Laugh through the masks, and feel good doing so

The+improv+troupes+smiles+can+be+seen+through+the+mask+as+they+pose+for+the+camera+at+their+Senior+Show+last+May.+

The improv troupe’s smiles can be seen through the mask as they pose for the camera at their Senior Show last May.

Ishika Mishra

Palatine High School’s improv troupe has been working hard to make others smile through the mask. On Jan 15th at 7 PM, they will push that passion towards raising money for pediatric disease research hospital, St. Jude.

Improv shows have a special format in which the improvisers play games to create comical scenes for the audience.This lets the audience also participate in the show.

“All that we really need from [the audience] are suggestions to help us start our scenes,” Improv club coach and PHS English teacher, Sarah Dyson said. “Some suggestions will be collected electronically at the beginning of the show with the use of a QR code, but others will be collected during the show by asking the audience.”

Mask wearing has been testing the skills of the improvisers.

“Masks have changed our practices a bit because it’s harder to speak clearly with the mask on,” junior on Improv, Gillian Mccready said. “Now, we work on enunciating a ton and facial expressions that can be seen with the mask on.”

The troupe members work extra on projection, because improv traditionally doesn’t use face microphones. Additionally, improvised comedy relies heavily on nonverbal cues and facial timing.

“With masks, some of those nonverbal cues are lost, so our cast has been practicing using their eyes and bodies to communicate more this year,” Dyson said.

Practicing over the hurdles has brought the improvisers together, into a cohesive comedy core.

“My favorite part about being in improv is getting to perform with friends,” Mccready said.
“Everyone puts a lot of effort in and our cast is very funny, so we get a lot of laughs. It really feels like a team and a community.”

Now they aim to use their skills to make a difference.

“It’s been a great experience being a part of the St Jude Leadership Society,” Mccready said. “Helping fundraise for St. Jude really makes a difference and I’m very thankful to be a part of this!

The show will be taking place in the student cafeteria this Saturday. The actual ticket price is free, but the troupe will be asking for donations. Improv practices are in the media center cafe from 3:30 to 5:00 PM every Thursday in the media center cafe, and no experience is necessary to join.