Improv team draws enormous laughter at comedy night

By Casey Carpenter, Hawkeye Staff

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The MTHS improv team put on an hour long performance at 7 p.m. on November 1. Run by Coach Jeannie Brzovic, the improv team generally performs without the use of scripts.
“The team creates subscenes from the audience, and interacts with them in fun little games,” Brzovic said.
Junior Haley Morris, captain of the improv team, gave a more detailed version of the events that take place in a typical show.
“The show usually starts with a game of freeze tag between the team, then for an hour we play random other games, but we invite audience members up on stage and play with them,” Morris said. “Finally, the show closes with a game called ‘Story, Story, Die’. One person from the team tells a story, and if they mess up, the audience screams ‘DIE!’ and the person is eliminated. Last man standing wins.”
The show indeed began with a game of Freeze Tag, but not the kind familiar to most. This kind of freeze tag involved two people from the improv team starting a little skit, then midway through, a person from the team yells “Freeze!” When both members are frozen, the one who yelled freeze must get into the position as the last member and create a completely new skit. This game got quite the reaction from the crowd with many laughs. This went on for about 10 minutes before the team again transitioned.
The next game was dubbed “Slo-Mo Commentator” and involved the team receiving a suggestion from the crowd, and then two members of the team performing commentary on two other members doing the skit in slow motion. One of the crowd members picked volleyball as the theme, and the team was again greeted with a roar of laughter.
The next game was called “Should have Said.” Two improv members started a skit while a third member sat off to the side. This member’s job is to make sure the skit is perfect. Say one of the members acting out the skit says something the third doesn’t like, the one off to the side says “Should have said”, and the skit needs to change the dialogue until the third member is satisfied. This was confusing to understand for many at first, but when the audience finally realized what was going on, they loved the act.
Then came “Late for work,” in which the audience has to make suggestions for why an improv member was late for work while the person being late for work is behind the curtains and cannot hear the reason. One person said that ice cubes fell into her eyes, and another said paperwork fell out of her window and she ran it over trying to get it. When the team decided, the discussion began. Three other members did charade-like movements to help the person guess why she was late for work. After about five minutes, she finally guessed the cause of her tardiness.
The next game is similar to the last game and is called the “Dating Game.” Three contestants from the improv team are selected, and the same girl from the last game must choose who to date. The twist is that the audience gets to pick the personality each of the contestants represent. The first one was Haley Morris. No, the contestant was not Morris herself, the actor represented Morris. The second was an emotion, “mad.” The third chosen was the cartoon character Garfield. In the end, she correctly guessed the personalities and picked contestant number one as her date.
The show continued with the game “Pillars,” which featured two audience members e being chosen along with two improv membersg. The improv members made a skit, but everytime they pointed at the audience member, that member would think of a word or phrase for the person to say. Two rounds of this game were conducted, each with different skits. The first was about a married couple having a honeymoon at a gas station, and the second was about a McDonald’s employee serving a customer, but in a turn of events, the customer becomes the employee.
“Four corners,” the game that followed, was a crowd favorite. This is where four improv members get in a square and each pair has to make a skit, with help from the audience, of course. If the two members faced the audience, then it was their turn to act. The skits were a couple that outwardly hated each other, but secretly loved each other; two people that think they knew about football, but didn’t; two people during the ancient Pompeii volcanic disaster; and a colorblind person getting sad about different colored food. The skits got much laughter from the crowd, and when several audience members were interviewed following the show, they all claimed this game was their favorite.
“Short, Shorter, Shortest” showcased four improv members performing skutst with suggestions from the audience, but this time they have to repeat each skit over and over again with a time limit. First it’s a minute, then 30 seconds, 15 seconds, seven seconds, three seconds and finally one second. The skit was about trick or treaters, one dressed as Thanos, one Shrek and the last as Garfield. The fourth member was the person at the door. Toward the end, the improv members being forced to rush to the door and blurt out a random word in just a single second elicited several laughs from the audience.
The final event was exactly what Morris mentioned earlier, “Story, Story, Die.” The story acted upon was about a girl with a ghost in the attic. One by one people were eliminated, and when it came down to the last two, the crowd went silent in anticipation. The final person made a mistake and it seemed like the whole theater shook when everyone yelled “DIE!” for the last time. After the final game, the entire improv team joined hands, and took a bow in front of a cheering audience as they gave a standing ovation.

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