Wicked Sketchy Leaves Audiences Laughing
by Hannah Nigro on Friday, May 16th, 2014
Last week, a talented cast brought its own version of Saturday Night Live to Milton. This spring’s 1212 play, Wicked Sketchy, showcased the cast’s ability to not only act, but also write its own sketches. The 1212 plays have been a Milton tradition for about 30 years, performed originally in room 1212 on the second floor of Warren Hall. When room 1212 was taken down to construct new English classrooms, the 1212 production moved to its current location in Wigg Hall. Actors of these productions generally have very little time to rehearse (about a month), but their time was especially limited in this play since the actors also needed to write the sketches before performing them. Screenwriting gave the cast an additional tie to the show and a greater sense of pride, as many actors felt they were creating something of their own.
Jack Urquhart (I), Daisy Walker (I), and Jake Daniels (II) served as the main writers for the 1212, and spent a large portion of their time with the other members of the cast, pitching random ideas that would later take on a life of their own in the form of hilarious sketches. What would begin as just an idea would develop through the actual writing process, tossed around through countless editing stages, until they reached the stage. The ideas stemmed mostly from the cast’s real life experiences and observations of other people.
Of the sketches that were performed, each member of the audience had a different favorite. Across the cast, the “Couche Shuffle” sketch seemed to be the most anticipated and most rewarding when seen brought to life on stage. Mack Makishima (III) described the sketch as being fun to write because “tons of great jokes sprung easily.” Jake Daniels (II) said that, during the editing process, there was a heightened excitement about it, and when “[they] finally got to see Urq all dressed up, [the cast] was all laughing for about 10 minutes.”
A crowd favorite was the sketch “Triple J”, in which a gang member, who was also a puppet, showed up, intimidated the other gang members, and, by the end of the sketch, was shot and killed. The puppet, played by Makishima’s hand, started bleeding, causing an eruption of laughter from the audience upon seeing the absurdity of the fake blood on the actor’s hand. “12 Unnecessarily Angry Men” was also an enjoyable sketch to view, as it featured the entire cast, while the other sketches had only about three or four actors. Seeing the entire cast wrapped up into one sketch was impressive, as they worked just as well in larger numbers as they did in smaller ones.
The cast itself gelled together quite nicely, and, under the little time preparation that it had, was remarkably cohesive. Alex Gistis (III) stated that she “had so much fun with everyone in it, and made lots of friends across grades.” Makishima claims that it was easy to joke around with each other and act as if they had known each other forever, perhaps due to the fact that “[they] were all leaving themselves vulnerable and exposed through the sketch writing process, which made them have a heightened respect for each other.” Members of the cast continued to celebrate their new bonds as well as the actual completion of the project after the last show with pizza, cookies, and the blasting of the song “Glamazon”, the unofficial theme song of the show.
Gabrielle Bower (III) echoed the sentiments of the entire audience, saying that she “loved the idea of different short comedy sketches.” All who attended seemed very pleased with the performance, causing a desire for this show, or a similar type of show, to become an annual event.
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