Thank you to our OCS Journalism Club for this story from their newspaper "The Roaring Lion."
Writers: Sophomores Isabel Dewey and Kendall Smith. Editor: Sophomore Naomi Webb
They say laughter is the best medicine, and a hearty dose is certainly appreciated during these times of lockdowns and social distancing. That’s where the OCS Comedy Sportz Team, led by theatre arts teacher and OCS alumni Bradley Gosnell (Class of 2010) comes in.
Comedy Sportz is a national program that encourages individuality and helps students enhance their improvisation and communication skills. Gosnell introduced the idea to Oaks Christian a couple of years ago, and the team is currently in its third season. Since then, the club has grown to about 18 students, working together to perform matches that showcase their improvisational skills while entertaining audiences.
Gosnell explains Comedy Sportz as “comedy played as a sport” where “two teams perform scenes based on audience suggestions to get laughs and score points. A single match includes scenes games, head-to-head games, timed challenges, and displays of all out wittiness.”
Along with after-school practices, the Comedy Sportz team competes at least once a month. The community can watch the matches over Zoom with a “pay what you can” ticket system.
Each student plays a role. Some of these roles include players, team captains, and team managers. Team captains are chosen to decide which games will be played during the competition. Team managers notify the team about upcoming practices, matches, and changes to the schedule.
Sophomore Aden Kosoi is one of the team managers and players, this being his second year with Comedy Sportz. Sharing about his background before joining the team he said, “(I have) been doing theatre since fourth grade and improv for four years.”
Even though some members, like Kosoi, have experience, the team welcomes anyone willing to learn and have fun. Currently, the team continues their matches and practices, even online.
Reflecting on the online platform, sophomore Bradley Huffman said, “It’s definitely a lot harder because you lose the physical factors of improv, and it’s a lot harder to read scene partners when it’s on Zoom.”
Team members concur that even though it has been tough to do online, they keep looking forward to a fun time filled with laughs. Some games that have been adjusted for Zoom include four square, a multi scene game, curfew, a guessing game that challenges the minds and creativity of the players, and 185, a game that allows players to come up with funny puns.
Sophomore Amanda Parks says one of her favorite games is “expert challenge” where the players “pretend to be experts at random topics” and she “thinks it is one of the funniest games if it is played intelligently.”
The online circumstances forced the Comedy Sportz team to get creative and the best part about being on the team is “being surrounded by loving people and escaping reality to just have fun,” said sophomore Allie Chobanian.
There is a unanimous feeling amongst the Comedy Sportz players of security, trustworthiness, encouragement, and fun. While growing their improv, comedy, and performance skills the members also build friendships and confidence. Whether they are pretending to be geniuses, guessing where they have been without their parents’ permission, or arguing over which comes first, the milk or the cereal, Comedy Sportz creates a team building environment where students can express their creativity and love for the arts.