June grad helps father teach improv course

This article was written by a student in the Harvard-Westlake Summer Program for Journalism. 
By Katie Plotkin ’17

After graduating from high school in June, Hank Doughan ‘12 helped teach a class at the Harvard-Westlake Performing Arts Conservatory with his father, acting teacher Jim Doughan. He took drama during his high school career and participated in school plays and the Scene Monkeys, the Harvard-Westlake improv troupe.

This class, titled Comedy Improvisation, focuses mainly on CROW: character, relationship, objective, and where. Other performing arts classes in the Performing Arts Conservatory include Contemporary Dance, Jazz Singing, Music Theory, Create Your Own Show, Chamber Music, and many more.

In the class on “Fun Friday,” the class played fun warm-up games such as The Bunny Game. In The Bunny Game, students form a circle, and when someone in the circle points at someone, they would have to put their fingers over their head like a bunny, as would the two people beside them. And they would have to sing, “Bunny bunny bunny bunny bunny bunny bunny,” which made the whole class explode into laughter.

Other warm-up games include Laugh and Go and Zooloo.

In Laugh and Go, the goal is to be as bland as they can be while having a conversation with someone. If they make the other person laugh, they are out.

In Zooloo, the teachers give a subject, and when he points at someone they have to say a variation of that word. For example, if the word is chairs, they would have to say names of chairs. They can be anything; they would just have to say something fast. If they let their minds go blank, they are out.

Kevin Wesel ’17 said the games are his favorite part of the class.

“I like The Bunny Game, but the thing is I always get out,” Wesel said, smiling.

Hank Doughan said that if he got the chance to, he would love to teach the class again next year.

“I get to teach what I love most with kids who learn at a very fast rate,” Doughan said.