september 2018 | Volume 171
Vancouver TheatreSports’ Back to School show features two teams of three players each competing against one another: the jocks vs. the nerds. Not a whole lot of it actually has to do with school but the night I attended saw the usual fast-paced TheatreSports fun with some wacky stuff, a few dull sections and random moments of improvisational genius.
In the only scene actually grounded in school, the audience had to suggest something about a classroom, in this case blackboards. The jocks did the scene straight-ish, then solicited far-off audience home-locations in which to replay it. These turned out to be Toronto (dull) and Thailand, very funny in a way that could have been perceived as mildly racist if the team captain hadn’t apologized in advance.
Other particularly funny scenes included the jocks dealing with bizarre sound effects in a dentist’s office (the crowd this night was full of dental students), and the jocks again in the standard TheatreSports skit involving a really game audience member having to move the players’ bodies. The nerds shone in creating a music video about basketweaving, a funny translation scene, another involving accents, and a ferocious moment making Instagram videos about eating persimmons.
Only the structure of TheatreSports shows remains the same from evening to evening. The content, of course, changes according to the audience-suggested topics around which the players have to improvise, and the ensembles themselves also differ each night. If I had to pick two stars my night, they’d have been jock Chris Casillan, cleverly improvising songs and busting hilarious dance moves, and nerd Scott Patey, the quickest and most imaginative guy in the room.
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