Vic High’s improv team takes regional title

Team fundraising to compete at nationals in Ottawa

The Vic High Improv team is raising money to be able to compete at the national level in Ottawa.

The Vic High Improv team is raising money to be able to compete at the national level in Ottawa.

Each time before Colleen Maguire steps on stage with her improv team, it’s one of the happiest moments of her life.

“We say to each other, ‘We’re going to have fun’ and ‘I love you,’” the Grade 12 Victoria High School student gushes. “It’s in the spirit of love and competition and I try to impart that to the other students as much as possible.”

It should come as no surprise that Maguire’s enthusiasm for improv earned her a Spirit of the Games award at the Vancouver Island regional championships, held Feb. 4 and 5 at Vic High. She was one of nine students from Vic High Improv who became the first Victoria students to place No. 1 in the region and qualify for the Canadian Improv Games since the Island joined the competition 10 years ago.

“It was such a surreal moment,” Maguire said. “I bawled my eyes out and I’m not a screamer, but I definitely squealed. I didn’t even think about the audience or the judges or the scores at that point. We were hugging and there were trophies and it was overwhelming.”

“I don’t think I’ve cried that much publicly in a long time,” added teammate Kathryn Taddei, also in Grade 12. “It’s probably one of the only times I’ve cried out of sheer joy. … The whole team was (exuding) a mixture of disbelief and joy, but now we just need to make it happen.”

To make it happen – a.k.a get to Ottawa for the finals April 3 through 7 – the group needs to fundraise $12,000 to cover the cost of their travel and accommodations. The team, along with coach and veteran improvisor Alan Penty, are hosting an evening of entertainment on March 8 to follow through with what has so far been a monumental experience for all those involved.

“If I were a religious man, I’d say it’s a miracle (we won regionals),” he said. “We’ve never even come close to that before.”

Penty, a regular on Sin City improv, was impressed by the team’s ability to thrive under the pressure and come out strong in every game.

Part of their winning performance included a character event, a game where teams are asked to develop characters based on inanimate objects suggested by the audience. Building off the suggestion of a barbecue, the students created a big, strong, fiery character – a piece that had their veteran improvisor of a coach impressed.

“I wish I was as clever, but I’m not,” said Penty. “Their level of commitment is amazing. I would send them out on stage with a senior improviser.”

While Penty practises with his students year-round, he says anyone can pick up the first rule of improv instantly.

“Don’t say ‘no,’” Penty said. “Say ‘yes, and …’”

It’s advice that can be applied to more than just the stage.

“Improv helps me be more comfortable with the way that I am because once you’ve been as ridiculous as you are in improv, you’re less self-conscious during the regular day,” Taddei said. “I’m way less aware of how crazy I’m being.”

Support the team

Join Vic High Improv in the school’s theatre (1260 Grant St.) on March 8 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for an evening of student performances, as well as entertainment by Dave Morris and Aleisha Kalina. The event includes a silent auction. Admission is by donation.

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Sooke resident Nathan Hanson popped both his driver’s side tires on a pothole near a construction site on Sooke Road. Hanson said he was following a line of traffic and was just before the 17 Mile Pub when he drove over the pothole. (Photo contributed/Nathan Hanson)
Driver blows two tires on pothole near construction site on Sooke Road

Ministry of Transportation says keeping highways in good condition a priority

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

Rebecca Lang of Any Thyme Gardening installed a seed exchange library in front of her home on Beechwood Avenue. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Victoria gardeners scramble to create local seed exchanges

Fairfield resident’s seed exchange an instant hit

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Vancouver Islander selected to Canada’s first-ever national skateboard team

Courtenay’s Shay Sandiford has his eye on qualifying for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Most Read