Redefining Undefined

Improv group expands to include varsity, JV squads; new sponsor also adds to changes for 2022-2023 year


Lizzie Rattenborg

Over the summer, the Undefined teams prepared for the school year practicing some skits. Undefined has added a JV team for the first time in its history.

Molly Brim, Administrative Editor

During its time at Lafayette, Undefined has only had one team. But for the 2022-2023 year, the team has been split into two groups — a junior varsity and varsity squad. Each team will have its own captains.

Varsity captain senior Bhushan Sreekrishnavilas said two teams were created to allow more people to participate. The teams will rotate their practices, starting off separately and meeting as a whole towards the end of the rehearsal.

With former drama teacher Natasha Fischer taking a new job as an assistant principal at Kellison Elementary School, Fischer reached out to Jennifer Ingram, language arts teacher, to take on the role of the new sponsor.

Ingram said her favorite part about being the new sponsor is being able to sit back and watch the students perform.

“I just get to sit back and watch the comedy show. Bhushan and Sawyer are amazing captains and they are running the show. They have to have a sponsor here at the building so I’m just here to help facilitate making sure there is a space for practices, that they get the supplies they need and to make sure that the performance date get on the calendar. Bhushan and Sawyer are the pros,” Ingram said.

When she heard Undefined was looking for a new sponsor, Ingram knew she wanted to be the next one. She said she has always had a soft spot for comedy.

“I’ve never done improv. I think my colleagues at Lafayette know that I have a flare for the dramatic. I enjoy making a fool of myself and making people laugh. Mrs. Fischer knew that I would be a good fit for improv because I’m willing to be goofy. I like making people laugh,” Ingram said.

Undefined will kick off their season with a show on Friday, Sept. 23. The JV performance time will be 3:45 p.m. and varsity’s time will be 7 p.m.

Sreekrishnavilas has been part of the team for two years. He first heard about Undefined and what it was about through a friend.

“For people that want to join undefined I would say go big or go home,” Sommer said.

My advice for the JV team is the same advice I have for the whole team, which is really just show up and have fun. Improv is great in that you don’t have to prepare, but practice is important. The more practices you come to, the more comfortable you get on stage and with your teammates, and the quicker you think. While improv isn’t scripted, there’s a lot more to scene work and jokes then you might think.

— Sawyer Novack - Senior


“One of my friends told me about the auditions for it, and I was a bit skeptical at first whether or not I should try out since I wasn’t sure if I’d be good. But I went to auditions and I made the team, and I’m really glad I did since the club has been one of the highlights of high school for me,” he said.

With this being Sreekrishnavilas’s second year on the team, he has had to adjust to the changes.

“We’re definitely all really sad that Mrs. Fischer had to leave, but Ms. Ingram has been fantastic. The main difference with having a new sponsor is that it’s a bit of a learning curve for all of us. Organizing a show is definitely a pretty big undertaking but everyone’s been really understanding. Overall, we’re really grateful that the team could keep performing,” Sreekrishnavilas said.

Senior Sawyer Novak is the other varsity captain. Novack has also been involved with Undefined for two years. Novack wanted to be part of the team since he first learned about it his freshman year.

“I took an acting class on a whim and as both a freshman and a new kid at the school, it helped me come out of my shell and I definitely took a liking to Fischer as a teacher. She really encouraged me to do theater and really wanted me to try out for Undefined. Outside of her, I went to all of the flex time shows that year with my friends and absolutely loved it. Of course, COVID-19 happened at the end of my freshman year, keeping me from trying out, but it never left my mind,” Novack said.

As Ingram has been working with the Undefined teams, Novack said he has seen her love for improv.

“Now that we are back on our feet, I can say I’m super excited for the season with Ingram. She definitely has a huge love for improv and has been super accommodating. The new drama teacher, Kelly Hobbs, has also been great. I’m looking forward to working with her as well,” Novack said.

Sophomore Payton Skipton first joined Undefined her freshman year after hearing about it from a close friend.

“When I was in 8th Grade one of my friends, Abby Scott, asked me if I wanted to audition for Undefined with her. Since I really liked theater, I was super excited to do it,” Skipton said.

Skipton is the captain of Undefined’s first ever JV team. Now in her second year doing improv, Skipton enjoys the different personalities people express on the team and the overall team aspect.

“I really like how there are so many different people and personalities on the team. Everyone is nice and caring to each other and everyone feels loved and accepted on the team. Even if you make a bad joke, it’s not about being super funny, but working as a team,” Skipton said.

Through improv, Skipton has learned how to not stand out too much and how to work with others.

“I would say try to go with the flow and not try to stand out too much. Again, you need to set up your scene partners for a funny line or at least try to. Working with others is a big part of improv so just be kind and accepting to everyone,” Skipton said.

Sophomore Evan Sommer joined Undefined his freshman year and will be the JV captain.

Sommer first heard about Undefined from his older sister who was a team captain for two years.

“My favorite part of Undefined is how awesome all the people on the team are. It is just a great environment to be around,” Sommer said.

Sommer has learned that the hardest part of improv is working up the confidence to perform on stage.