SNL alumni and comedian Dr. Tim Meadows has spent the past several months helping Samohi Theater students develop their acting skills, culminating in a comedy skit show last week.
Meadows was asked to participate by Theater Director Kate Barraza who knew of his work with students around the country.
“Dr. Meadows is very funny and makes the people around him more funny,” she said. “The students respected and appreciated this opportunity and truly rose to the occasion. It was so fun to be a part of this experience. There were times when the students got Dr. Meadows laughing really hard and it was fun to witness. He’s professional, meets students where they are at and pulls their best work out of them. He was both honest and encouraging with students, which gave them the confidence to move forward with their ideas but with clear and specific feedback as to how to improve the ideas and write great scripts.”
Ranging from scenes about blind dating shows and the girl scouts, the audience enjoyed the student-run performance. There were both live showings of the sketches and shorter pre-recorded episodes put on display at the Humanities Center Theatre on campus. The young and talented cast were pleased with their night.
Titus Auger, an actor in numerous skits said “Things went very well. I’m proud of the performance everyone put on. It was great.”
Scene writer Lara Hunter said, “I think things went very well. I’m happy with the amount of laughs we got.”
Meadows was also very satisfied with the performance of Samohi’s actors and actresses.
“I thought the show went very well! I was very happy to see such a large turnout of students, friends, family and staff. I really wanted the writers and actors to experience a large reaction from an audience and the crowd did just that” said Meadows.
Being an actor, comedian, and writer, Meadows is known for his long-time work on Saturday Night Live, receiving a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series. Starting his career with performing improvisational comedy, he has continued to work with humor in his acting many times, starring in Mean Girls, Coneheads and more.
Holding comedy near to his heart, Meadows said, “Comedy needs an audience. I thought that Ms. Barraza did an excellent job at directing and staging the scenes. The actors really committed to their performances. I am so proud of them and happy that they had fun!”
Meadows began working with students via Zoom before Thanksgiving Break and the students pitch scene ideas to him. Students worked with Meadows on several drafts before casting began after Winter Break.
“I basically explained to them how to write sketches by showing them examples and explaining some of the basic rules of comedy and improvisation that they see when watching a show like SNL or ‘I Think You Should Leave’ on Netflix, we then took their ideas and found the best way to express that through a comedy scene. It was a lot for them to take in, that’s why I was so happy with their show. We met several times to rewrite their scenes.” said Meadows.
While Meadows said he doesn’t find anything hard about acting, he finds the payoff very rewarding.
“The show is the best part. Seeing an audience laugh at something that was in your head a few days ago is pretty fire,” said Meadows.
The students were not the only ones learning too, with Meadows getting updated on modern lingo such as ‘fire’.
Samohi Theatre in the past has put on other productions available to the public eye such as fan-favorite musical Legally Blonde, and a rendition of the board game Clue. The upcoming musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, will have opening night starting Feb. 24. Visit https://www.samohitheatre.org/ for more information.