Comedy isn't just for entertainment, but can also build life skills, according to Trace Crawford, drama director at Hilliard Davidson High School.
To that end, Crawford established a comedy improv competition open to students from high schools throughout central Ohio.
This year's competition is scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the high school's performing arts center, 5100 Davidson Road.
"So far as I know, it's the only competition of its kind in high schools in Ohio," said Crawford, who said he was first exposed to such a skills competition at his high school near Washington, D.C.
While some schools offer improv performances internally, Crawford said, he knows of no competitive improv performances for any students who want to participate.
After becoming an educator, he took the idea with him to his first school in Kettering 13 years ago, and for the past eight years has offered the competition to Davidson students and those from nearby high schools.
The March 8 competition is the second of three scheduled for this school year.
Teams of three to five students can apply to compete.
How to determine a winner has varied in the past years. Sometimes Crawford has been able to get a panel of judges who are comedians or improv performers, but the audience will determine the winner of the March 8 event.
As of March 4, Crawford said, about 10 teams were signed up, including three teams from Davidson and teams from Franklin Heights, Walnut Ridge and West high schools.
Students will present several skits, including a performance similar to the television show Whose Line Is It Anyway? to qualify three finalists.
The finalists will perform skits similar to the board game Party Quirks, in which the audience is informed of a human characteristic or trait. The performer, without speaking, must get another person on stage to state the characteristic.
Tickets are $5 and benefit the Davidson theater boosters.
For more information, visit davidsontheatre.com.