PNG Marches Into The Spotlight


JP Reuter and Deirdre Wolf acting out a PNG game.

Carlie Morgan, Reporter

After a year of absence, CPHS’s own Penguin National Guard has returned to the stage to bring laughter to the school once again. The improv troupe, composed of comedically gifted individuals performed their comeback show this past Friday, Jan. 20, which consisted of multiple comedic games which not only tested their acting skills, but their ability to make up jokes on the spot.

The club went through a rough time last year when the switch in theatre teachers left them without a sponsor and without a spot to perform their hilarious shows. But a few veteran PNG-ers were determined to keep the dream alive and took matters into their own hands.

“Last year the alumni went off the grid and did performances outside the school until we were reestablished as a club,” veteran cast member Kelsey Nelson said. “Van and I spent last semester teaching the new people everything we know about improv until we felt like we were ready for a show.”

It was hard work bringing PNG back into the spotlight, but the effort was well worth it according to Nelson.

“I really enjoy PNG and I know a lot of other people do,” Nelson said. “I wanted to keep it going after I’m gone.”

The cast of PNG contains a few seasoned jokesters, as well as newcomers to the group. All have been well-versed in the intricacies of improv as evidenced by their most recent debut show. Each show is composed of a series of games wherein the members of PNG take suggestions from the audience and incorporate them into silly scenes.

“I really enjoy crime scene,” newcomer Connie Kelley said. “It’s a chance for everyone to act goofy. It’s fun to try and make scenes on the spot, particularly with my friends.”

PNG’s combined sense of humor definitely shines in their hilarious antics which garner so many laughs. Although, what looks easy really takes a lot of work. The club spends a lot of time practicing and polishing their skills to make sure they have only the best to show their audience.

“Usually, in practice, we address what we need to do,” cast member Deirdre Wolf said. “Like, if we need to learn games we’ll do that and run through it a couple times and give everyone a try. If we need to work out a few kinks in some games or some people just want to try games, we give that a go. We also discuss future shows, cast members shirts, stuff like that.”

All in all, PNG is a happy place not only for the audience who goes to forget the stress of everyday school life, but for the members of the club. The group which has worked so hard to make sure their show is enjoyed by all have lots of reasons for having joined PNG, but one of the greatest is a love of bringing smiles to their audience’s faces.

“I joined PNG my sophomore year and a big motivator was all the seniors and juniors in it who were, inherently cooler than me,” Wolf said. “Improv itself was a draw because I like making people happy and it’s a great vehicle for that.”

Be on the lookout for these funny-men-and-women in the future as they continue to bring laughter to the halls of CPHS. Shows take place in the blackbox theater and include jokes you won’t want to miss.