The Roar

The More You Know: SOFA Show

The 11 Sofa members took the stage on Oct. 26 for their first show of the year.

SOFA is an improvisation club that does comedy with suggestions from the audience, and originated when the school first opened in 1997. For the past 21 years, they have been using their talents to make the community laugh through their spontaneity and wittiness. This group of 11 students meets each Wednesday to prepare for the five shows they put on each year. On Friday, Oct. 26, SOFA not only had their first show of the school year, but also showed the school their annual shirt design.

Although the art of improvisation may look easy when sitting in the audience spectating, talking to the staff about the history of SOFA will show people just what it takes to really get on stage and make an audience laugh with no script.

There is an ongoing argument about what the name “SOFA” really stands for. The debate is over the S, and whether it really stands for “Super Outrageous Funny Actors” or “Silly Outrageous Funny Actors”. Four-year SOFA member senior Robert McNickle is confident in the fact that SOFA stands for “Super Outrageous Funny Actors.”

The troupe poked fun at their longstanding debate on their t-shirts this year, with the small print under the shirt’s large SOFA logo reading: “We STILL can’t agree on what it stands for.”

“None of us were actually here when the current term was coined, so that’s why our shirts say that, because we don’t know what it stands for,” said McNickle.

Despite the ongoing debate, one thing that can be agreed upon is that these comedic actors are both super and silly.

McNickle has been a member of SOFA since freshman year, and his path to joining SOFA was very unique. At first, McNickle had no intentions of joining, but the day of callbacks, alumnus Tiffany Pham, a junior at the time, dragged McNickle into the Black Box for the second day of auditions.

“I actually didn’t audition at first, I saw auditions, and I was like ‘I don’t want to go; I don’t like improv,’ and then they had callbacks, the second round of auditions, my friend came and grabbed my hand and pulled me into the black box so I was forced to audition for SOFA against my will. So without Tiffany, I wouldn’t be on SOFA,” said McNickle. The rest is history for McNickle.

Improvisation has always been a passion for senior Zora Grace, who is also a four-year member.

Although Grace makes it look easy on stage, it takes a lot for this SOFA member to constantly make the crowd laugh with no preparation or script.

“Spontaneity is a good thing to have and you have to be very creative,” said Grace.

Grace hopes that her life on the stage goes far past her four years here at Potomac Falls.

“I’m hoping to go to college for musical theatre, but I’m hoping wherever I go I can still do improv,” said Grace.

Grace participated in a musical this summer that was very improv heavy. She enjoyed integrating her acting and improvisation talents together by playing “Rona” in the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. 

SOFA coach and sponsor Matt McDermott has sponsored the club for three years. He took on the role as coach when a previous member of the team reached out to his wife with the opportunity.

“[I am] absolutely proud of [the SOFA team]. It’s really exciting seeing how far they’ve come just seeing the things they come up with just really amazes me every time,” said McDermott.

He said his goal for this year involves seeing the members continue to come out of their shells. “I think the biggest thing is just continuing [being] themselves … and not just doing things they think people will think is funny, but to really just be genuine,” said McDermott.

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