Humber alumni star at TOsketchfest

A Tribe Called Sketch, a comedy group that formed at Humber College, also stars at SketchfestT.O. (Courtesy A Tribe Called Sketch)

Anna O’Brien

Arts Reporter

The country’s largest sketch comedy festival is this continuing through Sunday, and it features Humber alums led by a troupe called The Hottest Girl in School.

Toronto Comedy Sketch Festival, being held at the Theatre Centre on Queen Street West and several other downtown locations, is key among the forums that have highlighted success stories from Humber’s Comedy Writing and Performance program.

Along with appearing on highly rated shows such as The Beaverton, Humber graduates from comedy troupes Hottest Girl and A Tribe Called Sketch are amongst the most anticipated shows of the festival.

Bruce Perrie, the sketch professor at Humber, originally taught the Hottest Girl in School troupe and helped shape their writing through his After School Sketch seminars.

The After School Sketch was for anyone in the program who wanted to run sketches or do a table read, and he would give feedback,” said Rachel McLatchie, a member of ensemble.

“This helped a lot for us because what we think is funny as writers may not come across to an audience. Our troupe went to the seminar almost every week because we found it really helpful getting that second, third and fourth opinion on all our material,” said McLatchie.

Alongside other Humber alums Zach Berge, Mike Scott and Brogan Caulfield, The Hottest Girl In School has been writing and performing together for three years as a high energy sketch group.

“Humber put us all in the same class at random, and we immediately had amazing chemistry,” says McLatchie. “We became a really tight foursome of friends, always feeding off of each other’s bits in class and outside of class. We help each other with our weaknesses and write for everyone’s individual strengths.”

As for what the audiences have to expect at Sketchfest, McLatchie says they are “in for a treat.”

“We have been planning this show to be a very crazy character-filled show,” she said. “We want to give people the comedic ride of their lives with over-the-top sketches and characters that have one foot based in reality and the other somewhere pretty wild and fun. We hope to get on stage and just have fun, try to make each other laugh and hopefully leave the stage after our bow feeling really proud of what we accomplished.”

Another troupe that met at Humber called A Tribe Called Sketch credits Humber teacher Robin Duke for putting them together randomly. They have been writing and performing together for almost two years. Marisa Bettino, a member of the group, says the college has provided them a well-rounded taste of all things comedy.

“We found the program most beneficial for finding like-minded people to work with, to support, and to be supported by,” says Bettino. “Our performance at SketchFest T.O. will be high energy and dynamic. We’re into using music to make our sketches huge, and we’re really excited for the show.”

More information on the Toronto Comedy Sketch Festival can found at the box office at The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street West in Toronto, or online at www.torontosketchfest.com

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