Sketchy Teens take the stage

From left, Josephine Orr and Dougie Norton rehearse a sketch for the Sketchy Teens Too show that was performed at Alex’s Place on Friday and Saturday night. —IMP for Kids

By Henry Hitchings

The Sketchy Teens Too debuted their first-ever show at Alex’s Place in the YMCA last Friday and Saturday.

Sophomore Dougie Norton joined the IMP program in October. He said, “I act to impact others. To cheer them up, or to make them feel new emotions.”

The Sketchy Teens Too troupe consists of seven regional high school students, and is a part of the IMP for Kids program. In the troupe are Wyatt Belisle, Harold Lawry, Dougie Norton, Samantha Cassidy, Josephine Orr, Matt Delorenzo, and Eva Wilson.

The original Sketchy Teens was formed in 2006. They started out by performing scripted pieces, but later added improvised skits to their performances as well.

IMP director Donna Swift led the troupe. Many of the members were used to improv, and didn’t have much experience with sketch writing.

Ms. Swift said, “One technique I taught them was to have the troupe sit in a circle, write for 10 minutes, then pass their work on to the next member. Once it had finished its trip around the circle, we read it aloud.”

The show consisted of 12 holiday-themed sketches, each written by members of the current troupe or by the original troupe in 2006.

Harold Lawry said, “I guess you could say it’s a Very Sketchy Holiday Show.”

Although the show was mainly scripted, two of the 12 sketches incorporated improv.

Eva Wilson said, “I don’t know how standups do it, because what keeps me from losing it before each show is the people I perform with.”

Ms. Swift said, “Putting your comedy in front of an audience is the only way to see if it works. I can teach all the fine points of comedy, but students don’t really understand it until they are in front of an audience. I cannot teach timing. The audience teaches it.”