Ladysmith Secondary School’s improv team placed fourth at the Canadian Improv Games — a national competition for improv programs in hundreds of schools across Canada.
Last year, the LSS improv team had a shot to compete at CIG in Ottawa after winning in the wildcard round but that trip was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, LSS competed online. Students performed their scenes as a group in person in front of a camera that live-streamed their performance to an online audience, judges and their competitors.
Grade 12 student, Ally Segreto said that the LSS team was well prepared for the online competition because they organized their own live-stream performance back in March.
“After performing for the community in front of the camera with our live-stream our entire team — both senior and junior — we were all more used to being in front of the camera and realizing things like the camera can only see me if I go this far onto the stage,” she said.
Students wore masks during their performance, which forced them to focus on enunciating their words and projecting their dialogue.
Segreto said that it was incredible to compete at CIG in her graduating year and looks forward to watching future LSS improv teams compete at the national level.
For Grade 11 student Hailey Bohmer, it was her first time competing at CIG. She said that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the experience was well worthwhile.
“We pushed ourselves to come to practice every day even though we weren’t sure if we’d be doing shows,” Bohmer said.
Bohmer is hopeful that access to vaccines for teens will allow CIG to go ahead in person next year. Or at the very least, allow the LSS improv team to host in-person performances for the community.
“It all depends on how everything pans out, but my hope is that if we continue at the same level we are now, we could go to Ottawa. Going in person would be so much fun. I love my team with all my heart, spending a weekend there would be so great — not even just for improv, but to bond with my team would be so much fun.”
LSS theatre teacher William Taylor says he’s proud of the LSS improv team for their efforts.
“It’s a great reminder that our improv program here in Ladysmith is strong and has been for a number of years now,” he said. “What I love about this year is we were on equal footing with other teams across Canada and did very well.”
“That’s a testament to our community, to our improvisers, to staff at the high school, and all the support we’ve had over the years.”
LSS improv has wrapped up for the year but improvisers will be back in action for the 2021/2022 school year.