There are countless opportunities for students to find and create their niches at BHS, and theater is one of the most popular. Students who are interested in the theatrical aspect of Burlingame can enroll in drama class, audition for the annual play and musical, and join the drama club. One new and unique theatrical activity is the Burlingame Improv team, which was officially created this year. Improvisation is the art of composing, uttering, or executing a performance without previous preparation. Improv actors are trained to act without a script or stage directions while animating the story and maintaining their character.
Three passionate BHS improv members--junior Viva Freedman and seniors Sonia Varah and Lorell Perillat--are the cabinet members of the improv team. However, they decided to form a team separate from the school called “Wet Smurf,” where they compete against other teams in all different kinds of improv. The competitions are better known as “cage matches,” which are judged by an anonymous audience ballot. The team comprises of the three girls, students from different schools such as Hillsdale and San Mateo, and a freshman at UC Berkeley. Perillat expressed her dedication for the theatrical technique, “improv has taught me to be quick on my feet, and accept all of the offers that come my way,” Perillat said.
Wet Smurf practices on the weekends for hours, where they go over their set list, practice improvisational games and prepare for the next competitions. The team’s hard work has been paying off in the cage matches, and they won their latest matches on November 6 and November 13. Since they won the preliminary match last Sunday, they will be advancing to the finals in January.
“I expect the competition to be a challenge because we don’t know what kind of improv the other team will be preparing,” Perillat said.
Like any sport or club at BHS, the team will practice diligently to win. “We’d love people from BHS to come support us. We go up against mostly adults and some professional improvisers, so it’s been pretty tough,” Freedman said.