Introducing the Battledogz: the feisty improv team from Newfoundland
The Battledogz have style. Even in the audience at the National Theatre Centre, coaches and families from other teams are sporting Battledogz branded toques with a logo that looks like it came straight from a death metal poster. Their merch game is strong.
This improv team hails from the Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John's. They're the only team representing Newfoundland at the national Canadian Improv Games (CIG) in Ottawa and they've come a long way to sink their fangs into the competition.
But at the end of the day, despite their battle-ready team name, they're all about lighthearted fun and jokes during improv. For some members of the team, it's helped them open up and make new friends.
"Improv people are so nice, they'll say, 'Hi,' to you and have a chat. And I've started doing that more in my personal life," says Emily, a member of the Battledogz.
Not only are they kind, the Battledogz are hilarious. When they take the stage at the CIGs, the audience can expect to roar with laughter.
Aside from their humour, their greatest strength as performers is their physicality. Each member of the team uses their body to represent different items in the scene. Two members linked up to make an epic sword during their performance at the national improv games.
No matter where you're looking during their scenes, a member of the team is moving dramatically or using the boxes on stage as creative props. The Battledogz often used the boxes to elevate or lower their characters status in the imaginary world.
And even though the CIGs are a competition, it's easy to see that they're having fun on stage, not worrying about points and scores. But it's a long way from home from St. John's.
On the plane ride over to Ottawa, Ian overheard one of his teammates hoping that they wouldn't place last in the CIGs after travelling so far. "We expected absolutely nothing… It's super cool to be recognized at the national festival," says Ian.
Will the Battledogz make it to the final round of the CIG championships? Or will they return home as the underdogs of improv? Stream the 2019 Canadian Improv Games on CBC Gem.