Leaders of the Wellesley High School improv troupe, Caroline Mack ’22, Jared Goldman ’22, and Lucy Calcio ’22, held their final performance on May 27.
Q: What does a normal improv troupe show look like?
LC: A normal improv troupe involves doing many different types of games. We have larger group games in which the whole troupe participates and anyone can participate. As leaders this year, we added smaller group games where we randomize the assignment.
CM: For those we ask the audience to pick a random game, and see what they want us to play.
JG: Every game starts with us entering into a song. We usually have a theme to our game, like when we had a Wild West theme, we had cowboy music, and then we all danced onto the stage and hyped up the crowd.
Q: How much time goes into preparing for each improv troupe show?
CM: So many hours!
JG: Days and days of work go into preparing for a show
LC: A lot of people ask ‘why do you rehearse for improv? The answer is we have to make sure that everyone is completely comfortable with all the games, so that when it’s time to perform, everyone is ready to go.
Q: What will you three miss about improv troupe when you graduate?
JG: Improv has just been my home because I’ve been in it since freshman year.
It’s what made me friends with the other people that do improv. IImprov introduced me to the arts, so now I do singing as well as acting in shows like Mamma Mia.
LC: I am actually the opposite of Jared. I’ve been doing theater forever, and then I auditioned for troupe my junior year. I was so scared to audition because I never thought I could improv. After I made the cut, I discovered my passion for improv. It has built up my confidence so much, I’ve learned a lot from it. I’m definitely going to miss the people in it the most because they are so funny.
CM: I have been here since my sophomore year. At first I was very scared, but the troupe helped me realize that comedy was my ‘thing’; something which I will always be thankful for. I will probably miss our gigs the most, and the ability to do improv as often as we get to do it.
Q: What skills from improv troupe do you think will help you for life after high school?
CM: I want to do theater, so the comedy aspect is really helpful in being able to explore improv itself.
JG: I’m not planning to pursue theater after this year, but I want to study pre-law and go to law school, and in a way, of course, you’re kind of performing for people. Every presentation I’ve ever had, the teacher has commented I’m a great public speaker, and I always seem to know what I’m talking about, even when I don’t, and that kind of comes with thinking on your feet and just speaking confidently with whatever comes to mind.
LC: Similarly to Jared, college interviews this year were somehow my favorite part of the process, because I’ve been thinking on my feet for the past two years. Even when I don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth next, something has to, and I’ve learned how to at least sound like I know what I’m talking about.
Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about the improv troupe?
JG: This could be a huge ego thing, but I feel like our grade has integrated performing arts a lot more to the rest of the student body.
LC: Every year the senior class gets really into the performing arts stuff because they realize ‘Oh, what they’re doing is funny,’ but the underclassmen never really get into it because they’re going to the football games. I wish people would give it a chance during their underclassmen years, because from what I’ve heard, people love it, and I’d love to see more underclassmen in our audience
CM: What I think people should know is that we’re pretty cool! We’ve had the opportunity to perform alongside some college groups at [Boston University]. Ditto to Lucy, we’d love to see more underclassmen
Q: What has been your favorite moment from the improv troupe?
CM: For me it would be our Valentine’s Day Gig this year. I remember after that gig, we all went out to get ice cream and we were all just so happy.
JG: I loved One Act. For reference, our One Acts gig was probably the least rehearsed gig we’ve had all year. It was after the One Act festival, which is where Acting Intensive directs a little play with underclassmen and juniors in it.
LC: That’s really what inspired us making this year so much more randomized and incorporating the improv practices into our gigs more, because in the years past we knew who was gonna play each game, those people had been rehearsed in those spots all year, and we realized it was getting kind of stale, so I think we really changed that this year.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering joining the improv troupe next year?
All 3- Do it!
CM- Everyone can improv, everyone is funny in their own way! It’s low commitment, it’s super low stakes, and it’s really fun! It’s not as scary as it looks, and the people in it are nowhere near scary!
In the past few years, Wellesley High School sailing has become one of the best teams in the state. In 2021, the team capped off a remarkable season with both the team and fleet racing championships in the Massachusetts Bay League. That success carried over to this season.
The team not only reclaimed the team and fleet racing titles, but also finished first in the Massachusetts Bay League with a record of 9-4, and ninth in the New England Fleet Race championships, to which the top sixteen teams in New England get invited to.
Alexa Quinn ‘22, Ashley Franklin ‘22, and Jack Welburn ‘22, the captains of the sailing team, credit the dedication and persistence of the team to learning and improving their craft.
“I think it’s just putting in the hours at practice,” said Quinn, “we’ve been there every day since the season started and putting in practice to get better. We have worked as a team in order to do well at races.”
“We’ve also had a couple of meetings in school, like classroom sessions to go over what happens on the water and any questions we have, so that helps a lot with strategy. People study the rules on their own time and watch videos so that’s definitely helpful,” said Franklin.
Welburn notes how these team talks include everyone on the team and are a space where every sailor’s feedback and thoughts can be heard.
“It’s not necessarily one person getting up there and speaking the entire time,” said Welburn, “we have really good open conversations with everybody on the team where we’re able to talk through situations that can be confusing, especially on the water situations that people may not know about.”
Team dinners have also strengthened the bond within the team, providing a fun and relaxing setting to become closer to one another.
“We go out to Dairy Queen and Chick-Fil-A a lot, so we’re always hanging out, even at the lake. It’s really fun to just hang out and talk to people.”
Professor Lovett, the team’s coach, notices the valuable experience and knowledge that the upperclassmen have given to the underclassmen.
“It’s fun when you have a good group, they’re teaching each other, they’re learning, I love to see kids improving, the older kids always helping out the younger kids, getting better,” said Lovett.
Before the Massachusetts High School Sailing State Championship, which happened on June 1 and June 2 at MIT, the team was hoping to keep its successful season going, along with bringing back some silverware.
“We’ve set our season up really well and we’re in a position where we have a little bit of momentum coming out of a few good finishes in the last few weeks,” said Welburn, “so hopefully we can carry that into states and come out with a few wins.”
“I’m hoping for a few more trophies by the end of the season,” said Lovett.
The team did just that. After two days racing on the Charles River, the WHS sailing team came out with a 110 to 111 victory over Winchester, claiming the state sailing title and adding to the list of triumphs for Wellesley sailing.