By Elizabeth Witek, Staff Writer
The Creative Arts Council hosted their first Improv Night on Jan. 20, which inspired theater students and artists to exhibit their artistic abilities to an audience consisting of
fellow students, teachers, parents and friends.
The council, led by junior Hailey Hartnett and senior Nicole LoRusso, began planning the event earlier in the fall to provide theater students and the community the opportunity to have an entertaining night filled with performances that did not require extensive preparing.
“My goal for this was to gear it toward the students. I wanted them to have a lot of fun with the arts but not have the added pressure of memorizing a scene or song to perform,” Hartnett said.
After the attendees admired the artwork, the performers played a variety of improv games, including the Alphabet Game, Party Quirks and Blind Lines. These particular improv games required audience assistance in developing who the characters were, where the scene was meant to take place and in establishing a problem and relationship between the characters.
“I loved how the audience was able to be interactive in some of the games,” sophomore Taryn McKeever said. “Everyone reacted so positively to all of the characters, and the acts were really funny.”
Before the event ended, the audience had the opportunity to participate in a game of Party Quirks. Involving both younger children and teenager audience members with help from some experienced improv students, the last game permitted the audience to try the art of improv for themselves.
“One of the best parts of the night was definitely when the audience members played their own game of Party Quirks,” LoRusso said. “The event fostered a true appreciation for the art of performing and improv for both the audience and the performers, so watching the audience want to be even more involved in the night was truly rewarding.”
For the first time, theater students had the chance to employ the skills they have learned in theater classes, taught by Ellen Phillips, in front of an audience not solely comprised of fellow students. While this did add a different level of pressure on the performers, they did not let it affect their performances.
“I loved that students were able to utilize their skills they received from classes with Mrs. Phillips,” freshman Madeleine Hicks said. “We were able to experience what it was like to have a live audience other than our classmates, and it went well. Parents were laughing just as much as my friends were!”