Koalaty hosts annual comedy night

By Nhung Lam, Hawkeye staff

Yet again, the MTHS drama department held their annual comedy improv night on May 24, hosted by the Koalaty improv team. The night consisted of several fun improv games and acts, some involving the audience as well.

“Improv night is a tradition! Annually, we compete, and in the spring time, we just have some fun and invite people to come watch,” exclaimed senior Thomas Flynn.

Improv is an important skill set to have as an actor, for they have to think and act quickly.

“I, specifically, do improv because it requires only the actors and their skill sets, not any props or costumes or sets. It’s all in how well they can act and tell stories,” answered Flynn about why he does improv.

The night opened with an introduction to the improv actors of the night, described as the old and new. The new team consisted of the new members of the drama department. Each team has elven people total, ten people with one alternate. This year, the current team has eleven new members. The team currently has 19 members that hold a title of the team being eight seniors, six juniors, one sophomore, and one freshman.

Starting the night off, the drama department started with a game called Improv Freeze Tag. Two players create a scenario and act it out until another person shouts freeze. When that person says freeze, the entire scene is frozen including the actors. The person who said freeze then taps on one of the two people,takes their current pose and continues the game with a different scenario. Each time there’s a freeze in the game, the scenario changes;the actors must improv with the goal of continuing the scene flawlessly.

The following game was called Pop-Up Story. Pop-Up Story uses actors as pop-up characters who one would find in a pop-up book. In this game, the narrator can control these pop-up characters through simple actions such as pushing a button to make a character talk, pulling a tab making the character do a simple action and a crank to make all the characters move. The team asked the audience to give the team a scene to act out. An eager boy from the audience provided the idea of hot dogs on Ferris wheels.

The third game of the night was called Slow Motion Narrator. There are four people, two competing against each other in a competition prompt chosen by the audience and two narrators.

The audience picks a competition of cleaning a toilet. As the narrator’s comment about the competition, the actors must compete in slow motion for the title of best toilet cleaner.

The next game was called Late For Work. The game consists of one boss, one worker and three co-workers. A worker is late to work for multiple reasons chosen by the audience that is unknown to the worker, but his coworkers know the reasons. Through a game of charades, the co-workers must help the worker in explaining the reasons why he was late to work to his boss.

Before moving on to the next game, the team promoted their upcoming play, “Peter and the Starcatcher.” The MTHS drama department will be showcasing the show from May 31 to June 2 every night in the theater at 7 p.m. “Peter and the Starcatcher” is about the origin of Peter Pan on how he got his name, found Neverland, and how he obtained his friends and enemies.

After promoting Peter the Starcatcher, the game that followed was a game made up by Thomas called “Flynnprov.”

Next was the most hectic game of the night called Short, Shorter, Shortest. In this game, a group of four people is given a prompt by the audience. The group must perform the prompt in one minute. Then, they must perform the same prompt in thirty, fifteen, ten and five seconds, hence the name of the game. The actors have to keep acting the same prompt out over and over, but with a shorter amount of time

Short, Shorter, Shortest was the audience and MTHS drama department’s all-time favorite.

“My favorite game was undoubtedly Short, Shorter, Shortest. The hectic aspect is very entertaining to the audience and us” remarks Michael Wollan.

Junior Emma Agricola also describes Short, Shorter, Shortest as her favorite game.

“One of my all time favorite games is Short, Shorter, Shortest. It is so fun and you have to have so much energy and be on the same page as everyone else. It makes you think about the big picture and focus on key points and you can take this [as a] lesson for life too,” she said.

The following game Should’ve Said has two people acting together and one person saying “ding.” As the two people are acting out a prompt, the person that says, “ding,” has the power to make the actors repeat what they were previously saying, raising the stakes of what they had said previously.

The next game is called Arms and in this game, there are a total of four people: two people with the other two behind them acting as their arms. Arms is a game very similar to the no arms challenge. In this game, two people debate on topics with their partner’s arms. The prompt given to the audience by the improv team was what would be a good snack and the audience said a baguette and saltines. After the debate, the audience deemed that the baguette team won over saltines.

The game Foursquare followed Arms. In Foursquare, there four actors standing in a square formation, and one person off to the side is controlling the game. Each actor is given a unique role. Two actors must act their unique roles out with each other and the person controlling the game can tell the actors to rotate left or right any amount of times. When the actors rotate they must adjust and keep acting no matter what.

Getting close to the end of the night, the next game was called Genre. The three actors ask the audience several genres from things such as books or movies to act in the specific setting they also chose. The audience chose a spa as the setting of the game and choose genres such as science fiction, post-apocalyptic and comedy. The prompt was a wife who was sick of her husband not paying attention to her because of his new chihuahua and ranted about her situation to the spa caretaker.

“Genres went a lot better than it had ever gone for me, and lots of funny moments were had in it,” states Thomas.

The second to last game was called life story. In life story, the actors would choose one person in the audience to give them a “life story” and proceed to act it out.

To close the night, they played a game called Story Story DIE. In this game, there are five actors, and they must all together continue telling a story based on the short phrase or title given by the audience. The first of the five to stutter in this game dies by the audience screaming!”

“Improv and theatre sports games absolutely THRIVE with trust and friendship with the other members. As we get more comfortable with jokes and things with the other players, we can risk more of a stranger scene with them. In hopes that they will help make it successfully funny,” Wollan said.

Although the event was very successful from both the audience and the actors, Agricola expressed some contemptment. “I think it was a success on the teams part, but the school didn’t show very much support. That needs to change [because] we as students need to support each other and held each other grow,” Agricola stated.

With a night filled with laughter, the annual comedy improv night proved its success through its audience and drama department.

“This comedy improv night was the best I’ve been in, in my opinion! It went a lot better than I anticipated, and I’m very proud of my team, especially the new recruits,” Thomas said.