In the intimate Black Box Theater at CHS, Improv! sets the scene for what is an engaging and quick-thinking hour long show. The performance resembles a cross between acting and a sports match. Two teams, led by Joseph Seirras (CHS ’20) as captain of the Cats and Spencer Gerber (CHS ’20) captaining the Dogs, provided a close contest with the audience voting between rounds.
One appeal of the performance is that it does not stay in a constant “versus” format, with the Cat team borrowing Gerber for a round and the final game having each actor earning points individually for their team. Being able to showcase their talents with one another instead of consistently against each other brings a family feel to the show. The constant flow of easy to understand games, such as Blind Freeze Tag (two team members are performing a scene and the third is facing toward the back, when he or she says “freeze,” that person turns around and takes the place of one of the first two and creates a new scene) and 185 X’s Walk into a Bar (the audience tells the teams what X is, i.e. coal miner, doctor, ant eater and the actors quickly must make up a joke), is able to capture and engage the audience.
CoSA Tech student, Claire Hurd, was in the crowd and shared, “they are doing really good!” This was the 4th Improv! show CoSA has put on this year with the remaining shows on April 12 and May 10. Hurd explained that one of the reasons she enjoys Improv! is that it rotates through students, so you can see new faces every time. This cast, in particular, seemed like a privilege to watch with Seirras, who helped Coronado High School claim victory in the 2018 Improv Tournament, as a front man.
The game that stands out the most is “Town Council” where the actors infiltrate the audience and are on sides of a town debate. The audience provided the topic of bike lanes for each team to deliberate from their characters’ point of view. Geber plopped himself on the seat next to mine where he called for the side of adding bike lanes and the rest of the actors voiced their character’s opinions in the shape of longtime residents, school teachers, soccer moms, and the head scratching town smoker. Bringing a lighthearted spirit to relevant issues in Coronado was both heart warming and even more humorous.
Even though the Black Box Theater provides a more casual environment than the Main Stage, and the content itself was certainly more relaxed than a scripted performance, the actors were as professional had they been on a large stage. Gerber’s witty responses provided ample humor, but it was his body language that made him convincing in every scene. Maya Vidal also stole the stage with her purpose and pronunciation in scenes; it would be easy to use a more informal tone in the Black Box Theater but her commitment to the acting made her seem empowered every time she spoke. The audience whooped, hollered, and stomped their feet with delight at all of the actors’ performances and made it clear that they would be back again next month to see what a new cast would bring.
Improv! Cats Vs. Dog cast included: Joseph Sierras, Spencer Gerber, Maya Vidal, Tereza Camisa, Zoe Hosley, and Julio Cedillo
National Comedy Theater who works with Coronado High School also puts on a number of workshops for teens and adults. You can learn about their popular teen summer camp here. If you are interested in learning more about National Comedy Theatre visit their website here.