CCHS’s ‘Dot Comedy’: ‘Making Each Other Look Good On Stage’


Photo credit: Davis Barthleman

Members of the improv team playing ‘Expert Slideshow’, a game in which two players are ‘experts’ on a topic and present it through ‘slides’, played by three other improvisers. Pictured from left to right: Jude Loughlin (expert), Greta Larson (expert), Marcot (slideshow), Simone Siegel (slideshow), Scarlett Hesse (slideshow).

Sofia Pezo, Copy Editor

Every Wednesday afternoon, ‘Dot Comedy’, the CCHS improv team, meets in Room 108 for their weekly rehearsal. Dot Comedy, composed of fourteen members, is co-led by senior Ariana Moss and junior Davis Barthelman and is overseen by Zach Bones, who works with Center Theatre Group. 

“During rehearsals, we play different games that rely on thinking on your feet, as well as games that are scene-based and joke-based comedy,” explained Moss. The team also works every week on practicing skills, such as scene and character work.

Moss, Barthelman, and many of the team’s members have participated in improv programs for multiple years, but anyone is welcome to audition at the beginning of each semester, regardless of having previous experience or not.

One popular game is ‘Blind Line’, which senior Maiya Kuida-Osumi said is her favorite. During this game, a group of players improvise a scene and pick up folded pieces of paper on the floor, on which are written famous movie quotes, song lyrics, or phrases the audience came up with. The player then reads aloud and has to incorporate it into the scene.

“The improvisers don’t know any of the lines, so it’s always exciting to see how players justify the sometimes outlandish things audience members throw at them,” said Kuida-Osumi.

‘Blind Line’, along with other games, is played during the team’s shows, which take place twice a year in December and April. During these shows, the team is split into two groups who ‘compete’ against one another by playing games, with one ultimately ‘winning’ each show. Last semester, the two groups were called ‘Spiders’ and ‘Spies’.

“Hosting the shows last semester was a challenge,” said Moss. “Trying to keep all of the games straight, keeping track of timing, and ending scenes at the right moment required a lot of brain power, but it was so fun and rewarding.”

The team also spends time checking in with each other at the beginning of each rehearsal. “We’ve gotten to know each other through our weekly check-ins,” said Moss. “Improv itself also relies on a lot of trust and support between scene partners and making each other look good onstage.”

Of course, improv isn’t as easy as it seems, as performing on the spot can be very stressful. “The most challenging part is being vulnerable onstage and knowing that you’re going to make mistakes, but it’ll be okay,” explained Julia Marcus, a junior who has done improv since she was in middle school. 

Kuida-Osumi agreed. “Like [Zach] says, if a scene goes well, it’s a great scene, but when small mistakes happen as they do when improvising, it goes from a good scene to an unintentionally hilarious one.”

Barthelman, who has been doing improv for eight years, said it has helped her over the years to become more confident and improve her public speaking skills.

“People are often really scared by the idea of doing improv, but what people don’t realize is that we are a team, because we are all there to support each other,” she said. “Every time I leave improv [rehearsals], my face hurts from smiling so much.”