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Student improvisation team to represent province in national competition

Our provincial representatives for the Canadian Improv Games, a collection of nine students from Prince of Wales Collegiate (PWC), will arrive today in Ottawa ready for competition.

Having left St. John's at 6:40 a.m. this morning for a weekend of fast-paced improvisation, learning and fun are Seana Callahan, Liam Penney, Simon Marshall, Dylan Brenton, Tyler Downey, Brendan Murphy, Nick Callahan, Chris-topher Howse and Jeanie Morry.

The Prince of Wales Collegiate Improv Team includes (left to right, back line then front): Seana Callahan, Dylan Brenton, Tyler Downey, Simon Marshall, Nick Callahan, Liam Penney, Brendan Murphy, Christopher Howse and Jeanie Morry. The team will be repres

Our provincial representatives for the Canadian Improv Games, a collection of nine students from Prince of Wales Collegiate (PWC), will arrive today in Ottawa ready for competition.

Having left St. John's at 6:40 a.m. this morning for a weekend of fast-paced improvisation, learning and fun are Seana Callahan, Liam Penney, Simon Marshall, Dylan Brenton, Tyler Downey, Brendan Murphy, Nick Callahan, Chris-topher Howse and Jeanie Morry.

The Telegram caught up to the crowd at PWC before a school sendoff Monday.

The team first came together following a call at the school for anyone interested in improv, said Dylan, providing the backstory.

Then, "it was a selection process, but still very gentle and very kind," he said, the others laughing.

The 2010 improv team includes two members who have already had a year of experience in the on-the-fly creative activity. Team captain Christopher has two years under his belt.

Even so, they said, it took some time to be able to work together to create full scenes.

"We actually started off by playing a lot of (theatre) games - just to get our minds going," Tyler said.

They watched a DVD of improv teams in action, made in previous years at the Canadian Improv Games.

"Our musical style - another team did that and we kind of pulled from that and made it our own," recalled Jeanie.

"Pretty much our style is just singing, dancing and expressing like that," said Liam.

Practice makes perfect

Then they practised. They practised thinking up themes and dialogue on the spot. They practised representing objects, like chairs, using just their bodies - known as using physicalities.

"We use physicalities maybe more than other people," Simon said.

The practice helped to earn them their provincial improv championship win.

As for the nationals, the team members do not see themselves taking first place, but still see value in attending and even continuing with improv in the future.

"Once you're involved in improv, pretty much you can guarantee you're not going to be socially awkward anymore," said the team captain. "You're not taken back by any of the weird situations you would have stuttered at before."

The provincial representatives at the Canadian Improv Games are travelling with their teacher-sponsor Fabian O'Keefe, chaperone Chris Tobin and team coach Nick Parsons.

The students have been sponsored by Porter Airlines, allowing them to save part of their airfare.

They are set to perform at the competition in Ottawa Friday night. They will then have the opportunity to take in the work of other teams and potentially perform some more of their own material.

They are scheduled to return home on Sunday.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com




WWW

Weblinks
http://improv.ca

Organizations: Canadian Improv Games, Prince of Wales Collegiate, Porter Airlines

Geographic location: Ottawa, St. John's

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