By: Staff Writers Andrew Chen and Zen Thumparkkul
Sketch comedy show Mission Night Live 2 will be held in C120 on Friday, December 11. Mixing the styles of Whose Line is it Anyway? and Saturday Night Live, Mission Night Live 2 combines the best of both worlds and showcases the talents of the Universal Performers (UP) through improv comedy, shorts skits, pantomimes, and various other types of short performances all geared toward MSJ culture. The show starts at 6:30PM with doors open at 6:00, with tickets, snacks, and drinks all available for a dollar each.
The first Mission Night Live hosted on October 23rd enjoyed a great public response, with constant hoots and laughter from the hyped-up crowd. “I wasn’t expecting the turn out to be so great. The audience laughed at all our jokes and it felt really nice to perform, ” Senior performer Rohan Panuganti said. The audience was caught off guard with the show as well. Sophomore Sonia Tasser said, “Their jokes were original; I thought their impromptu was really good. Last time was really funny, so I’m excited see what they’re going to do this time, and how new and original it’s going to be.”
Building on the success of the first Mission Night Live, Mission Night Live 2 is twice as long with more games and MSJ relevancy. As a low-budget show that aims to spotlight the talents of individual performers, Mission Night Live 2 makes use of few props to be more performance-based. The goal for Mission Night Live was to gradually build up productions and the drama department to a much larger spring performance that is typically expected from a theater.
Under the guidance of Drama Adviser Valerie Carattini, Mission Night Live is produced by UP, with the Improv team, a subsidiary of UP, having the most involvement. The Improv team is currently composed of 15 performers and technical staff who contribute most of the show’s ideas and performances. The farcical comedy goes through many rounds of practice and improvisation to achieve a good balance of rehearsed acting and on-the-spot jokes. Scriptwriter and Performer Allamaprabhu Pattanashetty said of the production, “Mission Night Live was actually a great experience for me. I don’t think I’ve seen a high school production which is quite like Mission Night Live… It really caters to its audience and I think that’s an important part of our program, that it actually tries to entertain our audience instead of creating its own thing… which I think is very admirable.”
Since the Improv team has only recently held auditions for students in Mission Night Live, it is currently not recruiting new members. Instead, prospective performers interested in acting can audition for the spring play through UP, although the process is a very selective one. The growing tech crew that runs functions like the lighting, sound, and props, is actively looking for interested students, also through UP.
Regarding Mission Night Live, Carattini said, “I’m new to Mission San Jose High School, so I was very concerned about how our first production would be, as in any normal first time event you would be. But we were very well-supported by our student body and faculty, and administration’s great, so I felt very much encouraged by our first one and we felt we had done a really good job. We want to top that this time with two times the fun and two times the quality, so we’re working step by step to improve.”
Photo Credits: MSJ Universal Performers