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The Awkward Squad Improvisation Troupe

Improv for Youth

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We meet every Saturday,
from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon
at the Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts
(on the corner of
Chestnut Ave. and Third St.)

NOTE:  you do not have to attend every week to pariticpate.  Just come when you can or when you want to!

What is the Awkward Squad?

The Awkward Squad is an improvisational "performing arts" troupe for area students, offered in partnership with the Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts.

Who can join?

Any area student in grades 5-12, who has an interest in acting, comedy, and the performing arts, and who wants to develop creative thinking, communication and acting skills.

What do Awkward Squad members do?

We meet on Saturday mornings at the Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts, from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon, to practice and develop improv skills through a series of exercises and games. We have fun acting without scripts and letting the creative energy flow. We also give various performances before live audiences.

Other Important Information:

  • Membership is FREE and open to any interested student in grades 5-12.
  • At times, we all interact together, but often the troupe will be divided into small "squads" of 4-6 members. Usually students in grades 5-8 practice together, and students in grades 9-12 work independently in small groups to hone their skills.
  • We will be giving performances in front of live audiences. Details will be determined as the group develops.
  • You do not have to show up every week!  Just come when you can or when you want.  Participation in the program is flexible!
  • Active participants (students who attend on a regular basis and participate in the live performances) will receive a t-shirt with their name and the group logo.
  • Special workshops will include presentations and interaction with the Drama Department of UW-Marshfield/Wood County, the Campus Community Players, and various visiting improv groups.
  • Doug Seubert serves as the advisor and "improv coach." He founded the Awkward Squad as part of an afterschool program at Marshfield High School. The program has been expanded to include younger students, as well as adults, and is now working in partnership with the Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts.

Ready to Sign Up?

All students interested in participating in the Awkward Squad Improv Troupe are required to register and complete an application form signed by a parent or guardian. Application forms are available through the Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts, or directly through the improv coach, Doug Seubert.

 

For more information, click below to send an e-mail:
 
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2005 SCHEDULE
 
January 8
January 15
January 22
January 29
February 5
February 12
February 19
February 26
March 5

March 12
March 19
We will not meet
March 26
We will not meet
April 2
April 9
April 16
April 23
April 30
May 7
May 14

May 21
 
We will not meet
May 28
 
In the event of inclement weather, please call Doug at (715) 384-5184 to inquire about cancellations.  Use your best judgement when it comes to bad weather!
 
 
 

Marshfield News Herald

Mon, Dec 20, 2004

When Awkward Squad acts up, fun comes in unscripted forms

Improvisational troupe takes pride in making it up as they go along

By Jonathan Gneiser
Marshfield News-Herald

Funny things can and often do happen on stage when there's no script, no props and limited direction.

Comedy comes easily when the Awkward Squad, Marshfield's student-improvisational troupe, meets to practice their specialized form of acting.

The troupe's adviser, Doug Seubert, who founded the group as an after-school program at Marshfield High School, has expanded to include 5th through 8th grade students, in partnership with the Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts.

The group of students meets to practice improvisational exercises and play games from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the arts center, located at 208 S. Chestnut Ave. Due to the holidays, the next meeting will be Jan. 8.

The practices are informal, as people can drop in and don't have to stay the entire time, Seubert said.

"It's more of a fun, open program," he said. "The more people show up, the more we slip into chaos."

Many of the participants are interested in drama or performing arts, Seubert said. Practicing improv helps develop creative thinking, communication and acting skills.

"I'm sort of interested in drama, although I probably wouldn't pursue it as a career," said Adam Denny, a 14-year-old Marshfield High School freshman.

After participating in his first Awkward Squad meeting Saturday, Denny said he plans to come back for more.

"It was just fun to invent and that sort of thing," he said. "All the games were pretty fun."
Before playing games similar to those on the television show "Who's Line Is It Anyway?," people must learn the basics of improv, Seubert said.

One game where the troupe tells a tale one word at a time showed why it's important to listen to others to make the story make sense, Seubert said.

Another game involves acting out a well-known story, then adding elements to switch things up, Seubert said. While acting out the fairy tale of the three little pigs, one of the pigs said they were hungry for a ham sandwich.

A young boy portraying one of the other pigs then said: "We are ham," Seubert said.

Twelve-year-old Matt Erickson said he enjoys the improv games, especially one where participants must give clues to each other to help them guess the name of a character that's written on a note card and taped to their back.

"I'm good at that one," Erickson said.

Ultimately, the Awkward Squad plans to have public performances, possibly as early as April Fools Day, said Seubert, who added he also plans to organize a similar group for adults.