In the last week of November, about 15 students participated in an audition for “Un Certain Type de Col Roule” — “A Certain Type of Turtleneck” — supposedly a play about the French resistance in World War II by Marcel Desailly.
But it turns out that Marcel Desailly is a French soccer player, and the scenes for the audition were actually written by Fran Kranz ’03, a member of the sketch comedy group Suite 13.
“We just held a fake audition for a fake show for the purposes of a comedic video,” Kranz said.
Jessica Kadis ’03 was one of several who auditioned for the fake play. She said that as preparation for the audition she had looked up the director and the play online, and found nothing. She said she became suspicious when she went to the CD Cafe in Morse and the audition was not quite right.
“They ushered me into this basement room with six or seven guys and a video camera and I thought that was weird,” Kadis said.
Kadis said that she was told the director was in France for the semester, but he wanted to do auditions, so the video would be sent to him. She went through with the audition, although she said she felt uncomfortable.
“It was pretty threatening to have a bunch of guys in a room with a video camera,” she said.
Kadis said she returned a few minutes after her audition and demanded to know what was happening.
“I said ‘I’d like to know what’s going on. I don’t think this was a real audition,'” Kadis said. “They kept spitting the story back to me. The guys in the room kept on making eye contact with each other — One of the kids said, ‘Come to the next Suite 13 show.'”
Suite 13 President David Fabricant ’04 said in an e-mail that Krantz wrote the scripts used in the fake audition. Kadis described the monologues as stupid.
“They said it was a farce and it definitely was. There were lots of jokes about Marie’s bosom and the colonel ‘taking her,'” Kadis said.
On Dec. 1, Suite 13 sent a letter to everyone who auditioned, which explained that the audition was a hoax and asked for permission to use the footage.
Only one person has given Suite 13 permission to use the footage, Kranz said.
“Because a majority of the people who auditioned have forbidden us to use their footage, we’ve abandoned our original plans — to show the video at the next Suite 13 show,” Fabricant said. “We do, however, plan to tell the story of this prank at our next show.”
Sean McBride ’03, a member of the Fifth Humour, another sketch comedy group, said the Fifth Humour does not use students from outside the group in its videos.
“Everybody in our videos is in the group,” McBride said. “We’d like to give everyone in the group a chance to act, so we don’t bring in outside actors.”
While Kranz said he does not think Suite 13 will do any more fake auditions, they will continue making videos.
“We plan more big videos that will piss other people off,” said Kranz.
Suite 13 was established in the fall of 2000. It has one female member. Fabricant described the group’s style as unique among sketch comedy groups at Yale and elsewhere.
“We’re loud, angry, self-referential, and unapologetically offensive, but we still value subtlety and craftsmanship, and we aren’t afraid to reveal our own human flaws onstage,” Fabricant wrote in an e-mail. “Our unwillingness to censor ourselves and our distinctive, over-the-top onstage personalities really differentiate us from other groups.”