By Kevin Lynch, Staff Writer
ComedySportz: The High School League may seem slightly confusing for spectators interested in coming to Kulieke Theater on November 15th and 22nd to watch Prospect’s teams’ first public matches this year. This is likely because, while the program includes the word ‘Sportz’, what they’re doing is first and foremost a performance, not a competition or a game, and though there’s a referee, they’re simply there to help guide the show. However complex the program may seem, it brings one thing that can be understood by people of all ages: laughter.
ComedySportz is a global comedy organization that has headquarters in several major cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Seattle, performing in comedy shows as well as hosting workshops that use comedy to inspire creativity in businesses. Prospect is taking part in the High School League, one of the performances chosen by the theater heads at schools in the district. District 214 first tried ComedySportz: The High School League two years ago, and the program is coming back for its second year at Prospect, giving students the chance to test out their improvisation skills in a sheltered environment.
“[There’s] nothing to anticipate except good family fun,” said Jeremy Morton, the head of the Comedy Sportz: The High School League team here at Prospect, in addition to being Fine Arts Director.
“It’s going to be so entertaining … and an opportunity for the audience to not only vote who they want to see win, but also laugh as well.”
The group was split into four teams: Red, Orange, Pink, and Purple. Two teams will scrimmage against each other in matches, where they act out certain games that are randomly chosen by ComedySportz officials. One example of these games is called pass the mic, in which the students must rhyme with a phrase said by the person before them. However, the game being played isn’t the only random element at play.
The price paid to get in depends on chance, ranging from $1-6 for students and $2-12 for adults. Also, unlike most performances and sporting events, the audience has an interactive role in deciding who will emerge victorious.
In addition to voting for the winner, audience members provide ideas for the scenarios that the students have to act out on the spot. The constant adjustment keeps the students alert, and they have to think on their feet to win over the audience.
“In theater, it’s really structured, you’re saying lines, [and] it’s all pretty practiced,” said senior Julia Holzl, the captain of the Purple team. “But this year, you’re on the edge because you don’t know what the audience is going to suggest,”
While ComedySportz: The High School League is just one of Prospect’s annual performances, there are several other matches coming up this year to look forward to. The matches this month may prove to be more impartial than the rest because, as the team found out two years ago against Buffalo Grove, the audience tends to favor the home school. But in
the upcoming matches, both teams will be on a level field when it comes to the audience’s preference.
But to Mr. Morton and the team, the season is about more than just their win/loss ratio. Each match provides an opportunity for them to grow as performers and as young adults.
“I’m hoping the kids feel more confident and comfortable with not only their improvisation, but just themselves and making strong choices and going out there and being bold,” said Morton. “It’s going to help them no matter what career they go into.”