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Improv Troupe prepares for Winter Showcase

Mya Lysne, Read and Wach Team Video Editor

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Alternative Copy Story and Photos by Hannah Sween

When Stillwater students think of the holiday season, many things come to mind: chestnuts roasting on an open fire, snow, Christmas parties, more snow, peppermint mochas and hot chocolate. However, the students involved with Stillwater’s improv troupe “The Jockeys of Comedy” do not have time to think about these things, because they have already started getting prepared for the Winter Improv Showcase.

Improvisational Theater is the art of acting and performing a scene on the spot, without any previous preparation. Many popular examples of improv exist on TV, such as “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?”  and various components of NBC’s iconic “Saturday Night Live”.

Junior Wyatt Ecker has been involved with improv for just two seasons, and he enjoys it a lot. “Improv is really special [compared to] other kinds of theatre,” Ecker said. “Because in many other kinds of theatre you have a director kind of telling you how to be.”

Sophomore Elsa Persson had been involved with improvisational theatre for a while. She started out improving at HUGE Improv Theater in Minneapolis. This is her first year doing improv with Mr. Grif Sadow at Stillwater.

“I’ve had a lot more experience in long form [improv], and here we’ve only really done short form,” Persson said.

Long form improv is a type of improv that is when actors perform a whole scene using the skills they have learned and create a story. Short form is much more brief, usually focuses on one aspect of improv and is more of a warm up or exercise.

“Short form is like a Youtube skit, and long form is like a TV episode,” Persson explained.

Short form is like a Youtube skit, and long form is like a TV episode.”

— Elsa Persson

Freshman Deklan Boren is just testing the waters of improv this year. “I’ve been doing theater and drama for a while, but I’ve only been in like three plays,” Boren said. “I haven’t done very much improv in the past.”

In rehearsals, improvers do a range of activities. These activities can range from games and warm ups to long form scenes.

“One of my favorite activities is Freeze and Justify.” Ecker said. “It involved two improvers, and in any point during the scene they have going, someone who’s watching can call ‘Freeze’ and they tag someone out, take their exact body position, and continue the scene.”

The Stillwater Theatre department has been putting on improv shows for just a few years.

“Improv is weird. It’s really weird. You never know what’s going to happen, and that’s the whole point of it,” Persson explained. “It’s so fun to see the spontaneity of it and how random it is.”

The Jockeys of Comedy perform on the nights Dec. 1-2, and again in the spring. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

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About the Writer
Mya Lysne, Video Boradcast Editor

Mya is a video broadcast editor and her traditional story is A&E. Mya likes playing the guitar, music in general, making playlists, singing, cooking,...


6 Responses to “Improv Troupe prepares for Winter Showcase”

  1. Fotini Kloos on December 4th, 2017 12:45 pm

    I love the layout of Hannah’s’s alt copy! The speech bubbles are super fun! And Mya did a really great job on her story! She included a lot of informative quotes leading to an informative article of the backstage of the improv team which is also super nice for the audience!

  2. Andrew Phan on December 4th, 2017 6:21 pm

    The layout of Hannah’s alt story is visually appealing but rather than a dreadful gray background it could’ve been a more bright contrasting color showing the art of theater. This story on an improv that is actually very fun to watch is nice to see that not everything is about sports. The little slide show with show dates is a nice little bonus to the story. The quotes could’ve been a little stronger with adding in students attending the event but having theater students is also good!

  3. Madison Weispfenning on December 6th, 2017 8:35 am

    I really liked this story! I think you could explain more on some things and less on others. I feel liked you explained a few things that were minor to the story over the bigger ideas. Transitions could be a tad bit smoother, but other than that the story was very interesting.

  4. Benjamin Valerius on December 8th, 2017 5:54 pm

    I really liked the content of the story and the visuals that the alt copy provided! The quotes were good and taken from both veteran improvers and new improvers which I thought was really cool. I also enjoyed the interesting lead.

  5. Ellie Faeth on December 17th, 2017 10:14 pm

    First of all, I really enjoy the references to famous improv shows. It gives great perspective on what improv the Jockeys of Comedy do at Stillwater. Way to go on the varying ages and genders of the interviewees. Overall, nice article!

  6. Rose Deziel on December 18th, 2017 12:33 am

    Both the alt copy and the traditional story are fun to read! The alternative copy is visually pleasing because there are a lot of pictures. Also, I really liked how the story encouraged people to go see the show at the end by adding the timeline and links displaying the showtimes. Lastly, I appreciate how you interviewed students with different ranges of improv experience to get a larger spectrum of opinions.

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