The Parkway North Improv Team, Insert Laughter (Here), held their first meeting of the year on Thursday, Aug. 22. This meeting started preparing the team for their first show on Sep. 27, at 3 p.m. in the theater.
“This year, we’re going to be cracking down on our skills and technique,” said junior Mico Xa. “Our program is so much bigger, and we have three shows this year, so there’s a lot in store for us.”
Potential members may be worried about not being funny enough, comfortable on stage, or experienced. But returning members want to make it clear that, no matter what skill level someone is at, practices will build techniques and confidence in skills.
“Here’s a secret,” said Xa. “A lot more of improv is about technique than trying to be funny. Knowing your way around a scene is funnier than cracking out one-liners because that won’t move you forward… We look like fools and have a good ol’ time doing it.”
The first part of the meeting was spent in four smaller groups playing a game called Washing the Dog. One player starts by pretending to wash a dog. Another player asks them, “What are you doing?” Player One says an action like, “I’m riding a rollercoaster.” Player Two then pretends to ride a roller coaster as Player One goes to the back of the line. Player Three asks Player Two, “What are you doing?” They reply with another action like, “I’m playing golf.” Player Two sits down, and Player Three pretends to play golf. This game is a good introduction to Improv because it gives players the opportunity to use their bodies, think on their toes, and observe more experienced players in action.
Another game that the team plays is called Playground Insults. In this game, one player leaves the room while the rest of the participants decide on a playground insult. For example, the insult might be “stinky bubble gum.” The player then comes back into the room and tries to guess that insult with the help of his team, who cannot speak.
“Playground insults is my favorite game of all time,” said junior Douglas Fritz. “It’s like charades combined with kindergarten playground insults.”
The improv team is still encouraging any interested students to come to their meetings every Tuesday and Thursday.
By: Molly Thal Editor-in-Chief