Theater department to hold final performance of year with improv show May 24


Photo by Olivia Kahny

Juniors Joseph Hoffman and Dalton Currey play the improv game “confessions” during a practice before school on May 18. Theater’s improv show will be held in the auditorium on May 24 at 7 p.m.

The theater department will present its spring improv show on May 24 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Improv is a form of theater in which the majority of the show is performed with no plan and no script. Thus, the actors spontaneously come up with things to say or actions to do.

“My favorite part about improv is really the ‘not knowing,’” junior Joseph Hoffman said. “It really keeps you on your toes. For me, it’s really fun, and it just really keeps things interesting. You never know what’s gonna happen.”

To prepare for the show, the improv team rehearses on Tuesdays during lunch and Fridays before school. Although they cannot rehearse the actual material, the members come together to practice and improve their improv techniques.

“We just try to get our minds flowing and come up with good ideas [of] how to bounce off of each other and be able to work together,” junior Andrew Hardaway said. “That definitely helps a lot.”

The theme of the show is “The End of the World.” The show, which costs $5 to attend, is expected to last around one hour and is split into two halves with an intermission in between. The first half will consist of short form, a style of improv that includes brief and unrelated games; the second half will consist of long form, a style of improv that includes interconnected scenes that carry a story. Hardaway said the less-structured style of improv has pros and cons compared to a standard show.

“[Improv] is a lot more fun to work with,” Hardaway said. “You have a lot of freedom. It is pretty difficult; not anyone can just go up there and come up with something on the spot.”

On the night of the show, members of the improv team will arrive 30 minutes early to get ready and warm up. Junior Dalton Currey said the most important thing to do throughout the show is be open-minded to the constantly-changing storyline.

“If you come up with an idea and say ‘oh I’m just gonna run with this and articulate this scene,’ that might fall flat on its face,” Currey said. “[When] you just keep your mind open and try to go with the flow, that’s where true improv happens. Improv is a lack of planning; it’s just doing. So that’s the most valuable attribute [in improv]: just being able to go with the flow.”

Ten members of the improv team will be performing at the show. Looking toward next year, the members said they encourage people to audition for the team. Auditions will be held in the fall, and students do not have to be in theater to try out.

“[Improv] really just piqued my interest, and I was like ‘you know what, I’ll give it a shot,’” Hoffman said. “So last year I auditioned, and it was really fun. That’s why I keep on saying, and I am really adamant about, ‘you never know until you try it.’”