Improv team will continue to show off its talents, skills

Group loses its official affiliation with ComedySportz


Gracie Carr

During tryouts on Aug. 21, senior Jackie Gantz and freshman Olivia Griffith set up a scene involving, believe it or not, sellng and buying hams.

Katie Darragh, Reporter

Thespians flooded into the auditorium after the first day of school, excited for the upcoming season under the tutelage of the new theater director Mr. Tristan Zavaleta. The meeting was upbeat. It promised a year full of productions and new opportunities such as blackbox theater, but it was not long before it took a turn for the ComedySportz team.

“You could feel your stomach drop,” said senior and former team co-captain Claire Hunter as she remembered the moment she found out her team no longer existed.

In protest to this summer’s events concerning the decision to fire a teacher, ComedySportz Indianapolis (CSz Indianapolis) released a statement that it would be pausing all of its activities in both Roncalli and Cathedral high schools until the Archdiocese reverses its “approach to remove these educators despite any value these individuals may add to the educational development of students.”

The organization indicated its assurance of its “great deal of respect for the Catholic faith,” but it resolved to stand against “actions that appear to unfairly punish and exclude.”

It was not long before the Archdiocese responded.

According to theater department chair Mr. Michael Moffatt, the Archdiocese called a meeting to gather the Archdiocesan schools after CSz Indianapolis released its decision. The meeting sought the approval of each school for the Archdiocese to draft a letter in response to the withdrawal.

According to Moffatt, the letter labeled the actions of the organization as religious discrimination and announced that the Archdiocesan schools will henceforth cease to be affiliated with CSz Indianapolis. All of the schools agreed to the letter, not wanting to be a part of an organization that removes students from activities based off of their school’s religious stance.

Hunter sagged in her seat, disappointed. She relayed how ComedySportz was always her favorite activity to look forward to ever since she made the team as a freshman.

She had been excited for the tradition of Senior Night, her fourth year as a member of the league, and her second year as co-captain, but most of all she had been anticipating another year of getting to perform with her team. “They are like family,” said Hunter as she explained how improv is all about learning to trust in one another and how the close collaboration creates an intimate bond.

When asked for her opinion on the actions of CSz Indianapolis, Hunter admitted she understood the organization’s stance but said that “at the same time we [students] didn’t make that decision (this summer). We had no impact. It is just punishing us for something that we didn’t do.”

However, not all hope is lost for students such as Hunter and her team.

The future still looks bright for improv despite the loss. “We want to flip this into something great,” Zavaleta said. Lounging in the mix-matched chairs of his office, Zavaleta and Moffatt bounced ideas off of each other. They spoke of various improv styles that they would love to try out in a rebranded improv group, now that the team will be free of the constraints of the ComedySportz structure. They spoke of “getting back to the roots” of improv here, and entertained the idea of new programs dedicated to uniting the Archdiocesan family.

While there are many ideas still on the drawing board, Zavaleta and Moffatt were especially interested in improv workshops in collaboration with other Archdiocesan schools.

Regardless, the school will have an improv team this year that is welcome to all students, not just those who were previously ap art of the ComedySportz team.

CSz Indianapolis is also working to keep high school improv leagues alive with the new  Circle City High School League team.

Mr. Ed Trout, the chief artistic officer of CSz, wrote in an email that the team is open to all “students from those schools that would have participated to sign-up and participate in an unaffiliated team of High School League players.” They organized this new team in an attempt to stand by students who “may be in even more need of support” at this time.