By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Riding high from their victory in the 2018 Improv Madness competition and being recognized by the Glendale Unified School District board of education, the champion Crescenta Valley High School ComedySportz team took the stage at the school’s Underground Theatre on May 11 for the varsity seniors’ match. The match was the last high school performance for the seniors who walked across a different stage yesterday – the one set up for graduation on Osborne Field at the high school.
ComedySportz is a team improvisational competition with rules similar to conventional sports including an official referee and coach, Jennifer Bascom. Bascom oversaw the performers and made sure to call any fouls that may have occurred. These include the “brown bag,” which occurs when a player utters anything that is deemed in poor taste. Offenders then have a brown paper bag placed on their heads for the duration of that game. The “groaner” is called when a player causes the audience to groan in reaction to a play. The offender must then stand before the audience to beg forgiveness.
After a performance filled with laughs (and only a few fouls), the senior team members reflected on how their years on ComedySportz helped them grow. Teamwork was cited repeatedly as a key component.
Emily Perkins is not only on the ComedySportz team but is also on the school’s track and field team. She noted that there are similarities between the improvisational performances and traditional track and field competition but also some major differences.
“In ComedySportz, the players are looking out for each other,” Perkins said. “It’s like having a safety net.”
Other players echoed her sentiment saying that if team members are scrambling during a competition, in ComedySportz another player can swoop in to help them out – which can also improve the sketch.
Because ComedySportz is improvisational and interactive, there are few ways to prepare for a performance. Though the games played every week may be the same, what direction they take will vary depending on the audience’s input, ensuring a spontaneous event that keeps players and audiences on their toes.
For more information on ComedySportz High School League at Crescenta Valley High School, contact Gavin Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Steve GOLDSWORTHY