Shakespearean Improv

Time to Brag

Sometimes there are days where obstacles are omnipresent and it’s a struggle to control the outcome of even basic plans (those days are called “days”). And then there are days like today when things go so well that you have to brag, or blog, about it.

Make hay

Today was a 2-hour early release day in observance of the end of the first quarter (or to give everyone extra time to prepare for the Herndon/South Lakes football game). On a day like today, gathering kids after school for a 3-hour run-through is usually an absolutely perfect way to destroy all the momentum of the rehearsal process and effectively turn the actors against you. But when you have a week until the show opens, and you have to do a full run through with both casts before tech week, you call that rehearsal and roll with the risks.

The risks that pay dividends

The risks were well worth it. The ensemble showed a tremendous amount of energy in warmups, and that energy carried into the run-through. This has been a challenging week (which week hasn’t?) in the process, and the anxiety-inducing end of the quarter grades don’t help, but there’s a recurring theme of perseverance that I just can’t ignore. Twelfth Night contains a thematic thread of survival against the odds (a thread I haven’t really tapped into in a major way) and it seems that the cast has really taken that theme to heart.

A snapshot from today’s run-through

Shakespeare and Improv: A winning combination 

After today’s successful run-through, HHS Theatre sent its improv team to Mount Vernon HS for the first countywide improv competition of the year. Our improv team has been practicing weekly for these competitions, and tonight it showed. Not only did the team put forward a great effort after most of them had been pouring their hearts out in Twelfth Night rehearsals, but they won the whole darn competition! 

This team brought the heat!

I could not be more proud of the team, and more grateful for the dedication of the team’s captains who have approached this year with a sense of purpose and leadership. I also cannot help but wonder if there’s a positive relationship between their work on a Shakespearean comedy and their work with each other for improv. Surely this is something I’ll make note of for future reference. In the meantime, keep coming back for more updates. With just the final week before the curtain goes up, there will be plenty to write about.


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