Perrywinkles Improv Club: Building Community


Julia Carvalho

Senior Ashley Davis hides her laugh during the Perrywinkle audition. The Perry winkle audition took place on Aug. 2.

The Perrywinkles Improv Club recently held team auditions to kick off their new season. The club focuses on teaching members how to create comedic scenes without scripts, or improv. But to put it in simpler terms, club director Shawna Marquis described it as “having fun at Perry.” Unlike a lot of theater, improv includes audience participation. The club gives members the opportunity to learn how to create material on the spot and interact with others in scenes.

While building skills is an important part of Perrywinkle meetings, building trust is just as important to create quality performances. Senior co-captain Ethan Grigory explained, “Last year we went thrifting a lot, which we lost like, you know, scene-work time, but it developed that bond, which is arguably more important so we were still really functional during shows…” Joining the Perrywinkles means making connections, benefitting not only individual members, but the team as a whole. 

Prior to the auditions, senior Madison Meyers claimed, “It’s just like a fun group of supportive people and you know, it’s fun to get to perform with your friends and just go on stage and have a good time without worrying about a script or tech elements.” Being recognized for a fun, positive atmosphere and sense of community sets them apart and makes non-members, such as Meyers, eager to join.

Within the auditions alone, the support and passion was clear. Newcomers and veterans cheered each other on and created a space that was accepting of all people and ideas. Those watching were excited by their fellow actors’ choices. Those on stage were not afraid to laugh at themselves and try new techniques. Students who had never met began to trust each other as they did an exercise acting as though they were a part of a dating game. Everyone in the auditorium was smiling, having fun, and at the same time learning from each other.

Following her acceptance, junior newcomer Kenna Landberg shared she is most looking forward to bonding with her teammates. Landberg emphasized, “Everybody that you meet in theater, it’s just like it becomes one big family.” Similarly to Myers, Landberg hopes that above all the club brings her fun and friendship.

Grigory shared that he still keeps in touch with alumni and other former Perrywinkles. After many fun nights practicing scenes and grabbing dinner as a group, Grigory summarized, “We did not think of each other only as Perrywinkles, we thought of each other as friends.”