Lee Comedy Club Blog
November 30, 2004
By Rebecca ("Beck") Krefting
University of Maryland
Auditions are officially concluded, yet we continue to have new additions to the comedy club weekly workshops. Our numbers are higher than they have been in years, with over 35 students actively participating on a weekly basis.
For the next month or so we will be trying out new sketches, many of them written by the students. Harry and I meet prior to class and assign parts to students and once we all arrive and get settled, we break off into our respective groups and begin reading through parts and staging the sketch.
This week we successfully "tried out" two new student sketches: Rachel & Leah Solomon's spoof of a Yogurt Commercial entitled "This Is So Bad" and Brian Hilnbrand's short sketch, "What Happened To Your Ear?" Both got laughs, and are likely to be "keepers" for the show on April 15, 2005.
Also performed for the first time were three of Harry Bagdasian's sketches-in-progress directed by myself, and Jennie & Austen, two comedy club veterans. Harry worked with the cast of "Curveball" and successfully solicited student suggestions for silly questions and answers for the call-in segment of the show.
Once all the sketches are performed, we leave time for a "rap" session where the students give us input as to what was successful and what needs more work. Students writing their own sketches learn to rework their pieces, getting valuable feedback, particularly from those having performed the sketch.
During post-performance discussions, the comments were lively and diverse. As usual, the students loved the work of the Solomon Sisters who are proving again this year to be very imaginative writers. There was also general approval of Brian's sketch and the progress Harry B. was making on his new scenes-in-progress. Many suggestions were offered as to where we could take the stories Harry B. started in "Desperate Survivors" and "Telebuddies III" which, since it involves a battle between the Telebuddies and Sponge Bob Square Pants, he might re-title "Battle of The Network Cartoon Stars."
This is Beck.
It continues to be a challenge to keep more than thirty-five middle school students busy, diverted from tickling, conducting arm-fart symphonies, and tap dancing on desks while we work on four scenes at one time in a single classroom. The trade-off is a valuable one though. These kids get to build personal self-efficacy via comedy and be in a community of other creative and funny people - like myself of course.