By Hannah Prozenko
Students from the Dartmouth High School Improv Club buzzed with energy after completing the first of five performances at Alderney Landing on Saturday night.
“It’s so much fun!” shared Keegan Blue, a senior member of the group. “I get to perform here for four hours straight doing the thing that I love.”
The club specializes in improvised theatre, a form of acting where everything is created on the spot. They performed for Halifax’s beloved Nocturne, an art event held across downtown Halifax and Dartmouth from six to midnight on October 18th. Nocturne allows artists the opportunity to display their work, so for these Dartmouth kids; it means the chance to perform.
Using neutral-faced white masks, the actors led the audience through an interactive tour of Alderney Landing. From the dramatic life of a Dartmouth teen, to a collective zombie monster crawl, these kids brought out the many faces of the city, even if you couldn’t see theirs.
The purpose of these masks was more than just for show. It was a liberating experience.
“I like wearing the masks because basically nobody knows it’s you,” said newcomer Drew Blair. “You kind of feel like you can do anything.”
Though some of the members are new to the group, DHS is no newbie when is comes to Nocturne.
“We did Nocturne I think three years ago,” said David Zinck, the coach of the group. “We did it for the department of education and it was awesome!”
This year they were contacted again, and they were more than delighted to accept.
Being the only high school student performers at Nocturne, these DHS kids know how important it is for youth to get involved.
“You can do it now, you can start young.” Said Blue on the topic of youth and art. “You don’t have to wait and get a degree and than go ‘now I’m an artist’. You’re an artist if you are making art.”
“It is important for youth to participate because it keeps them open to new ideas,” stated returning member Megan Wilson. “Looking at different ways that they can express themselves and that they can find out who they want to be.”
Youth participation in Nocturne, or any art festival is a key factor for an artist’s development.
“It’s beginning to see yourself as an artist, but also kind of re-imagining or re-interpreting your entire city scape as an artist.” Said Zinck. “It is the beginning of them realizing what it means to be an artist, and how to see the world as an artist.”