuse.

The troupe is made up of local actors, performers and comedians who perform without a script, using only their imaginations, their adrenaline, and the suggestions that come from the audience members.


One of the performers in the troupe is Wheeling native, Vera Barton-Caro. A nursing professor at Wheeling Jesuit University and a nursing practitioner at a clinical practice by day, Vera took time to answer a series of off-the-cuff, improv style questions.

Towngate Theatre: Why Improv?

Vera: I’ve been doing musical comedy and comedy since high school, but I was out of theater for a while when I went back to school and wasn’t able to do much. I was looking for a creative outlet and new challenge…and boy is this a challenge!

Towngate Theatre: What’s your favorite improv game?

Vera: I really like Party Quirks and Split Scene. I enjoy the new games as well. I even like Styles even though I suck at it.

Towngate Theatre: I’m sure that’s not true. What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

Vera: Ummmmm…Raisin Bran.

Improv performer Vera Barton-Caro
Vera Barton-Caro

Towngate Theatre: Why do you think improv is important?

Vera: Improv is important for all actors. I am one that believes that comedy is a whole lot more difficult that drama. What improv and comedy bring is timing. Timing is everything in performing and acting. Improv hones your comedic skills and your timing skills and that makes you a better overall performer

Towngate Theatre: What’s the longest you’ve stayed awake?

Vera: Well over 24 hours. Back when I was working night shift and then going out after work. Work all night and then brunch!


Evan Oslund is another member of The Left of Centre Players. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Evan took time to answer some questions as well.

Towngate Theatre: Why Improv?

Evan: I do improv because it’s fun. It’s nice to get up there and not have the luxury of a script. It helps you grow as an actor, and you can bond with cast mates in a way that a script would limit you.

Towngate Theatre: What’s your favorite improv game?

Evan: My favorite game is Shoulda Said. I enjoy the sheer craziness that can ensue.

Towngate Theatre: What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

Evan: Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Hands down.

Improv performer Evan Oslund
Evan Oslund

Towngate Theatre: Why do you think improv is important?

Evan: Improv definitely helps performers grow as actors. It forces you to think on your feet and forces you to develop a rapport with your cast mates around you. For the audience, I think improv adds a different element to live theatre.

Towngate Theatre: What’s the furthest you’ve ever driven?

Evan: I once drove from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles.

Towngate Theatre: What’s the best thing you smelled this week?

Evan: I made some good brownies. Not the illegal kind. Legit brownies. And I didn’t burn the $#!+ out of them, so I consider that a victory.


Tickets for the show this Saturday, October 8 are only $5 and on sale now. Purchase in advance at or by calling 304-242-7700. You can buy tickets at the door, too, if available.  Past shows have sold out. So, come early or buy tickets in advance!