The audience can suggest something as simple as a grapefruit, or a job or place name and the students creating theatre on stage have to be ready in three, two, one… and scene.
These are the kinds of cues École Secondaire Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School Improvisation students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 learn, to create theatre without script.
The students use these skills as part of the Canadian Improv Games (CIG) and the Nosebowl High School Theatresports extracurricular teams.
Recently both teams won silver medals at the Wildfire Improv Festival in Edmonton, a regional competition.
The CIG team was also named top six finalists in Canada, out of about 40 teams competing across the country, in a separate online competition.
However, because the team didn’t win the top spot in the online competition, students won’t be able to compete in the four-day National Tournament & Festival in Ottawa in April.
But the CIG team is hoping to attend the workshops at the national festival.
The team is aiming to raise $10,000 to cover airfare, accommodation, transportation and festival registration for the nine students attending.
Tara Koett, a theatre arts teacher at Lindsay Thurber, said the students can network with improvisers from across the country, watch them in action and participate in workshops.
“They can just soak up a whole bunch of learning that they can come back and teach others,” she said.
To help them with fundraising, the team has a Go Fund Me page asking for donations. As of Monday, the team raised close to $1,500.
To make a donation visit gofundme.com/help-send-thurber-improv-to-ottawa.