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First improv game brings puns, quips, and laughs

On Sept. 16 MC’s PAC was filled with episodes of rhyming genius in “Beastie Rap,” spot-on accents in “Movie Critic,” and puns galore in “185”. The improv team was divided into opposition, as Team Phoenix faced Team Derek in a match of wit and pure comedic glory.

Friday’s game was the first one of the 2016 improv season, and it had some minor bumps but overall went smoothly for both teams.

However, one team had to reign victorious at the end of the game, and the win was awarded to Team Phoenix, with a close score of 26-25. Team Phoenix consisted of juniors Phoenix Silva, Ryan Saggese, and sophomore Caleb Lawrence while Team Derek was made up of juniors Derek Alcorta, Noah Gottlieb, and senior Omar Fox. The only newcomer to the stage was Lawrence, but the rest of the team had one to two years of experience under their belts.

Upon talking to the Improv Team, it is evident that players take their performances seriously; they might be cracking jokes on stage but at the same time are highly critical of themselves. Co-captain Derek Alcorta seemed excited about the upcoming year, and to work forwards from the first game.

Photo Credit | Francesca Hodges

“The game was good, we had a good turnout, and scene games went well. There were some moments of confusion on stage, where some scenes wet a little sour, but we picked it up in the second half and the ending games were really good,” Alcorta said.

Team Phoenix also constantly reviewed their last scenes. n improv it’s important to learn from past performances in order to improve the next scene.

“Immediately after the scene is when the revaluation starts to set in and you start to think about all the parts when you messed up,” Sagesse said. 

Looking to his own personal performance, Sagesse also recognizes how to advance his improv skills to have a successful season.

“I need to work on improving my character and giving myself a bigger variety to have… I need to make a more diverse toolbelt of characters to be able to choose from or move into during a scene. I also need to work on building better relationships with other characters that I’m in a scene with,” Sagesse said.

Photo Credit | Francesca Hodges

Even with some constructive criticism of his performance, Sagesse still saw some positives from the game, such as his new character development.

“I personally was most happy with myself in the Good Bad Worse scene where I was Parker Peterson, the West Australian Condor who trains condor to mistreat people physically and mentally, and I really had fun with it,” Sagesse said.

Bridging out to his team– which lost two main senior players last year– the team is working to turn with the new players to key assets in the team.

“We’ve lost a lot of our bigger players that have set the pace, and now we have a lot of newer people who are still adjusting,” Sagesse said.


While the improv players may evaluate Friday’s game as a shaky start to the season, the audience was extremely engaged in the game, roaring with laughter and catcalls galore. If the players work as hard as they are aiming to, this improv season will be one to watch.


About Francesca Hodges

Francesca is a senior and currently a photographer and a Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Sun. She enjoys studying astronomy and watching period pieces. At MC, she is involved in Peer Counseling, Friendship Club, and the field hockey team. In the future she plans on attending UC Berkeley to major in Global Studies.

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