Improv Comedy Club brings laughs to WHS

Caroline Cohn

A dumb blonde, a deparment store cashier, and a penguin walked into room A246. No, it’s not the start of a cliche joke; it was the most recent performance of Walpole High School’s Improv Comedy Club, held on Thursday, February 12.

The show was made up of “Whose Line is it Anyway”-style skits during which the seven members had to think on their feet to meet various criteria and deliver a hilariously entertaining performance.  The audience was kept engaged both by the amusing skits as well as their active participation in the process, as audience members were asked for suggestions for nearly every skit.

A typical skit used by the club during performances is based on the “Dating Game” during which club members acting as “bachelors” takes on different quirks or personalities while a “bacholerette” asks them questions to ascertain their identities.  During their most recent performance, audience members provided the bachelors with personalities ranging from a trash collector to a person only able to say words beginning with the letter “C”.

The troupe members have no prepared responses or rehearsed skits for their performances, but practices their improvisational skills once a week, led by volunteer faculty adviser, Ms. Emily Loflin, who has significant experience in improv comedy.  She was a member of her high school improv troupe, a theater major in college, and earned an Improv certificate from a training program at Improv Boston.  Using this experience, she started an Improv Comedy Club in WHS last year, which has already put on three successful shows this year and plans on holding two more.

Since Ms. Loflin introduced the club last year, audience attendance to performances has increased steadily; however, membership in the club remains an issue.  The club saw no increase in membership from last year to this year, and each of the seven members currently in the troupe are seniors set to graduate this spring.  Ms Loflin’s modest goal for next year, then, is simply to still have a club.  Her more ambitious, overarching hope for the future of the club, however, is to ultimately have multiple troupes of about eight students each involved in the club, which is similar to how most professional improv comedy clubs are organized.

In addition to being great fun, to which all of the members enthusiastically attested, Ms. Loflin lauded the club as an avenue for building up the students’ confidence, and Mallory Harris added jokingly that her experience in the club has been “good practice for making up excuses.”  Ms. Loflin and her members recognize the merit of their club, and it is their hope that other students realize this too so that improv comedy can live on at Walpole High.