School Desk

Laughs and lessons at Bronx Science improv show


The next Tina Fey, Steve Carell or Bill Murray could be walking the halls of the Bronx High School of Science at this very moment. 

On June 13, Bronx Science students called upon their wit and quick thinking skills at the Improv Club’s end-of-year show, “Improv Episode IV: A New Joke.” 

While Star Wars was the theme of the evening, with one skit taking place in the Death Star, the club’s jokes and activities dealt with prompts from “Burning Rome” to “Lady Gaga’s Next Outfits” and “Speed Dating.” 

The group started out the show with an exercise called “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” which calls on three students to tell a short tale in three parts, with each segment getting progressively worse.

“I watched a movie today,” one student began. “It was an Adam Sandler movie,” said the second. “I loved it,” the third student said, to laughs from the crowd.

In an exercise called “Puppets,” students moved their classmates’ limbs while others had to devise a storyline set in burning Rome. The scene quickly spiraled into a zany skit involving cannibalism — a bit too off-topic for club advisor Tim Lewis.

“Insufficient Roman empire references in that one — I’m hoping for more,” he said after calling the scene to a close.

It is Mr. Lewis’ second year as the club’s advisor. A longtime improv enthusiast, he participated in groups in both high school and college.

“I think improv is one of the best things you can do as a high school student,” said Mr. Lewis, who has taught social studies at Bronx Science for three years.

Since he became the club’s advisor, membership has grown from seven to over 20 students.

Mr. Lewis said one of the golden rules of improv is to respond to others onstage by saying, “Yes, and…” He explained that that positive interaction keeps the scene going and lets an idea to play out and expand in interesting ways. 

“I think a lot of that applies to life,” he added. 

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