Ward Melville Alumna Colleen Scriven Takes NYC

Tara Lurie, Staff Writer

I sat down with Ward Melville alumna Colleen Scriven at a small bagel shop in Midtown Manhattan. When the waiter came take our orders I asked for a coffee and she ordered a plain bagel with “just bacon.”

Yes. Just bacon.

She looked at my half confused, half amused expression and replied,  “It’s my go-to. I know, it’s not like you’d ever read in papers: ‘Keira Knightly bit into a bagel full of bacon while discussing working with Jude Law.’”

Scriven is currently enrolled at Brookyn College where she studies screenwriting.  This nineteen-year-old student is doing what she does best: cracking jokes and bringing laughter into people’s lives as a budding professional comedian.

Whenever there was a laughing crowd of students at Ward Melville, especially Players, it was usually Scriven who was providing the entertainment.

She performed in as many comedy shows as Ward Melville could provide, wrote hilarious plays for Players and was nominated and formally declared Ward Melville’s  “Funniest Girl” her senior year. Since leaving Ward Melville this funny girl has performed in comedy clubs in Long Island, Manhattan, and Philadelphia. She is turning her passion and talent into the beginning of a very promising career.

“I do a lot of stuff. I like to describe it like I’m in a boat with three fishing poles, with three different kinds of bait. One is improv and sketch comedy, the other is writing, and the third is stand-up. The goal is that I’ll fish around and find which one bites and where I’m best suited in the entertainment business…Oh and sometimes I go to school,” said Scriven.

On Saturday, October 13th 2012, Colleen was featured in the Broadway Comedy Club’s “NYC’s Funniest New Comedian” competition. Each of ten contestants was allotted a five minute time slot for their sets; the winner was determined by measuring the decibels of the applause for each performer.

The applause for Scriven drowned out her competition. She placed first. Her win granted her a permanent three-month residency at the Broadway Comedy Club and the title of New York’s funniest new comedian.

Sciven attributes her performance skills and success to her time at Ward Melville. “I was really nurtured by Ward Melville. It contributed to my style because Ward Melville is a weird place. I was encouraged by Ms. Favre and the rest of the English department to pursue all of this. Between Players and English, I got a good mix of what good writing is and what good performing is, and I’m really appreciative of that.”

Things for Scriven are just beginning. Her play “Nick and Molly Jump the Shark,” which she wrote as a senior at Melville, was selected to be performed at the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival in New York City on October 26th.

Along with her playwriting and stand-up gigs, Scriven is working on a new project called “Don’t Touch That!” which will be collaborative and focus on sketch comedy content to post on the Internet.

Right now, Scriven is casting lines out of her little boat, but it looks like she’s going to be catching a whole lot of fish. Her choice in breakfast food is still in question.