Scene Monkeys perform improv at student film festival

Lucas Gelfen

Upper school student improv group, Scene Monkeys, performed the opening act for the Los Angeles Student Media Festival on March 30. Six of the 20-member ensemble attended the two hour long show, which was the Scene Monkeys’ first public performance of the academic school year. The group played “Scene 3 Ways”, “Tableau”, “Dubbing”, and “Pillars”, the latter of which included random audience volunteers.

In Tableau, a game which the Monkeys use to introduce most of their performances, the audience called out made-up movie titles, the monkeys would create movie posters for them. Dubbing is a game where two Monkeys in the middle act out a scene from a foreign film, while two Monkeys on the outside “dub” the film into English. In Scene 3 ways, the monkeys improvised a simple scene, which was then remade into three different styles of film.

“This was my first improv performance,” Emma Pasarow ’14 said. “It was great to get some of those first time nerves out of the way, so that I’ll be more relaxed in our later performances.”

Meanwhile, Nick Healy ’13, who has been in Scene Monkeys since his junior year, said that every performance is nerve-wracking, but that “the energy of the audience and the other actors settles your nerves, oddly enough.” Healy’s favorite game was “Pillars”, a game in which one of the monkeys taps an audience member, and the audience member finishes their thought for them.

“What was memorable was how we came together as a group to do a killer show,” Healy said.  “It was some monkeys’ first shows, so I’m especially proud of them for stepping up and making everyone very proud.”

The Scene Monkeys will perform in the Playwrights Festival this weekend, their annual Mothers’ Day show at the Hollywood Improv on May 12 and a show in Rugby in May.