CCMS Improv Shows On the Way

772Bring the family for fun-filled, improvised performances by Culver City Middle School’s Comedy Improv Troupe. In its fifth successful year, CCMS Theatre Arts is offering six performances: Saturday May 17 at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday May 18 at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Robert Frost Auditorium, 4401 Elenda Street, Culver City.

Sixty-five enthusiastic and innovative Culver City Middle School students compose the Comedy Improv Troupe. The program is directed by professional improv performers, Jennifer Flack and Eric Price. Both are award-winning teachers who have extensive professional performance and teaching experience. Scott Passarella, also a professional improv performer, provides piano accompaniment for musical numbers.

Similar to professional improv performances, students will accept audience suggestions for skit topics. Each skit – the characters, conversations, actions and resolution – will be entirely made up on the spot by the CCMS students from the suggested topics. This style of performing requires confidence, adaptability, creative thinking and extensive practice. The students have been practicing since September; some eighth-graders are in their third year in the program, along with many returning seventh-graders from last year.

“While encouraging play and discouraging hesitancy we teach them to be kind to themselves and each other, face fear, take pride in their ideas, celebrate and have confidence in themselves and each other, perform to the top of their intelligence and work as a team,” said Flack. “These are performance skills and they are life skills. We are extremely proud of the CCMS Improv Troupe and what they have accomplished.”

The Comedy Improv class, under the CCMS Theatre Arts after school program, was made possible in part by the Culver City Education Foundation. CCMS Theatre Arts is a program of Panther Partners, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that raises funds for and develops and delivers a variety of after-school enrichment classes for the students of Culver City Middle School, in conjunction with the CCMS administration and the Culver City Unified School District. CCMS Theatre Arts enjoys the active support of and coordination with the Middle School administration and members of the Culver City School Board.

With Improv Comedy, CCMS Theatre Arts is fulfilling the original mission of its founders, Diane Feldman and Diana Kunce – “building a creative and collaborative community through arts education, giving middle school students a positive social and emotional experience that strengthens self-esteem and opens doors for exploration during a key transitional time in their lives.”

General admission tickets are $10 for one show, $15 for a one-day pass and $20 for a weekend pass; student and CCUSD staff ticket prices are $5 for one show, $10 for a one-day pass and $15 for a weekend pass. Advance ticket sales are available. Please email [email protected] to purchase tickets in advance.

For more information please check out CCMS Theatre Arts on Facebook.

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