The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

Pictured above is a RealCare baby that is used for the baby care project. Students in the Human Growth and Development class had to take home these babies for a weekend and learn how to care for a baby’s needs. “I liked having a constant companion with me,” Lehman said. “I was never alone for more than two seconds because it was really loud and needed constant attention.” 
Photo by Julia Seiden
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Tom Blyth’s portrayal of Coriolanus Snow in “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” book-to-movie adaptation has become a staple on social media. The TikTok hashtag “#coriolanussnow” has over one billion views with almost all of the featured videos being a fan-made edit of the actor.
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Crossing the finish line, senior Isabel Conde De Frankenberg secures first place at the Cedar Park invitational on Sept.9. This was Conde De Frankenberg’s first race of the season and she has won this race every year since she was a freshman. “Winning felt good because it’s good to represent your school,” Conde De Frankenberg said. “Being able to run on your own campus is really exciting and I had fun.”
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AT&T stadium in Arlington is the next big hurdle the Longhorns need to leap over in order to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.
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Taking a selfie with some of their castmates, including senior Aidan Cox, who plays Buddy the Elf, junior Brooke Ferguson shows off a sign presenting the arrival of “Elf. This year’s musical, “Elf” runs Dec. 1-3 in the CPHS PAC. “[Learning a new script is] always kind of a challenge,” Ferguson said. “You get a new cast and you get your own part. I’ve never worked closely with these people before. It’s a different environment and doing character work with someone new, trying to partner work and scene work is interesting. The script is good and it has a lot of jokes, it’ll be a lot of laughs.” Photo by Brooke Ferguson
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Jane Yermakov, Reporter • December 1, 2023

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On the Spot

PNG performs second show of the year
Cadence Teicher
Frozen in place, the actors sophomores Leilani Ibanez, Ben Akers and Mia Morneault perform in front of an audience for the PNG performance. The game they were playing is called “Suggestions” where the audience dictates what happens in the scene. “PNG is like a family,” Akers said. “We joke around and sometimes we hate each other but most of the time we love each other and we’re always there to support each other. You can never really control who you interact with at any given time which I think is the funnest part of it.” Photo courtesy of Cadence Teicher

A rotation of games, gripping interactions with the audience and actors thrown  into unexpected situations are all in a normal rehearsal for a PNG member. The actors hone their craft of improvisation and experimenting with new ways to continue a story while leaving the audience dissolving into laughter.

Switching entire characters and stories within the blink of an eye, PNG held their monthly performance on Oct. 17. PNG, which stands for Penguin National Guard, is an improv troupe with 16 members. They rehearse every Monday and Friday, as well as compete at Thespians, a competition for those involved in theater.

“When I was in eighth grade, my theater teacher told me that I should join the high school PNG improv troupe and I was like, ‘What the heck is that?’ and she explained it to me,” sophomore Leilani Ibanez said. “At first, I was really nervous to audition, but I found out who was in the troupe and that compelled me to join. Also, I think it’s really funny when people mock my height. They always get on their knees every time they impersonate me and I think it’s really funny that I’m the token short person in the troupe.”

Initially, PNG was not a well known extracurricular. At the beginning of junior Pearl Bailey’s freshman year, she said that there were far fewer students than there are now. Over the years though, their traffic has increased with most seats being filled during their performances in the Black Box.

“I really like the early years when it was a very small group and everyone was more tight-knit,” Bailey said. “There’s nothing wrong with having a bigger group, I just like the smaller groups more, so that made my freshman year really fun. This is going to sound mean, but in freshman year the first auditions were a bunch of ‘losers,’ including me, but then people got more interested and I was already in it, so that felt really cool. That was one of my favorite moments. Otherwise, a lot of my friends joined this year like Noa [Avigdor] and Erica [Mihealsick] and I’m glad my friends are in it this year.”

Auditions are required for those who want to be a part of PNG. Students who were previously a part of it get to return, but the empty spots on the troupe are chosen through the audition process.

“The audition this year was so fun for me,” sophomore Ben Akers said. “Since I was already in PNG, I was able to help other people who weren’t in PNG try out different things in improv. It was structured just like a normal PNG rehearsal but with way more people and it was so fun to see everyone’s different styles. Everyone was trying and that was brilliant.”

Improvisation is acting without a script. During PNG performances, they get prompts from the audience according to the structure of the game they are actively playing. According to Akers, it’s an opportunity to use imagination to create any scene to make the audience laugh. The student leaders, who were senior Aiden Cox and junior Abby Williams in the most recent show, control the flow of the games and how long they last. Seth Loudenslager is also a student leader who is a part of PNG.

“Overall the crowds are good,” Ibanez said. “I wish we had more people because the more people there are, the more people laugh. I also just really miss the seniors from last year. I think the seniors were holding onto the tradition of PNG and there’s a lot of new people this year. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just different and I’m really excited to see how far we go.”

With students dropping the club out of being too busy or graduating, the members of PNG are often changing. This causes changes in the energy of the team, especially with the recent growth of the troupe.

“Everyone, especially this year, is very close and very energetic,” Bailey said. “This is the first year that we’ve had stuff outside rehearsals. We’ve started having movie nights and stuff, but I haven’t attended yet. So I would say we’re all tight, but not in the way where someone gets excluded, but in the way that everyone gets along with each other.”

The performances are meant to be entertaining for the audience and an opportunity for the actors to experiment in ways they haven’t before. According to Ibanez, the closeness of the team and encouragement between the members are important for the flow of the acting in the scenes.

“We had this other [bit] where at the end of the last game we would all come together and sing ‘Amazing Grace’,” Bailey said. “It’s banned now because it got overused. One show I got chosen to play Elmo and I didn’t watch Elmo growing up and I didn’t know what he sounded like, so I made him British, that was really funny. We were told to find the end of the scene and we were all sitting and eating a slice of pizza and I just stood up and said, ‘I’m taking the pizza!’ and ran off and my friend said she laughed so hard that she sprayed water out of her nose.”

The sponsor of the club is the theater department head Alisa Mirabella, but according to Bailey, it is mostly student run. The club is completely separate from theater and anyone can audition.

“The thing about improv is that you don’t think about what you’re doing so you have some times when jokes are bad or inappropriate,” Akers said. “Majority of the time though, when things come out uncensored, that allows people to express their ideas without being concerned about themselves and it’s just so cool to see that happen.

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About the Contributor
Jane Yermakov, Reporter
Jane is a sophomore and a first year reporter. She’s always excited to meet new people, give them a voice and put their stories into writing. She loves listening to all different types of music and has been playing the piano for around two years. She loves to write about people and their unique stories. After graduation, she’s still not sure what she wants to do, but hopes to attend UT Austin. She’s obsessed with looking too deeply into movies, watching corny shows with her friends and she loves her dog.

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