Faculty Host SNL Style Comedy Show

Mariel Rossi deVries, Staff Writer

The Campolindo Drama course spent much of the 1st semester collaborating on the production of a 3 night comedy show, Campo Night Live, which ran from December 10-12. The show was based on various skits originally performed on the popular TV comedy Saturday Night Live.

The performances were produced by Jamie Donohoe’s drama students.  A unique feature of the production was the incorporation of a different guest host for each performance: teachers Ryan Boyd and Caron Brownlee, and Principal John Walker provided opening monologues and participated in various skits on their respective host nights.

Sets were built and skits were rehearsed long before the live performances. The sets mimicked the real SNL studio, with a stage that brought the audience into an intimate relationship with the actors. Like the TV show, the actors played to the audience’s responses.

The goal of the show was “to make people laugh a lot,” said Donohoe.

Skits targeted political figures like Hillary Clinton, as well as historical figures like Anne Boleyn. One piece presented a space mission involving a brain slurping squid and a pair of chihuahuas.

Each night’s show consisted of 10 skits. Walker hosted the 1st show on December 10. “I want to have a good opening act and then stay out of the way of the real performers, which are the kids,” he said prior to his performance.

Having faculty members participate in the production provided a unique opportunity for them to present aspects of their personalities beyond the classroom. “Most of the teachers I hadn’t talked to before and I had only seen Mr.Walker before, so now I get their personalities,” said junior Cameron Court.

There were also aspects of the performance that referenced the hosts’ real roles as educators. Boyd’s opening act involved teaching a history class while taking on challenges, such as advertising for an infomercial and fending off ninjas.

Brownlee was at first reluctant to join the production. “It was terrifying,” she said.  However, the challenge became the reason she ultimately decided to do it. “I am at a point in my life where I don’t want fear to hold me back. Everything about me wanted to say ‘no’ so that’s why I am going to say ‘yes’,” explained Brownlee.

“It was nice to be a teacher that was a ‘student’ in drama, around students who were the ‘teachers,'” Brownlee added.

“They [the teacher guests] are really funny and creative too. We helped each other and gave each other encouragement. It really helped to strengthen our bond,” said senior actress Lauren Raff.

Donohoe and the drama students spent months developing the concepts and writing the scenes for the show. “All of the scenes were funny in different ways,” said Court.

Although the weeks leading up to the performances were stressful Raff said, “All of the big moments we had were so worth it.”

The 3 night show was sold out, and due to the success, Donohoe is considering future productions with a similar format. “I suspect the format will continue,” said Donohoe.