Ladysmith Secondary School students present their spy-themed improv show

Improv shows starts Dec. 4

It may be one of the longest-running theatrical shows in our area. It’s definitely one of the most playful.

It may be one of the longest-running theatrical shows in our area. It’s definitely one of the most playful.

It’s Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS)’s annual improv show. The 15th annual show, Mission Improvable, runs Dec. 4-6 and 11-13 at the school.

About 50 students are in the show.

Every year, the students are challenged to come up with a theme, and Jennifer Lanbie chose this year’s spy theme. Lanbie is emceeing the show and also stage-managing the show with Lauren Bush.

“Improvised theatre and the way we practise it is storytelling; it’s  improv for the purpose of storytelling rather than exploring a character,” explained drama teacher Bill Taylor. “One of the guiding principles is you say yes to offers from your teammates. The stories are not pre-planned; they evolve in the moment based on audience participation and the team. We take much of our guidance from the Canada Improv Games, which we also participate in.”

The show features students from Grade 7-12 who are doing everything from sound and lighting to choreography and set painting.

“For me, this theatre is an educational theatre, so in the end, it’s important to me that the students are really engaged in the process of creation,” said Taylor.

The shows will feature musical cameos by LSS alumni, including Ryan McMahon, The Wild Romantics, Kerry Ryan, David Bitonti and Stephanie Humphreys.

“It’s a really nice place to come and support our youth as they engage in a very theatrical process,” said Taylor. “In the past, people have found it very playful and funny and good for all age groups. There’s a real community feel.”

Parents Aisha Alsop and Kimberley O’Donnell have been volunteering to help with the shows, as has Natasha Sharpe.

The shows take place Dec. 4, 5 and 6 and Dec. 11, 12 and 13 at LSS. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and shows start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $7 for students and seniors and $10 for adults, and the price of admission includes pie and coffee or tea. Tickets are available at Salamander Books and at LSS.