ComedySportz practices begin after recruitment

October 15, 2018 — by Marisa Kingsley and Jessica Wang

ComedySportz is back, and ready to bring some laughs!

Audience members in the Thermond Drama Center gasp for air as they laugh at the members of the ComedySportz team play a game of “What Are You Doing?” This is a charade like game where members of opposing teams must act out the same action, but each be doing something completely different and sometimes bizarre.

This is just one of the many games an audience member might see during a performance of ComedySportz.

Members of the SHS team had their first performance of the school year in the Thermond Drama Center on Sept. 14.

In each performance, the members split into two teams which compete against each other in improv comedy in a series of matches, judged by a member of ComedySportz San Jose.

The program is student run with the exception of the team adviser, drama teacher Sarah Thermond, who may help with the audition process if the captains have trouble choosing between two or three members to add on to the team.

Last year, the team had 10 members, but because of graduation, more spaces have opened up.  Team captain junior Elodie Torres and co-captain junior Trent Glenn were scheduled to hold auditions on Oct. 18 as they try to find additional members.

The auditions process just involves playing some scene games and showing us what you can do,” Torres said. “You don’t have to be an improv genius — I certainly wasn’t when I joined — but we look for enthusiasm and overall potential.”

Last semester, a teacher vs. student match was held for the first time, and the team plans to make this event an annual tradition. Torres also plans to organize more group activities outside of practices to encourage team bonding.

The team practices every Friday during lunch and about once a month on Saturday afternoons, and matches are usually held every two to three months. The next show is scheduled for Dec. 7 in the Thermond Drama Center.

Similar to regular improv, each match requires audience participation. Audience members give scene suggestions and are the scorekeepers for each game. At the end of each game, points are awarded to the team that receives the loudest and most enthusiastic applause.

The school team pays for a membership with the official ComedySportz group in San Jose to be a part of its high school league.

ComedySportz San Jose began the league to encourage students in theater programs to learn and polish their skills in improv. The league gives members of the team the opportunity to attend workshops, work with professionals and attend an annual area-wide tournament for high schools.

“We do cover improv a lot, especially in the Drama 1 curriculum so it’s really nice to be able to have a sort of culminating performance that gets to share that element of performance art which is based on on-the-spot creativity and comedy,” Thermond said. “It’s also really fun for audience members because you don’t have to know anything about it to have a good time.”

Current Comedy Sportz team members are juniors Eman Ahmad, Dasha Efimov, Trent Glenn, Maya Gonder, Ritika Kuppam, Julia Trueba and Elodie Torres; senior Raghav Malaviya and Isaiah Vivero.