ComedySportz returns after low participation during remote learning

October 28, 2021 — by Michael Fok and Avani Kongetira
The improvisation humor program plans to put on holiday-themed teacher vs. student shows and bring in professional training.

In September 2020, Class of 2021 alumnus and then ComedySportz captain Stephen Ludwig officially called off meetings for the rest of the year. Running the team without a co-captain and with only two people still regularly attending meetings, he decided the 2020-21 season of ComedySportz was a washout.

Despite last year’s difficulties, however, passionate students have reunited for the 2021-22 season and are restarting the program. The team has their first performance set for Oct. 29, with seniors Gianna Cagliostro and LJ Trueba as captains.

The team is planning to host in-person holiday-based shows along with light-hearted student vs. teacher games. They normally perform in the Thermond Drama Center (TDC), but are hoping to be able to hold the student vs. teacher games in the McAfee Center. Practices, which have already begun, take place weekly during lunch in the TDC. 

ComedySportz is an intense game that requires a plethora of skills and the proficiency to draw on those at a moment’s notice. To help students build up those skills, drama club adviser and head of the ComedySportz program Benjamin Brotzman is planning to bring in professionals to coach students on their performances.

“This program requires training,” he said. “Team members must learn to play the many games and play them often to improve their timing, quick thinking and teamwork.”

Cagliostro said that she’s focusing on sorting members based on their strengths and weaknesses in certain areas in order to create balanced teams. The main aspects of ComedySportz include being quick to improvise and keeping the audience engaged.

For Cagliostro, ComedySportz allows her to be a part of a close-knit team with healthy competition. As a team member, she enjoyed watching the games because of the cheerful atmosphere.

“I’ve always had a love for improv and I personally love the feeling of adrenaline when I’m onstage,” she said.