Competitors were excited to showcase their improvisational skills at R.H. King Academy as the forty-second Canadian Regional Improv Games commenced on 20 February 2019. Teams competed from five different schools: The Woodlands, J. Clarke Richardson, Marc Garneau, R.H. King, and Stouffville.
The competition lasted from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and was the first of four different regional competitions occurring that week. Hosts introduced the teams onstage one at a time to an audience of parents and instructors. The competitors would remain there for the entirety of the event. In four different rounds, teams took centre stage and improvised different scenes in front of a panel of three judges. Marc Garneau finished in third place, while the host school R.H. King won first. Out of the twenty-one total teams at the four different competitions, five will move on to the Finals.
Teams at the Canadian Improv Games compete in four out of five different events. The Life event requires students to act out a realistic scenario. The Theme event asks students to explore one or more themes by performing multiple vignettes. The Character event necessitates the exploration of a particular character. The Story event showcases a unique story. Finally, the Style event involves the performance of a scene in a recognized genre of performance. In each event, teams receive an object, theme, or question from the audience or judges, which they use as a basis for their performance. After hearing the object, theme, or question, teams are allotted only fifteen seconds for preparation, after which they must present for four minutes. The MGCI Improv Team competed in the Life, Theme, Character, and Story events, and finished first out of all the teams that night in the Life event.
2019 marks the first time MGCI sent a team to the Improv Games in several years. The team consisted of Dhrumil Patel, Gabriel Cassidy, David Walji, Richard Zhang, Henry Tang, Frank Chen, Andrew Liang, and Venkat Muthaly. Andrew Pun and Shmailah Alam were on the team as reserves. The instructor was Mr. Teres.
In preparation for the event, students rehearsed once a week from September to October, and then at least twice a week up until the Improv Games. Despite it being a competition, most of the MGCI Improv Team members were not nervous due to the level of enthusiasm and the hospitality of other teams. Team member Gabriel Cassidy noted, “I really liked how supportive the different schools were of each other, it made me feel a lot more comfortable. I’d totally do [the competition] again.”
Mr. Teres was very pleased with Garneau’s representation at the competition, saying “I’m most of proud of the fact that we got it together. Not only that, but [we] really performed well. This is truly something we can develop and grow with tremendous success in the future. And I think even this year, given the circumstances of everybody’s hectic schedule and of where everybody was, to be able to do this is a testament to their perseverance, and their [willingness to take] the risk of going out and having fun.”