Live from Evergreen … it’s Friday night! On June 1, a select group of teen drama students will follow in the footsteps of sketch-comedy legends to create their own version of “Saturday Night Live” at Center/Stage Theatre. This improvisational comedy troupe, known as The Tribe, is now in its fourth summer of performance, and audiences are sure to be delighted by their quick-wit and unique brand of humor that only a Colorado teenager can conjure.
The Tribe was born from a musical theater summer camp offered by the Evergreen Players.
“We were trying to recruit more teenagers for our program,” says education director Mandi Ogle. “We began offering an acting class through our musical theater camp. One of our teachers is really skilled in improv, and we thought that format might be just the thing to attract more teens.”
Improv comedy was just what the theater doctor ordered. Last year, The Tribe had more than 20 students who participated, and Ogle thinks the potential for Evergreen’s teenage improve scene can only grow from there.
Adorned with skillfully tattered T-shirts and colorful war paint, members of The Tribe study under the tutelage of Beau Augustin, a veteran member of the Players’ adult improv comedy troupe, EPiC. The Tribe usually operates as part of the Players’ summer camps, but a dedicated group of eight students chose to continue on with their improv studies. This group has met regularly since February to prepare The Tribe’s first-ever evening show.
Augustin trains the troupe with an array of theater games and improvisational techniques.
“Beau teaches the kids the basics of improv, but then he really guides them in their own direction,” Ogle says. “Improv comedy is all about trusting your fellow actors, and it’s amazing to watch these kids meld into a cohesive group. They are excited and energized and learn to think on their feet within the safety of a trusted group. The Tribe truly offers a glimpse of teenagers at their best.”
The show will also offer up tons of side-splitting laughs. The students, who come from mountain area and suburban high schools, will gather Thursday night at the theater for a final rehearsal. The Tribe will be joined by members of EPiC for a private improv session that is sure to get the last-minute creative juices flowing.
On Friday at 7:30 p.m., the curtain will rise on The Tribe’s debut evening performance. Member of the group are Jonah Arnold, Tal Arnold, Cori Mayer and Keenan Wulff from Evergreen High School; Maddie Manser from Conifer High School; Chelsea McDonald and Francesca Rubin from Lakewood; and Faith Krause from Arvada.
The Tribe’s show kicks off a summer of drama classes and camps offered by the Evergreen Players. The camps are for children ages 5 to 18. Young actors can jump into theater by participating in one-week Scene Stealers camps focused on children’s fairy tales. More-experienced thespians can try their hand at script writing in Page to Stage, a camp in which young playwrights’ scripts will come to life on stage. Teens can experience musical theater in an abridged production of “Grease!”and, of course, can join The Tribe in a one-week improv comedy and acting camp.
Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.
An Evening of Improvisation Comedy
Presented by The Tribe
Friday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Center/Stage Theatre, 27608 Fireweed Drive in Evergreen
Tickets are $5 at the door, and seating is general admission. This is a family-friendly show for all ages.