‘Yes and …’

By Allison Kamel

One particularly fun part of the Centennial Kickoff that was held at St. Joseph’s College on October 3 was the improv workshop that took place in the Clare Rose Playhouse.

The workshop was ran by Stacey Smith, a 2009 St. Joseph’s alumna. While at the college, Stacey was involved in the drama department and helped  found SJC’s a cappella group, the SJC Sharps. Now, she works for The Second City in Chicago. The Second City is an incredibly famous improv school, where many Saturday Night Live performers get their start.

Stacey’s workshop forced people outside their comfort zone and got them to participate in ridiculous things. She played fun games, such as Pass the Clap, which involved clapping at the same time as the person standing next to you in the circle. Even though it sounds really easy, it got to be pretty difficult!

In pairs, participants of the workshop had to tell stories using only one word and a time, going in alphabetical order. To anyone who grew up watching the Nickelodeon show Victorious, playing this game was a dream come true.

These games taught valuable lessons about improv comedy. They stressed the importance of connecting with the people around you through cues such as eye contact. Stacey stressed the golden rule of improv: always say “Yes and …” She made comedy into something everyone could participate in, not just those who are “class clowns” or those who are always cracking jokes and having people laugh at them.
The workshop reminded people that they don’t always have to be so worried about what others think. It’s okay to be ridiculous and have fun, no matter what someone else might say.


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