By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Improv Night, improvisational comedy open to the public, will be at the performing arts center/auditorium at the high school, 304 E. Park Ave.
Admission, starting at 6:30 p.m., is by donation. Light snacks will be available for sale during intermission.
Audience participation is expected, and the unscripted event will be rated PG, said Megan Mundy, president of the thespian society.
Not only will audience members have the chance to offer scenarios for the thespians to enact, but some will be invited on stage to become part of the show, Mundy said.
Younger audience members, especially elementary and middle school students, are particularly welcome, said Genna Birch, vice president of the club.
“They are our future cast members,” she said.
The club is dominated by high school juniors and a few seniors, with only three freshmen and sophomores among the group.
Club members said they are hoping to help develop an acting bug in future high schools students so they can take their place on the stage when they graduate next year.
The night's acts will include “tag,” in which two improv cast members are given a situation, and other members can “tag” into the situation to add their own twists or completely change it.
Also planned is “park bench,” which begins with a cast member on a bench confronted with a situation in the form of whatever the next cast member chooses.
How do actors rehearse for improv?
“You don't,” cast member Emma Szczepczynski said. “You play the scenes and get ideas.”
Wednesday's “rehearsal” included 12 cast members who waltzed around the stage taking dance “lessons,” sibling-rival astronauts fighting in space and a heartfelt proposal for marriage on a park bench that was complicated by mistaken identity.
There are no sets, except for chairs, so the scenes rely entirely on the actor-comedians' ability to convey not only their character and situation but their surroundings.
It has been many years since the thespian society has produced an improv night, said Birch.
The students' past two productions in 2013 were a pair of student-written one-act plays and a performance of Shakespeare's “Macbeth,” which had more traditional rehearsals.
Some of those ideas might get used later — if the situation comes up, she said.
Cast members are seniors Megan Mundy, Birch and Robert Sampson; juniors Leah Marsh, Katherine Methner, McKenna Thompson, Katie Bowes, Zoe Bozich, Kayla LaFritz and Mary Dawson; sophomore Noah Merideth; and freshmen Tavin Dotson and Emma.
The thespian society is advised by PAHS teacher Steve Zarit.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.