DRAMA | By Hannah Prozenko
It was a close call between the Dartmouth High and Halifax West improv teams on February 22  as the two troupes battled it out at St. Matthew's Church in Halifax for the title of Canadian Improv East Coast Regional Champions. Whichever team took home the trophy would also take home the chance to compete in the Canadian Improv Games (C.I.G.) in Ottawa.
With two years under their belt, the Dartmouth High Zinck Improv Agency (Z.I.A.) was hungry to taste that victory again. But with a twist of fate, the Z.I.A. came second to the Halifax West Improvables with only a four-point difference: the equivalent of a millisecond between sprinters.
So now that the competition is over, what's next for the Dartmouth team?
Well, it looks like they're headed to Ottawa anyways.
Of course the team will not be competing in the national tournament. They'll be playing the spectator role this year. "It will have a different vibe from last year," said Kristen Kelly, a returning member with the team who is taking the trip down to Ottawa. "But the pressure is off to compete and we can just enjoy the workshops and shows."
The C.I.G. National Tournament not only offers Canadian schools the opportunity to showcase their artistic talent and compete for the title of National Champs. It also gives them the chance to learn new improv skills through workshops.
Ceilidh McCoombs, co-captain of the team that went on the trip last year, found it to be one of the best experiences of her life. "The workshops were amazing! A thousand times better than what you would get anywhere else," said Ceilidh. "I took one workshop where I learned how to overcome the one thing that was holding me back. I learned confidence."
Not only does the team participate in workshops, they also get to take in some of the Ottawa attractions. "You'd go to the mall, check out museums, and eat lots of good food," said Ceilidh. "We'd go out to Dunn's for a greasy pub breakfast every morning. It was beautiful."
When asked if it was worth the money, Ceilidh said, "By far! I only spent like 200 dollars to go watch, learn, and perform improv. Not to mention all the shopping and eating. It was the best!"
This year's trip will be the most memorable yet for the team, as many of them will graduate at the end of June. "I'm moving on to different things," said Dalton, a three-year veteran in grade 12. "But improv will always stay in the back of my mind [along with] everything that we accomplished."
For the graduating players, this trip to Ottawa is a final goodbye to an art form that has helped shape so many of their lives. Even though this may be the last improv chapter for most of the team, the memories will live on always.
So, as the team packs their bags and heads off to a week of improv paradise, we send them a hearty bon voyage.