Drama Club holds first-ever Comedy Night


Alyssa Rasp

Junior Marcos Guevara of Cliffwood performed in the sketch “The Eye Examiner” at Comedy Night.

Sarah Lynch

Drama Club broke the mold with its first Comedy Night on Nov. 4. The cast performed a series of sketches submitted by CHS students.

Senior and Drama Club director Annie Ruoff of Monmouth Beach said that she and the council came up with the idea last June.

“We had mixed opinions on whether we should do two shows, or spend the whole year just working on the musical,” Ruoff said. “Eventually, we came up with the idea to do a smaller show for the fall and then use the money we make for the spring. An original sketch comedy show was the perfect solution because it was low budget, we didn’t have to pay for the rights and it was a great way to get the whole school involved.”

Ruoff said she and the council got the idea approved by Drama Club adviser and Radio teacher Bill Bengle. Principal James Gleason then officially approved the event and requested to review the script at the end of September.

Once Comedy Night was scheduled, the Drama Club had two months to prepare for the performance, which senior, and Drama Club Producer, Rebecca Cleffi of Manasquan said came with less challenges than expected.

“We have been planning this since last year, believe it or not, so that definitely helped with making sure we had everything we needed,” Cleffi said.

Cleffi said she, Ruoff, Junior and Assistant Director Lara Graney of Belmar and Junior and Assistant Producer Izzy Cavazzoni of Wall spent time preparing for the show over the summer.

The work paid off, senior Kathryn Willis of Tinton Falls said, who attended Comedy Night.

“I thought it was nice to see something that was done by CHS students from start to finish rather than just a random play by a random writer,” Willis said. “There was definitely a lot of effort put in to get that together in only a couple of months.”

Willis said her favorite skit was “NewsNow: Apocalypse,” written by Graney.  

“Everyone’s delivery and timing was really on point with that one,” Willis said.

Freshmen Evan Kuo of Tinton Falls and Sawyer Barth of West Long Branch wrote a sketch for the show called “The Sketch Comedy” and Kuo said he was impressed by the Drama Club’s interpretation.

“I was not able to go to the rehearsals, so I had no idea what to expect. When the lights came on, I was blown away by the delivery,” Kuo said. “They got the timing down perfectly and it got a great amount of laughs from the crowd. I was exceptionally pleased at the result and thankful that the Drama club got it right.”

Kuo said he would definitely write for Comedy Night in the future and Ruoff hopes the event will become a tradition at CHS.

“I hope it not only becomes a tradition, but that future Drama Clubs find new ways to expand the event and get even more students involved,” Ruoff said.