The SimPhoney Improv troup is coming to Agassiz Feb. 16 for an “off the cuff” performance supporting the Agassiz Youth Outreach.
Youth outreach & suicide prevention worker Ericka Young used to be a member of the Chilliwack troupe and says the performances are similar to those seen on U.S. TV series, “Whose Line is it Anyways.”
“They have certain games that they play, but you never know where it’s going to go,” she said.
After partnering with Agassiz Youth Outreach for a workshop, the improv troupe reached out to Young to suggest the fundraising show.
SimPhoney Improv troupe member Michael Berger said one his favourite things about improv is its unpredictability.
“Most of the [troupe] have some sort of theatrical or public speaking background, and when you do those things you’re always having to memorize lines…with improv it’s completely free,” he said. “Whatever’s at the top of your mind, you just go and see where it takes you. That whole internalized pressure is off that way.”
The show, explained Berger, is about laughter and a bit of interactivity. Some of the improv games require audience suggestions and even a volunteer participant or two.
“It’s all about fun and having a good time. We love having the audience interaction and the energy that comes from it and the suggestions that come from it.”
Young said the event is a great way for the community to give back to local youth.
“We serve about, on average 60 youth that come through here each month,” she said. “We have kids that come every single day and kids that just come once in a while.” Agassiz Youth Outreach has a lunch program and provides youth with a sit-down dinner every night. Young said for some of the kids, the program is like their family. “They come and just hang out with their friends and it’s inclusive –anyone can come,” she said. “It’s their second home. They own this place.”
Fundraisers like the show on Friday help Agassiz Youth Outreach supply youth with new experiences.
“With fundraising- we’re able to do a little bit more with the kids,” Young said. “It’s a lot of fun, we engage the youth in activities and workshops.”
Last year the community program took kids on excursions to Science World, the Planetarium, and on camping and beach trips, to name a few.
SimPhoney Improv is performing Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Agassiz Legion. Tickets are $15 at the door. The show is for adults aged 19 and older.