Ladysmith Secondary School vying for Vancouver Island improv championship

Ladysmith's senior improv team is competing for a chance to advance to the nationals in Ottawa.

The Ladysmith Secondary School senior improv team will be on the scene this weekend at the Canadian Improv Games Vancouver Island finals to vie for a chance to advance to the nationals in Ottawa.

The team advanced to the Island finals after finishing second at the South Island Cup Jan. 13-15 in Esquimalt. The team competed against five other troupes and missed out on first place by one point against Victoria High School.

Rachelle Younie, a Grade 11 student, said she and her teammates were pleased with the outcome.

“It showed how much competition we have this year, and it’s pretty exciting,” she said. “All of the other schools are so talented, and it feels really cool to see all these other people who do the exact same thing as you and they’re so good too.”

Improv is the art of spontaneously developing scenes on stage by improvising.

“It’s kind of crazy; you don’t have time to think,” Younie said. “You have to have a lot of trust in yourself and your teammates, that what you’re doing is going to help the scene go forward. It’s not like a play where you can prepare.”

The South Island finals provided a great opportunity for the LSS teams to harvest ideas and examine the dynamics and structure of other teams, Younie said.

While the senior team clinched second place, the two junior teams who participated placed second and fourth.

The Vancouver Island improv games will be held Feb. 3-5. The second-place junior team will advance to the tournament, but only senior teams can compete for a shot at the nationals.

With such close competition, the pressure is on, but for the senior team, whose Grade 12 members will not return next year, the focus is on fun.

“We got the opportunity to go [to nationals] last year, so we all feel privileged to have gotten that opportunity,” Younie said. “Everyone’s comfortable with going there not really worrying about the whole competition aspect and focussing on enjoying the time with the other teams and performing.

“No matter what happens, we know we’re going to have a lot of fun.”