Improve Your Lives with a Little Improv


Photo by Jay Thompson

From left to right: James Davies, Brandon Weeks, Brittany James, Emily Hill, MJ Stowell, Aerin Dyal, Cale Montoya, Bethany Nicholls, Jayven Thompson, Brian Ferguson, Emily Hill, John Evershed, Addilyn Harker, Cade Poulter

This year has been hard for everyone, and the theatre department has had to take a lot of steps to try to make their events as safe as possible for everyone. They limited seating and had fewer shows throughout the year. But in the shows they were able to hold, their only goal during the show was to bring joy to everyone in the room and to have fun.

According to Cale Montoya, co-captain of the improv team one of the things they try to remember is to “laugh with the people and for the people.” He said it’s not about them as the performers; it’s about the audience having a good time.

Brittany James and Cale Montoya, the captains of the team, and the entire team have done a tremendous job with everything they have. Due to COVID-19, they haven’t been able to have as many shows as they usually do. So far this year, they have only had three shows. They were planning to do a Pay-to-Play, but it got cancelled due to complications with True Blue. But they are looking forward to their last show, which is coming up very soon.

 Here’s a little background on improv: Every show has a theme, and so far, this year they have had a tie dye, pajama, and 80s themes. And on top of that they made their shows free, and I’m sure no one would complain about the opportunity to see a free show. This year is coming to an end but you can enjoy one last laugh with the improv team this coming Thursday, May 13.

I personally didn’t know how they would prepare for an improv show, after all the whole point of improv is just to wing everything, right? According to James Davies, a member on the improv team, they “just joke around and yell at each other for 30 minutes before doing it on stage.” Sometimes they will gather around in a circle and do some warm ups if they are feeling that they need to wake up and focus more. 

Warm ups could include what Montoya and Jayven Thompson describe as “energy games,” like one that they called Igazimba, which involves dancing which speeds up until it’s so fast they can barely keep up. 

After shows, they started a tradition this year of taking a team selfie on the ledge of the retaining wall outside the band room, according to Montoya. 

Then they all hang out and share some more laughs over burgers before returning home. “Really we could just be a disruptive burger eating club and I’d be fine with it,” says Davies. 

Thompson shared that something he loves about improv is that they are “just a bunch of friends having fun on stage.” 

Montoya agreed that the best part of improv is the bond they share. He and James as captains were responsible to let team members know that they had made the team. He said they were all “stoked and dumbfounded” when they found out that they made the team. Montoya added that when they first made those calls, “They didn’t know it, and we didn’t know it, but now we’re family.”