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Alumni and seniors play in last Comedysportz game of the season

Seniors on the playing field one last time

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At the last Comedysportz game of the 2018-19 school year, things were a little different. This night was dedicated to the senior players and Oak Park alumni.

Instead of the players knowing the games ahead of time, giving them time to practice and become familiar with the game, the referee chose all of the games. Not only that, but he chose games that none of the players were familiar with, forcing them to truly improv.

Alumnus Joel Fischer said it was “scary” coming back because he hadn’t done improv in over a year, but he was entertained by the fact that none of them knew what the games would be ahead of time.

It started off with a game of Continuation. In this game, all four members of the blue team would be in a scene. When the referee blew his whistle, those four people would switch with the four members of the red team; the blue team would go sit on the bench while the red team would continue the scene, and on and on.

This was senior Danielle Gould’s favorite game she played in.

“It was funny trying to torture the other team by making it harder for them when they had to switch into who I was,” Gould said.

Gould mentioned that she would like to join an improv team at New York University, and possibly start a Comedysportz team there.

“I’m involved with a lot on campus, and Comedysportz is, by far, my favorite thing – the biggest sense of family,” Gould said. “There’s really nothing like it.”

Senior Emma Wachsmith joined the Comedysportz team at the beginning of her senior year

“I really regret not trying out for Comedysportz my freshman year, but I’m really happy I got to do it this year because I made a lot of good friends,” Wachsmith said.

Jeremy Orriss, team manager and senior, has been in the program for all four years.

“I’ll definitely miss it, but it’s comforting to know that it’s in very good hands,” Orriss said. “I hope to do improv in college [at Duke University]. Since I want to be an actor professionally, I would definitely love to do improv on the side, as well, and take any opportunity I can get,” Orriss said.

Senior Yuval Karoly said his favorite game he played was Pick a Comic. Instead of getting audience members’ phones, which is typical, the red team was given comic books. Each player with a comic book was only allowed to speak with lines from the material, while one member of the team was able to say whatever she wanted in order to justify what they read from the books.

“Because comics are stories, you have to read through it and mine was like Shakespeare. It was like ‘the monsters are coming. We must run at once!’ And I was like ‘how do I use this?’ It was just funny,” Karoly said. “I’m going to miss it a lot.”

“It’s a great group of people, but it’s an even better time improvising,” Karoly said. “Improv has been really important to me in growing my confidence. The program has helped me in so many ways.”

Senior Russel Myers was on the Comedysportz team for three years and said that he had the chance to meet new people that he would not have been able to, thanks to Comedysportz.

“Comedy Sportz totally pushed me out of my comfort zone and I grew and learned so much because of it,” Myers said.

Pick a Comic was also senior Josh Caltabiano’s favorite game of the night. He said leaving the Comedysportz program was “bittersweet.” He explained that, since he has been on this team since his freshman year, he has been able to play all four years and develop friendships with his teammates.

“Leaving is something that I’ve known I’d have to do, but it’s defintiely very hard for me to leave this family, because that’s what we are: family,” Caltabiano said.

Caltabiano mentioned that it was great to see and play with the Oak Park Comedysportz alumni.

Alumna Julia Rale said that coming back to OPHS for the Comedysportz game was, “at first dreadful, because it’s awful being back in the pavilion. But, once I got here I realized how fun and weird this group of people is and it feels like my home. I missed it a lot and I want to come back every year for the alumni game.”

Senior Cole Neville’s favorite half of the game was the half he didn’t play in.

“I honestly liked the first half – I played second half – better because I liked watching my teammates that I’ve been on the team with the longest perform,” Neville said. “There’s nothing else that makes me laugh as much as this team does, and it’s going to be hard to find something else to substitute for that. It’s really sad, and I’m going to miss everyone a lot,” Neville said. “I had a good time in my four years. I just love everyone on the team a lot and I appreciate them making these four years really awesome.”

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