SponGen delights with whimsical improv


Carolyn McDonald

From theatrical games, to dance transitions, to comical music numbers, North’s improvisational troupe Spontaneous Generation pleased crowds during its 20th anniversary performances. The show, directed by seniors Clare Donohoe and Andrew Hastings, ran April 4 through 7 at 7:30 in the Little Theatre.
The show began with senior Ian Reid comically introducing what each actor would do when they grew up. He joked that senior Sarah Vernovsky would live in the woods and talk to animals and Hastings would grow up to fill Mr. Brown’s position as theater director at North.
As a whimsical transition, the actors moved to center stage and each danced on a patch of yellow lights to songs like “Womanizer,” by Britney Spears and “We Are The Champions,” by Queen. After finishing his or her dance, each actor directed an improv game with the rest of the cast.“I thought it was hilarious, and I really liked how the other actors cheered each person on,” said sophomore Dina Gorelik.
In a game called “Freeze,” two cast members froze in place to get a starting position. They then acted out a scene until they were tapped out by another actor or an audience member. Sophomore Lara Saouli explained that she enjoyed the audience participation. “It allowed the audience to become part of the show and created a sense of community,” said Saouli.  
Another game that was played was a version of charades. Senior Samidio Depina had to guess certain actions and objects picked by the audience, but the actors who tried to help him guess could not use any English words. The audience was notably impressed when Depina correctly identified the majority of the actions.
Towards the end of the show, Christine Bradshaw, a North parent, came on stage and told her life story to Hastings so it could be turned into a musical by the cast. She shared defining moments in her life, such as when she got teargas in her eyes and how she works at the Bay State Ice Skating School. When the cast made up songs to form the humorous musical, the audience erupted with applause.
Donohoe explained that the time spent rehearsing for the show was worth it. “My favorite part of directing has been being able to so clearly see how much everyone has improved and grown,” said Donohoe.
The actors’ hard work showed in their effortless yet hilarious improvisation. “There’s definitely something so fun and invigorating about going on stage with the sense of complete freedom and fear that comes with having absolutely no idea what you’re actually doing,” said senior Will Marsh.