Get ready for lots of laughs and fast-moving action at Impulse, the Oregon Children’s Theatre’s Young Professionals show. Impulse is an improv troupe of theatre students ages 14 and up who create fast-paced comedic scenes and games — all based on real-time audience suggestions.
Starting with the show’s powerhouse opening, we knew we were in for a fun and different experience. The talented teens wasted no time getting into their improv set. The audience got some instructions and the games began. First the warm-up: the audience yelled categories and the actors dived right in creating scenes and performances on the spot. There was a fun twist, too: if any actors hesitated, stumbled or repeated what another actor already said, the audience yelled “POW”!, and they were out of the scene.
The troupe rolled through a series of games. During “I Am A Tree,” the kids in the audience loved participating, getting to choose what the actors did by yelling out ideas. A play where you get to shout from the audience? That’s a kid’s dream come true!
These young actors never missed a beat. Emma Fulmer, Hank Sanders and London Mahaley had so much fun with the typewriter scene, and Isaac Ellingson was a trooper in the last set where went through the whole scene on one leg.
If I hadn’t read that the actors came from different schools and different parts of town, I would have placed a bet that they have been close since kindergarten. They worked like gears in a well-oiled machine, working off of each other without hesitation or hiccup to hilarious results.
Both kids and adults in the audience were laughing out loud throughout the performance. Impulse is a great introduction to improv for kids, who get the chance to see improv performed not by old grown ups, but by other kids. And the cool thing is that if your kids love it, you can go again. No two shows are alike.
Tickets do sell out, so best to buy in advance. The performance is general admission and the building opens 30 minutes prior to performance time.