The new and improved Improvedy


Jacob Zajkowski, Contributor

Are you aware of the most side-splitting club at Appleton North? Improvedy, the local improv troupe, has been going on for almost sixteen years, and the laughs just keep coming. Improvedy is a comedy troupe that performs based on skits and games that are changed and suggested by the crowd. Improvedy is the only improv group in Appleton run by a high school, according the Appleton North Theatre webpage. This group of nine even leads workshops at businesses and performs for parties. The improv group consists of Appleton North students ranging from freshman to seniors, featuring students such as Emma Knutson, Jack Russell, and Sam Stratton, among others.
Emma Knutson, a junior this year and one of only three girls in the troupe, has been in Improvedy for two years. In an interview with Knutson, she was asked why she decided to audition and join Improvedy: “I thought they were cool, and I liked their show.” Despite how fun it looked, she knew the commitment she needed to make to be a part of the troupe. Improvedy members meet weekly to rehearse, creating suggestions of ideas they think people will suggest during their performances. During the shows, Improvedy members explain the rules for certain games and skits and then create scenes based off of suggestions from the audience. “My favorite thing is probably getting to be with all of the other Improvedy members as a team,” Knutson said. One expectation Knutson doesn’t like is the assumption that she is funny all of the time.

Another two-time member of Improvedy, senior Jack Russell describes his experiences with Improvedy. “I’d seen the shows a lot during middle school and thought they were interesting,” said Russell when asked why he joined. Having tried out as a freshman and sophomore, Russell finally joined Improvedy in his junior year at North. Russell defines Improvedy as, “being in a room of clowns, and you can’t leave until you’ve told a joke.” Russell enjoys experimenting with what’s funny on stage: “It’s incredibly rewarding to be funny, but even more so from failing big.” His only Improvedy-related pet peeve is the pre-show, saying, “The part I dislike the most is the ten or fifteen minutes before the show…I just want to show people now.” Russell’s favorite part of the troupe is trying out the new games and skits, especially ones that haven’t been done in a while.

A rookie to the Improvedy scene, sophomore Sam Stratton is experiencing his first year of the antics of the troupe. Stratton’s love of comedy drew him to the shows and eventually the club. “I feel like we’re a really close group of friends that love to do funny stuff onstage and make each other, and people watching, laugh until their sides ache.” To Stratton, Improvedy is a great way to express himself and show who he is. “It’s also a great way to try out new puns,” he added. When asked about rehearsal, Stratton said: “We play improv games to help get better at maintaining a good stage presence, coming up with things on the spot,… and other stuff that helps us be funny when we are in front of an audience. “The goal is to have fun and make people laugh, which I think is really cool.”

Improvedy’s shows are based off of the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Tickets for cost $5 at the door, and anyone is allowed to attend. There will be four performances during the 2015-2016 school year. For more information on Improvedy or Appleton North High School Theatre, visit or contact Ronald Parker.