And ... scene

By Kassidy Christensen

February 16, 2017 12:00 AM

OH, THE DRAMA Six LCHS Drama students competed in the annual Rapid Fire Theatre's own TheatreSports tournament: the Nosebowl Feb. 9 to 11 in Edmonton. The troupe brought home second place honours. KASSIDY CHRISTENSEN LLS PHOTO

LCHS talent shine at out-of-town tournament

Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS) Drama students laughed their way to second place at the annual Rapid Fire Theatre’s own TheatreSports tournament: the Nosebowl. 
Six LCHS Grade 12 drama students, Bhav Grewal, captain, Alex McDonald, Megan Hawryluk, Jared Ramsay, Rei Panopio and Branden Martell represented Lloydminster as one of 25 Alberta schools competing in the improv tournament in Edmonton that took place Feb. 7 to 11.
Simon Stang, LCHS drama teacher and coach of the troupe, said this was the best year yet.
“Overall our scenes were really strong, the kids were just doing really well, they were on their A-game for sure,” Stang said.
Preliminaries started Feb. 7, and LCHS had their first chances to shine Feb. 9 and 10, facing off against 10 different schools each night, looking to secure one of five spots in the Feb. 11 finals. 
Stang felt strong about his students’ performances all throughout preliminaries, and felt “like we were right at the very top of the pack,” on both nights.
Once the Feb. 10 preliminaries wrapped up, finalists were announced and six schools ended up moving on to the finals.
“It actually ended up being six because there was a tie somewhere in the mix,” Stang said.
In the Saturday final, schools were to perform three scenes and LCHS took the main stage in the first half of the show.
“I felt really good, we were leading after the first half, and then in the second half there was some pretty strong teams,” Stang said.
With all the points counted and tallied, LCHS took home silver by a margin of only one point between them and the winning team, Strathcona High School.
Stang said the winning team was “very deserving, they were very talented and super hilarious,” and added what he appreciated most was seeing how his students interacted with their fellow competitors.
“(They) were just so positive when the other teams were performing, they were so engaged in other people’s scenes and laughing and enjoying (them).
“Even at the very end our teams started locking arms with other teams to create this big circle on stage when the winners were being announced,” Stang said.
“It was such a positive atmosphere and I would like to think it was partly contributed to by our students.”
Bringing home the title of second place was only half the reason to celebrate for LCHS.
One of the performers, Grewal, won one of three tournament all-star scholarships, Stang said.
“For winning he got an all expenses paid trip, tuition to go to IMPROVCAMP, which takes place on Gambier Island in B.C.,” he said.
Stang said the week-long camp is Canadian-renowed, and, “Anyone who does improv always speaks highly of the experiences they had at IMPROVCAMP.”
Grewal was awarded the scholarship for his “great poise on stage, he took risks,” Stang said.
“He was praised a little bit for his ability to choose games that were difficult, but playing them well, and also picking games that really showcased his team’s ability, while not always putting himself at the centre of it.”
Grewal said the win caught him off guard.
“He (the announcer) had seen my name off a sheet so he said my name wrong … The first three seconds I thought he called somebody else, and everyone looked at me, it hit me, he called me and then I jolted, grinning very hugely,” Grewal said.
Remaining humble about his win, Grewal said he is proud of everybody.
“Them performing just blew me out of the water, there’s a grin on my face that I just can’t put away now because what they’re doing, it gives me chills and how much fun they had and how we brought so much positivity,” he said.
The laughs aren’t over for the LCHS drama students. Eight performers ranging from Grades 10 to 12, will be competing in the Canadian Improv Games (CIG), one of three tournaments held under the Rapid Fire Theatre’s Wildfire Festival, in Edmonton again on Feb. 18.
With CIG, each province holds regional competitions, and the top teams from each region move on to nationals in Ottawa.
Stang said after watching last weekend’s performance, “I have a really good feeling both because our performers really stepped up, that was really nice to see, I felt like they really came out of their shells and really showcased what they can do.
Anyone from the Lloydminster area who may find themselves in Edmonton this weekend should check out the performances, he said.
“If anybody is in the area they can cheer us on … having that live support is always great.”
The LCHS drama students will also be holding a performance at the Barons’ Court Theatre Feb. 16 at 7 p.m., tickets available at the door.
“(It’s) just a fun show for anybody who wants to come out, we’re going to use it as an opportunity to practice a few of our games last time before we go off,” Stang said.

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