Wilcox Thespian Club students are funny, and to showcase their comical side, while raising much-needed funds for an upcoming trip to the California State Thespian Festival, the actors held an Improv Night on March 14.
“This year we’re taking 11 or 12 on the trip,” said Marisa Whitmore, who is co-directing the Wilcox State Company’s upcoming performance of Alice in Wonderland with Improv Night host, Dylan Moore. “It’s a couple of days over the weekend. We leave on a Thursday and come back Sunday. There are workshops and events and you and perform and compete and it’s a really fun time, but it’s expensive. We’d like to be able to afford to do that so we do this as a fundraiser.”
Twelve actors participated in 10 games, many of which were borrowed from ComedySportz and “Whose Line is it Anyway?” “I think my favorite game is ‘Replay at Bernie’s,'” said Whitmore. “It’s kind of inspired by the movie ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ where they have a scene and everyone does their part … Then the audience picks who dies – one of the people has to die. Then the rest of the cast has to drag them around and say their lines for them. Each round they keep having one person die until there’s one person on the stage trying to manage everybody. It’s really funny.”
Mel “Merl” Kent ended up being the last woman standing. She hilariously carried around her co-actors, Elijah “Not a Christmast Tree” Carlson, Kyle “Purtle” Plottel, and Hagen “Das” Hildebrandt. While Whitmore’s ‘Replay at Bernie’s’ choice tickled the audience’s funny bone, two of the biggest laughs came during “Advice.”
When asked about kleptomania, Aiden “Yes” Turner, responded by saying, “you can never tell them a joke, because they’ll take everything…literally.” With his impeccable timing, a response that would normally earn groans, received a hearty laugh. And, when someone in the audience said, “I think my dog is trying to kill me,” Plottel quickly quipped, “are you sure he’s not a cat?”
Also receiving giggles was “Forward/Reverse” where Moore had the ultimate power. As Kent and Celindrea “What” Debuck acted out a scene, Moore simply said “reverse” to require them to repeat their last action, or “forward” to progress the game. With Kent instructed to act like a banana, and Debuck a rabbit, Moore repeatedly had Kent rolling across the stage and Debuck peeling the skin off her tasty partner.
“We had a lot of fun and I’m really proud of these guys,” said Whitmore. “They’ve been working really hard.”
The Wilcox Thespian Club has almost obtained the necessary funds to attend the festival, which will be held March 28-30 in Upland, Calif. Those interested in donating can send checks to Wilcox High School with Thespian Club written in the memo. Additionally, the Wilcox Stage Company will perform Alice in Wonderland May 8-9 and 16-17 at 7 p.m.