Ready… Set… Improv!
January 7, 2019
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And… Action! OHS’ improv team has come back bigger and better this year. From holding more frequent improv shows to having their own club picture in the yearbook, the team is shining bright like the stars they are.
Improv is trying something new with their auditions this year. Instead of having everyone already on the team re-audition in December, like in previous years, it is also an opportunity for new people to join. This way, the same team will stay through both semesters with a possibility of new faces being seen on stage second semester.
In order to understand the basics of an improv show, it is good to know exactly what improv is. Thackery O’Leary, senior, gives her definition of what it is and how a performance works.
“Improv is people going up [on stage] and playing games and they have to make up all the comedy, all the lines, all the situations at the drop of a hat. So we don’t go up there with a plan; we go up there and improvise our entire skit,” O’Leary said.
As a part of auditions, students play an assortment of games and are encouraged to volunteer as much as possible.
“The way auditions go is that it runs a lot like one of our practices. So we are just doing games and if you want to be on the team you have to get up, hop in, and give it your shot and try your best. And it’s a lot of participation that goes into auditioning,” said Matthew Toole, senior.
A lot of improv is thinking on your feet. So in order to make their shows the best they can be, the team practices games to get better at that aspect of performing.
“A lot of the preparation we do is just getting ourselves in that quick thinking mode. So we practice games that we’re going to do on stage to make sure people are comfortable with them. And we do just a lot of trying to get all the really bad ideas out so that we have good ones for the show,” Toole said.
Although improv shows are about knowing how to play the games and thinking fast, team bonding is also an essential part to having a smooth performance.
“A lot of our rehearsals are getting to know the games so we understand how to do them. And becoming better friends with the people we are on a team with, because it creates a better show. And this year we are extremely close… so we’ve had some really good shows this year,” O’Leary said.
Not only is the performance an enjoyable experience for the audience, it is a lot of fun for the actors and actresses as well. Improv can become a place where people feel like they can let their personalities shine.
“For some reason it was just something that I enjoyed a lot. And then once I tried out, I got with a group of people that I really enjoyed being with and we get to express ourselves and just kind of joke around without fear of being judged,” said O’Leary.