“What?” was the deal with the improv show?


Duque, 11th grade(front), Roark, 12th grade (middle) and Chavez, 12th grade (back) play Revolving Monologue where the prompt was “It happened at the circus.” Photo by: Adi De Clerck.

Olive Kranzler

Early this school year, the improv show was the first live drama production at VHS since before COVID

Over the weekend of Oct. 1 and 2, the VHS “What?” Improv Troupe put on an “awesome” show according to Lourdes Lopez, a junior and member of the troupe. “I was so excited when I heard that we had a full house! It was crazy, especially because it’s our first live performance since covid and personally I didn’t hear much promotion going on for the show,” she said. 

In an improv show, the members of the troupe play drama games and are put on the spot to use their wit and fellow members to make the audience laugh. One example of these drama games is “scripts,”  an improvised scene in which one troupe member reads lines from a random page in a script while trying to fit the other’s narrative.  

Cardenas, grade 11 (left) and Palmisano, grade 12 (right) play Song Expert with Ryan as the expert. The prompt was “Bottom of the Ocean.” Photo by: Adi De Clerck

To become a member of the troupe, students have to audition. Stefoni Rossiter, the VHS drama teacher and director of the improv troupe explained, “We had auditions after school and the students in the classes learned some of the improv games. The [after school] auditions are open to the general population of Ventura High so people that come in that haven’t taken drama are slightly at a disadvantage because they might not know some of the games, but they can pick it up pretty quick.” 

“My favorite part about being in the troupe has been most definitely meeting and becoming friends with the other troupe members,” said Lopez. “I first learned about the troupe in my freshman year, and I tried out and didn’t get in. Then when I heard of tryouts this year, I thought it would be pretty fun and seeing as I didn’t get in my freshman year, I thought I’d go have fun and hope for the best.”

Lopez, 12th grade (left) and Cardenas, 11th grade (right) play Park Bench, a game in which one troupe member attempts to weird out the other in order to get them off the bench. Photo by: Adi De Clerck

Due to COVID-19, the troupe had to undergo some modifications from previous performances. Before COVID-19, the audience would be more involved, sitting on the big stage in little table groups setting the atmosphere in past years. The audience would have been the ones providing prompts and line suggestions to the troupe. This year, the show had to be relocated to the little stage to maintain some social distancing. “We are doing a new format for the improv show to make sure that we can follow covid protocol and maintain some sense of social distancing. It is a different experience for us,” said Rossiter. 

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the troupe managed to pull off the improv show with “flair,” as Lopez said, “I’m so proud of everyone in our troupe and our tech crew. I think we did an amazing job and I’m already pumped for the next show. It was awesome!” 

“If you’ve never gone to an improv show, definitely make time for one in the future. I think we have an excellent troupe and tech crew, so bring your friends and family along. With Ms. Rossiter directing, you are sure to have a blast,” said Lopez. 

Rossiter wanted students to know that, “We have plenty more opportunities to support the drama department or to be involved. If they have any questions, they can listen to the bulletin or come and talk to me.”