All about Improv

Kat Pellerin, Op/Ed Editor

[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”190105700″ loop=”on” autoplay=”on” controls=”on” viewstart=”on” viewend=”on”]

Hollis Brookline’s Improv II class, instructed by choir and theater director Matthew Barbosa, put on an uproarious performance on October 14–their first show of the year. With free admission, the growing crowd of improv fans has expanded yet again. The show was a hit, sending everyone home still chuckling.

There have been many new additions to the show since last year’s Improv performances, both in cast and skits. Skits, in improv terms, are called “games.” Each game has a different set of guidelines that the cast must follow. For example, one new game Barbosa introduced on stage is called “Blues Jams.” Four members, randomly chosen by Barbosa, are sent to the music room next door to compose a blues song about a specific topic. When they returned a few games later, they had to sing it to the audience, each member with his/her own part. For those in the audience, it was fun to see peers opening themselves up in a new and relaxed way that they wouldn’t normally get to see.

As for the cast, the Improv II group includes Paige Gionet ‘17, Patrick Grimes ‘18, Will Lindamood ‘18, Delaney MacDonald ‘19, Lauren Moura ‘17, Abby Rogers ‘17, Carolyn Scalia ‘18, Emma Shultz ‘17, Joey Schunemann ‘18, Dylan Silcox ‘17, and Kiera Dean ‘19. In addition to these students, Barbosa’s Improv I class attended, and a few were called up on stage to join in on the fun.

The video accompanying this article is of another new game called “Dub.” Two cast members on each side of the stage are the voices of their accompanying counterpart in the actual scene, who must act out that which their voices say. It was a game that received a lot of laughs from the crowd.

It was heartening to learn that, to the cast, Improv is more than just a comedy show. It’s a step towards a career path, a way to unwind between a stressful schedule, an opportunity to open up and express themselves. “It’s changed my life a lot. Taking Improv for the first time last year, it really changed who I was in a good way,” said Dylan Silcox ‘17. Silcox aspires to major in theater education in college.

Barbosa, as well as the cast, highly encourage anyone and everyone to attend an Improv show at HB. The cast also thanks those who do attend regularly and are appreciative that the audience grows with each show. “If you’re having fun and you’re enjoying it, we’re doing our job the right way. So bring more people!” said Barbosa. The next show is expected to be in mid-January.


Video editing courtesy of Rachel Marquis