Trip to national improv finals at stake

High schoolers test their comedy skills this weekend at Vic High

Comedy fans can see some of the future of the genre this weekend, as Vic High hosts the Vancouver Island showdown for the Canadian Improv Games.

The top 10 high school improvisational comedy teams on the Island, including Esquimalt, Mount Douglas, Pacific Christian and the host school, will go head-to-head on the Vic High auditorium stage for the right to compete in the national tournament in Ottawa in April.

“I’m amazed when I watch them,” Alan Penty, Vic High drama teacher and improv team coach, says of the young comics. “They’re just brilliant.”

Two-time defending Island and Canadian senior champion Vanier from Courtenay is the frontrunner again. Giving a sense of how tough the competition here is, three of the last five national champions have been Island schools.

The public is definitely in for a treat, Penty says.

“It’s a really fun, funny evening, even for people who don’t know anyone on the teams. It’s really fresh and energetic.”

Semifinals in both the junior and senior divisions happen Friday and Saturday night (Feb. 4 and 5) at 7:30 p.m.

The junior finals go Sunday at 1 p.m. and the seniors are at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $5 for students and $8 for adults for semifinal round; $8 and $10 respectively on Sunday. Vic High is at 1260 Grant St. in Fernwood.