SCIENCE! hosted by Brock Improv was an improv summit in which competitive teams from several universities were invited from across Ontario to compete in a weekend of performances.
The first night of the summit consisted of short-form games where each team was given the opportunity to perform a few short-form scenes. The second night consisted of a long-form improv where teams were given 20 minutes to perform a longer scene.
Improvisational theatre, or improv for short, consists of actors creating scenes without scripts and planning. Improv is often practiced through a variety of games where individuals are taught about different aspects of improv and then given opportunities to try it out and improve their skills.
“Brock Improv’s mission is to introduce members and the audience of our shows to the art of improv in a fun and safe environment. We hope to teach members the skills and ideas related to improv, and also create a fun, friendly space where people can feel comfortable getting up on stage regardless of experience or expertise,” said Thomasin Cooper, a third-year student in the Therapeutic Recreation and Leisure program and co-president of Brock Improv.
The Brock Improv club has been around for over 10 years. Since the club started, there have been meetings twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Tuesday night is known as their jam night. This consists of playing a variety of different improv games, both for fun and learning as well as building skills. Thursdays consists of an hour-long workshop on either a specific skill of improv or a particular style.
“We then try to incorporate what we have learned in the first hour in the rest of the games we play that night,” said Cooper. “We also use these meetings to practice for monthly shows. To give our members the experience of performing in front of a large audience, we have monthly improv shows for anyone who wants to come and watch us fool around on stage.”
Traditionally, each show has a theme loosely applied to each performance. They have been hosted both at Brock and at Mahtay Cafe.
This year, an experienced member of the Brock Improv club is running an advanced improv workshop that takes place every Saturday. These workshops provide individuals with a more in-depth approach to some of the skills taught on Thursdays and begin to talk about other techniques and philosophies of improv for people who want to learn.
Upcoming events for Brock Improv include two shows consisting of regular members. March 22 is Serious Prov, in which individuals will attempt scenes that are focused on relationships and stories through a new lens, with less emphasis on humour.
On April 5, Brock Improv will have their final show of the year titled, “Ricky I’m Moving Out!” This event will acknowledge those members who are graduating as well as current executive teams switching to the new executive for the next year.
“It has also helped us develop good relationships with other universities through the improv summits. The competitive team gives students who are passionate about improv to travel to different cities in Ontario and interact and makes friends with other students,” said Cooper.
Students interested in Brock Improv should visit experiencebu.brocku.ca for upcoming events or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.