Improv Opportunities at Milton
by Olivia Atwood on Friday, May 4th, 2012
Improv club and Improv class performances have been a higlight at Milton. I decided to go to Improv Club a couple of weeks ago. I figured that, after listening to Harry Wood’s (II) announcements, I should give it a shot. After going once, I proceeded to go every single week. I kept going because, to my surprise, it was fun.
The club begins with improv games such as “Deaf,” “Prop,” and “Freeze.” The atmosphere is laid-back, and the games are hilarious. The things people can come up with on the spot never cease to amaze. “I think the hardest thing is to come up with something in such a short amount of time— [They have] super fast minds,” awes Jazmine Alicea (II).
Last week’s Arts Night ended with a hilarious showing of Improv, from the Improv art course’s class. With several performances by a variety of people, the show was a success. What really makes improv, according to many of the viewers, is the different people who take it. “It’s this whole variety of people who can make up stuff at the drop of a hat,” a freshman girl says, “It’s hilarious because you never would have expected that.”
Natalie Solomon, a senior who performed, says that “It was a great night.” The audience definitely agreed. Emma City(II) notes that, in her mind, the most impressive part of Improv is “how people work together to come up with really funny scenes.” What makes improv so hard is that each person needs to build off the others. One of the principal rules of successful improvisation is to always say “yes.”
Saying “no” ends the scene completely, cutting off the person and throwing the plot to the sharks below. If your partner gets on one knee and says, “Will you marry me?” you can’t simply reply with “No!”, no matter how much you may want to. However, you could say “Oh, Franklin, I’d love to but…my mother told me I’m not allowed to marry my cousin.” That lifts the scene, and allows it to travel other places. Each person needs to react and respond with ease. Improv Night was a success because “Everyone did really well and worked together wonderfully,” says Natalie Solomon (I).
The Improv assemblies are always packed with people. Every year, including this one, people pile into the theatre to claim seats. The showing is always hilarious, embarrassing, and often just a little bit crude. The kids finagle the game “Freeze” to force couples to work together. “Freeze” involves two people and a random setting, such as the beach. Those two people begin a scene on a beach and try and work in as many big “physicals” as possible.
They offer to put sunscreen on one another. Then someone shouts, “Freeze!” The two on stage are frozen in their sunscreen position, and someone comes up to tap a person out. The new people must now create a scene out of the blue that’s completely different from what was going on before. In short, it’s hilarious. A personal favorite of mine took place a few years back, when Sophie Panarese led Nick Powers around a pharmacy to buy his “vitamins.” To this day, I pronounce vitamins “Vit-a-mins” with a short “I”.
A lot of people choose to take improv because of the hilarious performances they have seen or because they want to learn how to think on their feet. Creating something out of nothing is a huge draw. It’s incredible to watch stories form when nothing existed, or objects built out of the air. It’s hardest to deal with “a dud scene,” a current student explains, “When nothing is working and no one is stopping it.” But even then, the students must pull back and work it out, adding what they can to save the story. Louis McWilliams(I) sums it up by saying, “Improv: awesome time.”
So when you’re looking to find an art’s course, check out improv. And if you can’t quite fit it into your schedule, we’ll always be making things up in the studio theatre at Improv club, Fridays at 3.
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