By Moultrie Woodall and Janet Hrezo, Brevard Center
Friday the 13th was a lucky day after all for the Drama Club at CIP Brevard. The Drama Club was asked to perform during a potluck luncheon for students and staff. Although, the food was great, the surprise performance was fantastic!
Performing live is always exciting. The actors were nervous but ready to give their best. We decided to perform an improvisational show which is great fun for both the actors and the audience. Improv is acting without a script. Actors are given a basic structure and a set of rules but must create their own characters and dialogue. It’s challenging! Actors may know the rules of a particular improv because they’ve done it before, but the situation always changes.
We began our performance with “Questions,” where a scene is acted out and any sentence used by the actors must be a question. It’s not as easy as it sounds. The actors are given a situation, such as two people meeting at a concert or sharing a rollercoaster ride, and must interact accordingly. We followed with “Props,” where the actors must come up with new ways to use everyday objects. Here, even a toilet brush can become a sword of power. Because this improv game doesn’t require the actor to speak, it’s particularly good for actors who feel more comfortable with mime. We ended the show with “World’s Worst,” a favorite of the actors. This is an improv where the best answer is the last thing you should say or do in a given situation.
The audience response was overwhelmingly positive. Staff and students who have not seen us perform were swept away by our style and wit. But improv is more than just fun and games, it’s also a learning experience. Actors must respond quickly to rapidly changing situations while still maintaining the given structure. They also must concentrate on what’s been said by the other actors in order to keep the action moving forward. Flexibility, too, is a key element in improv. Actors need to be willing to try out new things when what they know no longer works in a particular situation. They can only do this when they cooperate and trust each other on stage and off.
Next up, we will be working on a production of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors.” Hopefully, the students will be able to apply the lessons of improv to this larger production, as well as to their daily lives. The Drama Club members are: Daniel Eakin, Jonathan Jacobson, Sarah Johnson, David Kates, Ben Kesselhaut, Brian King, Sam Kirby, Peter Snell, Valerie Stepp, Brian Stewart, Jarrett Suhr, Ashley Titone, Ian Wilson, and Moultrie Woodall.