Puce Tomato Gods, and Killer Cats come to Westfield High.

by Staff writer Andru Valpy

The Westfield High School Improv Comedy Club has started again with a huge bang and a record amount of people with a lot of laughs to be shared.

Some of these laughs were shared on Tuesday November 13, when Phantom Sheep Productions teamed up with the Improv club to help bring out the true comedian in all of the members attending. Eric Boucher, Jeff Tingley and Kate Chaconas taught the basics of improv through various warm up exercises and numerous games that helped members to feel comfortable being loud and expressive to present a point. "Its always a great opportunity for our troupe to further interest in this art form" said co-founding member and workshop instructor Eric Boucher. "The challenge of quick thinking and realizing 'truth in comedy' are great skills to develop for anyone.”
  The first thing that was done was warming up. Exercises such as stretching and jumping that help loosen mussels needed to jump around. Another exercise that was used was a version of the name game that helped us feel comfortable with each other. This is an important factor when it comes to improv, since you have to feel comfortable working with a partner you may not have worked with in the past. 
  After that, it came down to the heart and soul of improv, literally. Two rubber balls were used in this game to make members think quickly. One ball represented the heart of improv and was passed in a constant tempo around the circle repetitively. The other ball was used to represent the soul of improv, and was tossed to random members to get them to accept change quickly and react to it. 
  The skills learned earlier were then applied to play a game called “what are you doing?” A game where what looks like an everyday event is built into a comedy scene. For example, Jeff Tingly was combing his hair when Kate Chaconas asked, “What are you doing?” Jeff replied with another action, and Kate built on it. This game was extremely funny at times. A memorable part is when senior Steve Pierce was asked what he was doing and he replied with “tomatoing” which, as we all know, is not a word or an action, which made it amusing. Another instance is when Senior Emily Skrodzki was asked what she was doing and she replied with the action of killing a cow, which later in the scene was somehow turned into killing a cat. From then on, cats were a running joke for the group to use.

When the entire group had gone twice, a new game was introduced to a game called freeze tag, which later proved to be the groups’ favorite…freeze tag. This game was a situational game where two people would jump into a scene based on the previous groups actions. For example, Freshman Brad Garvey was on the ground looking at the carpet when someone jumped in for Brads previous partner. When Brad started it out, he mentioned that the jewel of Afghanistan was more of a puce color, kind of like the carpet. Later on in the skit, someone had turned Steve Pierces tomatoing joke into the puce tomato gods and the laughter began to get louder.

The games continued with the story game, where the whole group is lined up and told a story using little or few words. The story was based on the story of Cinderella, but was later transformed into Goldey locks and the three bears and a story about a member’s mother. The whole story was hilarious and all of the running jokes were mentioned numerous times, and somehow never got old.

Overall, the group got to know each other better, and felt comfortable working with themselves and each other. They also learned how to think faster on their feet and on their thinking. All of these skills will be applied in future skits and performances throughout the year.

The Improv group meets every Tuesday, and usually you can walk by the room and drop in to watch or to find out what the strange noises that you sometimes hear are. The group hopes to put together a show in the spring for anyone to see. If you are interested in joining, or need any more information talk to president Brandon Raymond or Vice President Andru Valpy. The Group meets in room two twenty eight and usually runs from two o’clock to three o’clock. New members are always welcome to join the group no matter what there history with improv or theater is.

Phantom Sheep Productions is available for hire and come highly recommended. Should you need any more information feel free to contact them at info@phantomsheep.com or visit there website at http://www.phantomsheep.com

Thank you to WHS for having us and The Bomber Blaze staff for the copies of this article!
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