Five improv plays in one day by fast-acting theatre students

by | Feb 11, 2019 | News

Zainab Zaman, News Reporter

Writers, actors, and directors from Humber College got their 15 minutes of fame during the weekend.

Talented performers joined together in teams to create five quarter-hour long improv plays on Feb. 9 at the Assembly Hall near Humber’s Lakeshore campus.

Melanie Dubois, actor, singer, and director of the Act Fast, was inspired to create the special event at Humber.

“Everything has been on schedule as planned, around 100 people are showing up to the show,” she said.

“The actors are applying exactly what they are learning in natural practice, the experiential learning of this event is unreal,” Dubois said.

Students from Theatre Arts Production, Journalism and Media Studies embraced their talents to local community members and Humber students.

Theatre Arts students performing the play “We are Humans” at the Assembly Hall near Lakeshore campus on Feb. 9. (Zainab Zaman)

“Theatre fans get to see polished professional performances however they don’t see the process, so they don’t always value the art,” Doubis said.

“We are purposely making a point to show the audience what goes into a play, which is all done in one day,” she said.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to three chariteis, the Lakeshore Arts and the Regents Park Focus Youth Arts and Media Centre, and the Humber College’s Event Management Scholarship Fund.

“Giving back was always something we wanted to do, the funds will be donated between the three charities to help them keep doing what they are doing,” Doubis said.

Local community members supported Humber students by attending the Act Fast Play at the Assembly Hall near Lakeshore campus on Feb. 9. (Zainab Zaman)

“We worked with Melanie to talk about the purpose of the Humber College community partnership fund, which is a way to support access and pathways by bringing local communities together with Humber,” said Nivedita Lane, manager of Community and Partnership Development at Humber.  

“I hope people understand how cool and exciting theater can be, because 20 hours ago we didn’t have a show and since then we have been working and doing our best to put on a show,” said Natasha Nieland, the assistant stage manager.

“Everybody who is organizing the play will be graded based on their performances, my job is bigger than I excepted it to be but it’s okay because I love theatre,” she said.

Alexis Wilson (left) and Ashante Hussey (right) preform their first live show at the Act Fast Play held at the Asembly Hall near Lakeshore campus on Feb. 9. (Zainab Zaman)

Rather than completely dressing up, the actors stuck to their normal outfits and key costumes like vests, hats and sunglasses.

Every 15-minute show consists of five actors, the plays mostly focused on human behaviours.

Students writing the play were given key words and phrases to inspire their script, also to assure the stories were done on the same day.

“People are getting a glimpse of the behind the scenes actions, but also get to watch the actors perform in a time crunch,” Doubis said.

“We are putting the team’s education at the test, as an actor-director and writer this event proves that Humber College students can put on a show in less than 24 hours,” she said.

Melanie Dubois, organizer of the event, Facetimed her mother to show her the large audience that attended the Act Fast Play at the Assembly Hall near Humber’s Lakeshore campus on Feb. 9. (Zainab Zaman)

“I’m really excited to have an audience to perform to, we all had to dive in together and put on a show that regularly takes us a week to do in one day,” said Alexis Wilson, a Theatre Arts student and actress.

“I’m really shy because I invited a lot of my friends, the main thing for me is to get people from outside the community to see what theater is all about and the magic we create,” said Ashante Hussey, a Theatre Performance student.

The Act Fast play proved to the audience that Humber College students can do a lot in a short amount of time.

“We had less than 24 hours to put on the show, it’s super hectic and crazy but this is the part I love the most because you get to see the crew get excited and everything comes together,” said Shannon Crooks, the stage manager of the play.  

“The show was an amazing experience for my kids who are hoping to become actors in the future, also as parents we get an idea of what Humber does in theatre,” said Shanti Ali, a guest at the event.

The Act Fast play consisted of creativity and collaboration amongst students.