Lisle's Woyna isn't just joking around

  • Pat Woyna

    Pat Woyna

 
 
Updated 3/11/2020 6:36 PM

Pat Woyna offers one of the main qualifications for the position.

"I have a big mouth," he said.

 

Lisle High School English teacher by day and boys track coach by afternoon, by night Woyna is one of nine members of the improvisational comedy troupe, Wet Cement. They play a show or two every weekend at Westside Improv in Wheaton.

"I don't know if I'm naturally funny," he said. "A few years ago I thought it'd be interesting to learn so I took a couple classes in Wheaton and fell in love with it."

Studying first with Jeff Ash and now coached by Ashley Whitehurst of The Second City in Chicago, Woyna got his improv feet wet four years ago and has been in Wet Cement two years. He's performed in a couple of Chicago locations as well as at Westside.

Wet Cement has shows lined up in Wheaton on Saturday and March 20, performing with several other improv teams.

Team members start with audience suggestions and take off from there, or riff off prior scenes that worked. Anyone who's seen this art form can attest that not all scenes work.

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"It's all right off the cuff," said Woyna, a Downers Grove resident.

Improvisational comedy can be like teaching students.

"You've got to think on your toes. You can come in with a plan, but you have to be willing to adapt, you have to be able to change. And you've got to focus on relationships, you've got to listen," he said.

"In improv the joke isn't as important as the relationship you have onstage with your partners."

He really means that. Woyna took his now-fiancee, Kelly Petersen, to Westside on their first date.

"It was a good test, like if she can laugh at this that's one check box," he said.

Box checked.

At another performance he worked Petersen into a skit, bringing her on stage. With Woyna's brother in the audience bearing an engagement ring, he proposed to Petersen on the spot. The wedding date is June 27.

Though she gets a kick out of what he does up there, in this case opposites attract.

"She's an absolute planner to the 'T.' We joke about that. Our scenes would last about 12 seconds," Woyna said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Will do​

Will deBolt is doing at Lewis University what he did for the Naperville North boys track program.​

Run fast and serve as a positive force of nature.​

A team sportsmanship award in track and field has only been around a few years in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. On Feb. 1, with deBolt named as Lewis' individual honoree -- as a freshman -- the Flyers won the award for the first time.​

He also placed fifth in the 400-meter run and led off Lewis' second-place 1,600 relay. We're guessing after that he presented his teammates with a tray of his mom's chocolate chip cookies.

Power couple

Always the last to know. In this case, that John Shurna, captain of the Daily Herald's 2007-08 DuPage County All-Area Boys Basketball Team, married the former Mallory Livingston last year. Mallory is the daughter of retired Lake Park football coach Andy Livingston and his wife, Leland.

The happy couple lives in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, where Shurna -- Northwestern's all-time leading scorer -- plays professionally for Herbalife Gran Canaria. Through 20 games this season he's averaging 10.7 points.

Through the wonders of the internet, Mallory is a contract employee for a Chicago firm, Shared-Use Mobility Center, solving big-city transportation problems.

doberhelman@dailyherald.com

@doberhelman1

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