Theatresports, the exhilarating sport only attempted by adrenaline junkies, daredevils, and high school drama students. John McGlashan has had a strong, yet seemingly unnoticed, history in this event.
Competitive improv is often overlooked and disregarded as just another “strange artsy kid pastime”, however it is far more than that. As a member of Jonnies Theatresports since my very beginnings at McGlashan, I’ve seen how it has grown, developed, and evolved over the years.
I remember the days back in 2015 when Tuesday lunchtimes in the drama room were buzzing with energy. Those lunchtimes were spent doubled over with laughter as the senior drama students amazed us with their ability. As the years went on we all improved, honing our ability to think on our feet, think as one, and not panic. This all came to a climax in 2019 when the JMC team, The Jonnies Jesters, won the Dunedin competition, and then went on to be victorious at the South Island competition in Christchurch.
Sadly, however, as the years progressed, many of the members left due to old age (graduation), or simply because they had other commitments. Although our members may have slowly been departing, we kept high spirits.
The once busy Tuesday lunchtimes of 2015 have now become the small gatherings of 2020/1. Though interest in the sport is dwindling among students, it is still going strong. Even though there is only a small handful of us that still come along every week, we are still telling hilarious stories, making memories, and being far too stupid for our own good.
Personally, I owe Theatresports a lot. It’s been one of the few things that have been consistent over my high school years. It’s also the first place where I remember getting the rush of making people laugh while on stage. It is because of this that I now perform stand-up comedy almost every week, and it’s because of the training that Theatresports has given me that means I can hold my own while on a lineup alongside comedians over a decade older than I am.
The arts have been hit by COVID harder than almost any other area. Cancellations have led to us losing opportunities to perform, compete and even practice. However, luckily due to the recent level 2 move for good ol’ Dunners, we were able to have a small ‘get-together with other schools. St. Hilda's hosted an afternoon of Theatresports and improv for teams such as King's, Logan Park, and, of course, the Jonnies Jesters. It was an amazing experience and was exhilarating to finally get the opportunity to perform, even while most of the world doesn’t have that privilege. Now that I’m leaving McGlashan and I remember my time here, Theatresports, and the friends I’ve made through it, stand out. It’s been a privilege to get to spend my time performing, competing and laughing alongside the incredibly talented performers that McGlashan has produced. Now, in true Theatresports Fashion, I must emphasise - Don’t mention the Lollipop Club.