Performers

Check out the performers for the 2018 Vancouver International Improv Festival. 

Ensemble Bravo

The International Ensembles are an opportunity for our festival to host the worlds top improvisational talent. Bravo Ensemble is stacked with great performers from all over the world and will be directed by Kaisa Kokko and John Gebretatose.

Find out more about the members of the Bravo Ensemble here.

 

Ensemble Echo

The Echo festival ensemble is filled with improv comedy talent from around the world. The ensemble,  features performers with backgrounds in clown, stand-up, sketch comedy and physical theatre. The Echo ensemble will be directed by Vinny Francios and Carla Cackowski.

Find out more about the members of the Echo Ensemble here.

Rufio

Rufio is a two person long-form improv team – Cassidy Russell & Vincent Migliore – from Chicago, IL and Atlanta, GA respectively. Their show has been described as two people who do so much they seem like ten people. Sometimes instead of rehearsal they just eat nachos. All the time instead of warming up they just hug.

Hip.Bang!

Tom and Devin’s playful, absurd improv has delighted audiences worldwide (Just For Laughs, Comedy Central, The Irrelevant Show) and earned them a nomination for the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Improv Group. Their improv sets have been described as “hilarious,” “world-class” and “disappointing.”

Fistful of Kicks

Fistful of Kicks mashes up all your favourite kung fu movies of yesteryear into a wild and exciting improvised comedy. Featuring some of Vancouver’s finest Asian-Canadian improvisers, this show infuses longform storytelling with exhilarating stage combat for a truly unforgettable show. Fistful of Kicks aims to showcase authentic Asian stories rooted in an extremely physical and comedic performance.

Off Key! An Improvised Musical

Off Key performs original musicals based on audience suggestions. The catch? The script, lyrics, and music are all improvised on the spot. When music starts to play, anything can happen: a touching love song, a wild dance number, or a high-wire rap battle. Every show is completely different, so come inspire the players and musicians… and witness the opening (and closing) night of a brand new musical! We’ll be showcasing our most in-demand format for this performance, an improvised DISNEY musical!

The Sunday Service

The Sunday Service is Ryan Beil, Caitlin Howden, Kevin Lee, Aaron Read, Mark Chavez and Taz VanRassel. Every Sunday at 9PM for over a decade, The Sunday Service has delivered Vancouver’s most popular independent comedy show.Their high energy and commitment to comedy carries audiences into hysterics!

Honey

Honey’s fast, fun and playful improv has delighted grizzled improv vets and new casual audiences since 2011. Hailing from NYC, these 6 friends are not to be missed.

Orange Tuxedo

Orange Tuxedo (Los Angeles, CA) is a two person improv show from a husband and wife team. They perform “Close Quarters”, with a focus on creating grounded relationships formed by eccentric characters.

The Squirts

The Squirts are one of Portland, Oregon’s favorite long form improv teams where they are regular performers at Curious Comedy Theater and Kickstand Comedy Space. They have created their own format which literally revolves around a bell in the center of the stage which any player can ring to break the fourth wall and comment upon the scene. Through the bell, the Squirts find the game of the set, which can just as easily lead them down absurd plot lines as it can down their own psyches. Playful, high-energy, mischievous, and meta as hell, The Squirts are a wholly unique team.

ONE NIGHT ONLY: An evening of spontaneous improv duos

Join an international cast as we bring nations together 10 minutes at a time. Our hosts will draw at random two festival superstars to forge new friendships on stage with explosive, tender, jaw dropping and hilarious results. This event is ALL AGES and located at our Havana Theatre venue!

Featuring: Shawn Norman, Ronald Dario, Joleen Ballendine, Cesar Villa, Kristen Schier, Martin Gustafsson, Cassidy Russell, Michelle Hart and Chris Middleton.

Shakespeare After Dark

Shakespeare After Dark is the highbrow fusion of Shakespeare served with a side of improvisational mischief. The cast will serve a straight up improvised Shakespearean tragedy – based on your suggestions. With a genuinely drunken professional actor volunteering every night, no two shows are ever the same. Side-splitting, raucous, and completely interactive, Shakespeare After Dark will blow you away.

TWOSON

TwoSon does slice-of-life, slow burn improv that all takes place in one large location, as suggested by the audience. Devon and Jackie play a variety of characters that all live in the same world. Their sets spin out on a theme but return to the original idea

The Wadsworth Constant

The Wadsworth Constant is an improvised absurdist one-act play, in the style of Samuel Beckett. It’s a chance to laugh and commiserate at our bizarre shared human condition. Veteran improvisers and theatrical clowns Kristen Schier and Nick Gillette cook up a brand new play together, touching upon the existentialist fears and joys at the heart of us all.

