Teen Arts Council hosts second annual Comedy Hoedown

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Jonathan Chen, Editor-In-Chief

Student performers jump on the stage at the beginning of the Teen Arts Council’s second annual comedy hoedown as part of an improvised opening skit involving people “promposing” to junior Gavin Thomas. Thomas said he got into comedy to continue getting performing experience. “I started acting a few years ago, and it seemed like a natural step in getting myself out there,” Thomas said. “I want to get more involved in the community and this seems like a pretty good way to do it.” (Photo: Jonathan Chen)

“Choose me!”

“No, choose me!”

Thus began the Teen Arts Council’s second annual Comedy Hoedown on Friday night at the Children’s Theater.

The event featured a hoedown theme, and students came dressed accordingly in cowboy boots and overalls. Dressed in a cow suit, TAC organizer Jack Champlin said the event’s turnout was a success.

“We expected significantly less people to show up, so when so many people came, so quickly as well, it was a really pleasant surprise,” Champlin said.

Following Champlin’s introduction, the hoedown began with an improvised segment of five performers collectively “promposing” to Palo Alto High School junior Gavin Thomas. According to Thomas, a lot of his comedy comes on the spot. 

“I’ve got a planned concept for tonight, but [it’s] mostly improv,” Thomas said.

Junior Erin Brady performed her set after the mass promposal and said her comedy is also largely improvised.

“Most of it I do wing — I kind of just know the general outline,” Brady said.

Junior Erin Brady performs her comedy set about maternity. (Photo: Jonathan Chen)

The Comedy Hoedown is the third event the TAC hosted during this school year. According to TAC President Nila-Ann Nag, the events are a way for students to perform in a welcoming environment.

“Our council is kind of a way to bring teens together in a fun and good environment,” Nag said. “There’s no judging.”

Finding performers for the hoedown was a challenge for the TAC due to the improv-focused nature of the event, according to Nag.

“We try to keep it to stand up and improv, so it’s definitely hard to find people who only do that,” Nag said. 

Sophomore Matthew Arradaza attended the show and said he was impressed by the performances.

“They’re all really comfortable on stage; they’re not like stuttering, [or] being terrified,” Arradaza said. “They’re just sort of having fun with it, and it just worked really well.”

The TAC will next host an Open Mic at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 12th, at the Mitchell Park Library. Additional information about upcoming TAC events can be found on the TAC website.