Back to School TheatreSports
Lampoons Classroom Clichés
My Review of Back to School TheatreSports
Big girls don’t cry-ay-ay…. unless it’s the first day of school. But, if you were fortunate like me to attend a high school where on the first day of each school year, the principal showed up in a scuba diving outfit and demonstrated his aquatic skills on stage in a canoe in the school auditorium (true story I’m afraid), well needless to say my school days were much like the insane antics at the Back To School edition of Vancouver TheatreSports.
Unlike boring debating tournaments, Back to School was a match of adolescent wits (teen acne and sarcasm included at no extra cost) and could be summarized as Alice Cooper and Marie Osmond sparring in a dark alley as the dark forces of the Goth team of Allen Morrison, Elizabeth Bowen and Amy Shostak were up against the bright sunny antics of Lauren McGibbon, Margret Nyfors and Chris Casillan aka the Glee team. Certain members of the audience were appointed as judges to rate each match and at the end of the night the team with the highest score received their coveted prize.
Well the Glee team knocked it out of the ballpark, or should I say Granville Island, when a scene in a tattoo parlour with dialogue provided by audience members, resulted in tattoos of breaching whales on a blow-hole which geographically on a human body is located … ah hum… south of the border, let’s just say. This sent the audience into fits of laughter and Taz VanRassel aka teacher and taskmaster to throw in the yellow towel for offensive and inappropriate remarks. The Goth team countered with their Shakespearean rendition of the first drunken kiss of a couple in the audience which had the audience peeing their pants, well, at least me anyway.
My personal favorite improv players were Margret Nyfors who elicited squeals of laughter with her outrageous dialogue and Allen Morrison whose moodiness and sulky ramblings gave new meaning to the term “teenage angst”. These two improv players always seem to be on the improv ball in each and every Vancouver TheatreSports event I’ve been to. But of worthy mention is Lauren McGibbon whose facial gestures and lower equine teeth bear an uncanny resemblance to comedian extraordinaire Carol Burnett – just saying.
As usual, audience participation is essential for suggestions for scenes and there’s always opportunities for five minutes of fame should you decide to volunteer to go on stage, as we saw my friend, Cathy Browne dance Gangnam style, proving that there is no age limit when it comes to dancing like a horse.
As with each Vancouver TheatreSports production, half the fun is not knowing who and what will make you to laugh so hard that you fall off your chair in fits of laughter to cause an usher to come running to help you up, only to have him fall on top of you. Oh sorry, is that just me again? No matter, the Back to School Vancouver TheatreSports will make you wish that going back to school had been this much fun.
About Back to School
September always feels like the ‘real’ New Year – summer vacation is over and it’s the start of the academic year. It doesn’t matter if you are a student or have been out of school for decades, the feeling still persists. Get your fall season off to a laughing start by joining VTS for some school-themed hilarity from September 3rd to October 6th at 7:30pm at The Improv Centre on Granville Island. Tickets start as low as $10.75 for students. Tickets: www.vtsl.com
Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTS), honours the beginning of autumn with a special improv show dedicated to school days. Back to School TheatreSports takes classic TheatreSports short form improv ‘games’ and adapts them to parody classroom clichés and cliques (some things never change). Instead of the traditional TheatreSports referee, the action will be overseen by a very stern principal. Scenarios may see a team of ‘nerds’ vie against ‘jocks’ or ‘cool kids’ against ‘academics’, for instance. Rule infractions will result in player ‘detentions.’
As in all VTS shows, the characters and action are co-developed with the audience – utilizing their suggestions to create on-the-spot, unscripted, theatrically-infused comedy. In this case, the players will be improvising using school-themed suggestions to create the scenarios – awkward first dates, trying out for the team or cramming for exams, to name a few. Regardless of whether you are/were a jock, a nerd or one of the cool kids at school, everyone will be able to relate and find something to laugh about at Back to School TheatreSports.
For more information on Vancouver TheatreSports™, please visit the following platforms:
About Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTS):
Founded in 1980, VTS has grown to become a well-respected international leader in the improv art form. Voted the ‘#1 Improv Comedy Company’ at the prestigious ‘2017 Best of Vancouver Awards’, VTS entertains more than 65,000 people per year with 12 shows per week, 52 weeks per year at its own theatre,. An intimate space located on Granville Island, The Improv Centre is a fully-licensed facility with its own , which overlooks False Creek Marina.
In addition, VTS owns and operates– an improv school which offers classes from beginner through professional level, conducts province-wide school tours, and operates – a corporate training division with a diverse portfolio of blue-chip clients.
VTS appreciates the on-going support of season sponsors: City of Vancouver, CMHC Granville Island, The Georgia Straight, and The Granville Island Hotel.