Ladysmith Secondary’s improv team shined bright on the national stage.
The team came in eighth place, and when you consider more than 300 teams took part, coach William Taylor said eight is just great.
“It was a very busy week,” said Taylor. “It is very overwhelming to go to see all the things you read about in your textbook.”
Taylor said it wasn’t all about the competition. While in the nation’s capital, the students had the chance to visit the Parliament buildings, the National Art Gallery and the Museum of Civilization.
The team was so close to making the final cut, they could taste it, said Taylor, but noted it was still a great growing experience.
The top five were selected for the final.
“It was a great showing for us.”
Taylor said there was a structure to the finals.
The games are standard across Canada and the students are judged on different skills in their performance.
The students took part in four, four minute performances with their totals added up to tally their final score.
“There’s five different events.”
The teams had to ask for suggestions from the audience to complete their events.
“People can see you are making it up on the spot and not pre-planning,” said Taylor.
Those five events include;The life event, where performers were required to act out a sincere moment;
In the story portion, the students were responsible for narrating a complete story in four minutes;
For the character section, performers had to create an original character;
For theme, the team had to explore a theme and;
In style, the team had to carry out a performance in a specific style, like western.
There were also several workshops for students to take part in.
The students will also be able to teach their skills to the next swath of drama students.
Taylor said only one of the students on the team is graduating this year, so there is a strong team to work with next year.
The school runs improv workshops at the beginning of the school year so everyone has a chance to try it out.
The competition team is picked from there.
The game of improv has a lot to teach students, noted Taylor, as they are forced to think quickly, live in the moment and make the best of any situation given to them.
The ‘Golden Rule of Improv,’ said Taylor, is accept offers.
“So when someone brings you an offer … accept it and add to it. The idea is to make your partner look good.
“It’s pretty fantastic.”