GRCHS Improv Warriors
By Wendy Nance
Any good improv-er knows how to think quickly, adapt, and respond. This guest blog comes from twenty-year veteran GRCHS Improv Team coach, Wendy Nance who used her improv skills this year in ways she never imagined as she guided the GRCHS Improv team through an unforgettable year.
This year the GRCHS Improv team rehearsed in person all year. In addition, we were able to rehearse inside, masked in person.
Team members were not allowed to wear clear face shields as mandated by state and school rules, so the student improvers performed fully masked, which was quite the feat — you just try miming eating spaghetti without your mouth!
We were even able to host two live performances, in person, with real-live audience members!
The first show took place in the high school multi-purpose room (also known as "the Garage") with a socially distanced, size-controlled audience. Eight of the 10 Improv Team members performed in this first show (two members were in quarantine). This show was one of the FIRST of its kind for the year, with an outside audience allowed in.
The second show was performed in the DeVos Center for Arts and Worship ("the CAW") and completely sold out at a capacity of 105 audience members. All ten Improv Team members performed this time around!
The audiences for both shows were engaged and laughed right along with the team.
After one of the team's rehearsals, we found out that a team member had tested positive for COVID. But because of my detailed rehearsal notes, masking, and the fact that Improv games change configuration every few minutes — none of the rest of the team members had to quarantine, and no one else contracted COVID!
My team of students = improv warriors!!
Wendy Nance has been coaching the GRCHS Improv Team for 20 years! She is a founding member and frequent performer with River City Improv. She is a graduate of Calvin (College) University and is a legal assistant with Warner, Norcross & Judd. She has two children that attend Grand Rapids Christian Schools.