By STEPHANIE SUN
Friday, June 12, was the last Comedy Sportz match of the school year for the UHS troupe, which played against its own team members. Comedy Sportz is a team-based competitive improvisation in which two teams try to outdo their opponent and make the audience laugh. The games are interactive as the referee takes audience suggestions.
The night started off with an opener from the Junior Varsity members of the team. The two teams, led by Amina Khelif (Fr.) and Ellena Eshraghi (Fr.) faced off. One of the most memorable moments of the opener was when the teams played “Double Blind.” One member from each team interacted with another while their team members were turned away; when the referee called for them to stop, another team member from each team had to assume their pose and start a new scene.
During the first half of the varsity match, Captain Liqun Zhu (Sr.) led Team Liqun and played against the other team, named Uni’s Comedy Sportz, led by Austin Barber (Jr.) who was also the JV Referee. In one part of the first half, Barber’s team played “Marshmallow Laugh Out,” in which the team acted out a scene of a son mourning over the loss of his goldfish while stuffing marshmallows into his mouth. Zhu’s team chose to play “ABC Shakespeare New Choice.” The players had to act out a Shakespearian scene where each sentence started with a word that was in alphabetical order with what the previous person said. The referee could also ask the players to make a new choice and begin their sentences with a new word still in alphabetical order. By the end of the first half, the two teams were tied.
In the second half of the match, the two teams played “Town Hall Meeting” and had a debate about chairs, a round well-received by the audience. The match’s last game was “Garth,” in which players from both teams earned points for describing famous figures with twists on their names. The audience was very responsive during the entire match, and it was not hard for the talented players to get laughs.
At the end of the show, the Comedy Sportz team honored its senior member, Zhu. He said, “It was great to be able to captain both halves for this match and my team made it a super fun time for me. I believe Comedy Sportz is one of the activities that I definitely loved at Uni and I am going to miss the fun, laughs and love that we all share.” He also believes that UHS’s Comedy Sportz team will continue to grow and become greater.
All the members also thanked Ms. Eliza Sussman (English Dept.) for being their supervisor with a bag of beach-related items and wished her luck at her new job. Ms. Sussman said, “I like that Comedy Sportz is a team like any other; they have uniforms and practices and “away games” and “home games” and a referee at each game, but instead of being a team that is about physical endurance and agility, it’s a team about mental acuity and having a good sense of humor. You can’t take yourself seriously if you’re going to be on our team, and you have to be willing to “just say yes!” to every situation. Improv means always saying yes, which I think is a good lesson for kids about getting out of their comfort zone and trying new things.”
The rest of the members of UHS’s Comedy Sportz team can be found next year. Auditions for all UHS students and incoming freshmen will be held on September 2.