The Bishop Ireton Improv Team, previously known as "The Swedish Chefs," will host a workshop on Oct. 11. Conducted by Zack Baber, a Bishop Ireton alumnus, the workshop will both teach basic improvisational skills and serve as the audition for the 2002-2003 team.
Baber, a member of Comedy Sportz DC, a professional troupe in Arlington, described improv as the perfect occupation, "All my life I've been a smart aleck, now I've actually got someone paying me for it."
The Improv Team is relatively new at Ireton, having been started
four years ago by students involved in theater productions.
In addition to Baber, who is a theater major at Mary Washington College, previous captains include Genevieve James, a theater major at Catholic University; Jon Shoup-Mendizabal, majoring in international relations at Georgetown University; and Michael Toscano, a theater/philosophy major at Ithaca College in New York. All four are residents of the Arlington/Alexandria area.
Though a relative newcomer to the improv scene, the Bishop Ireton team has already tasted success, winning the one competition it entered at Duke Ellington High School for the Arts in 2001. This year's Improv captain, junior Danny Scully, said, "This will be a tough year since all of our founding members have graduated. But other creative institutions have been able to survive without their founders. For instance, the guy who plays Steve on 'Blues Clues' was replaced last season, and they seem to have upheld their artistic integrity."