Grad School Improv

With a monthly show at Little Mountain Gallery, Grad School Improv continues to produce narrative, story-driven theatrical improv, known for improvised miniseries such as Murder on the West Coast Express (Period Piece Murder Mystery), English Baywatch (Lifeguard Melodrama), and The Bachelor: An Improvised Miniseries (Reality Show).

This year, Grad School Improv will present a theatrical genre piece, with a focus on staying true to the genre, fleshing out the universe, and having fun.

Reynolds

Reynolds is one of Blind Tiger Comedy’s three resident house teams with a monthly show at Little Mountain Gallery. They perform high energy, playful, character driven sets with an emphasis on strong ensemble work and letting their freak flags fly high. They’ve performed at Rapid Fire and at the Del Close Marathon.

Nasty Women

Nasty Women is a sketch comedy and improv troupe from Vancouver BC, comprised of some of the top female-identifying, fire-cracker comedians in the city! Ese Atawo, Racquel Belmonte, Denea Campbell, Rae Lynn Carson, Kerri Donaldson, Allie Entwistle, Carla Mah, Stacey McLachlan, Jenny Rubé, and Annalise Stuart serve wit, characters, personal stories, and all of the sass and more at their monthly show at the Biltmore Cabaret.

Little Mountain Improv

Little Mountain Improv consists of 8 good friends who have been playing together in the Vancouver scene for many years. They started their weekly show in 2015 and produce a brand new long form show every month. They’ll be performing their popular “At the Movies” form AKA “Dumb Drive In”. We’ll all watch the first 5 minutes of a terrible movie then improvise the rest.

Kickstand Comedy's Mondo

Kickstand Comedy’s Art-Mondo brings together live music and improv comedy. Each month, Kickstand invites an artist (usually a musician, full band, visual artist or author) to showcase their work. Kickstand improvisers listen to the music, ask the artists questions, and pull themes and premises from the art to inspire original comedic scenes (much in the same way we would from a monologist in the Armando format).

Rå Power

Rougher. Tougher. Brutally spontaneous. In Rå Power, Joleen Ballendine and Amy Shostak, two of Rapid Fire Theatre’s ‘s senior performers, focus on chasing joy and doing things that scare them. They will explore an image or every day action through scenes, songs, monologues, and whatever other ways they feel like.

The 1995 Chicago Bulls

The 1995 Chicago Bulls are a group of six Dallas Comedy House graduates who have been performing long-form improv together since 2014. Their show is inspired by the JTS Brown format. They instantly transform scenes based on which improvisers are on stage — rapidly creating, calling back, or connecting scenes and universes.

STACKED:The International Short Form Comedy Show!

Our STACKED WITH TALENT cast of international guests will be firing up their short form scene work for this one hour powerhouse performance of theatrical comedy. 

This event is ALL AGES and located at our Havana Theatre venue!

This show will feature: Chris Middleton, Vincent Migliore, Stacey McLachlan, Craig McCarthy, Patrick Dodd, Racquel Belmonte, Rae Lynn Carson and Tom Hearn.

Vancouver TheatreSports

Since its founding in 1980, Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTSL) grown to become a well-respected international leader in the improv art form, entertaining more than 60,000 people per year through 11 shows a week, 52 weeks a year at its own theatre, The Improv Centre, located on Granville Island.

Q & A

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.
We take our audiences most pressing questions (about anything really) and find a way to answer it through improvised short form scene work. We promise to leave you either more educated or more confused… who knows!
(This will be the world premiere of this format… before we take it to the Wurzburg Improv Festival in Germany).

Queerprov!

Queerprov has expressed the joys of Queer Improv for over 12 years! We will be doing an Armando and as well some well known games, all with a Queer twist. Scene Three Gays anyone?

Honeymoon

Honeymoon is that first month after marriage, when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure. We’ll carry you over the threshold and weave a web of lovable weirdos and characters.

Hot Tin Roof

Hot Tin Roof knows guac is extra, but so are they! Their mission is to shine light on the female voice within the world of comedy as they take the stage, take back the power, and take no prisoners. Hot Tin Roof has performed long-form improv at a variety of LA-centric theaters as well the LA Diversity in Comedy Festival (2016 and 2017) The Funny Women’s Festival (2016), Seattle Festival of Improv Theater (2017) and San Francisco’s Femprovisor Fest (2018). They host a monthly ‘Ladies Night’ variety show at Second City Hollywood showcasing a wide gamut of female comedians. They truly have the best of times together, and are coached by Eileen Montelione.

Szyslak

Szyslak brings it fresh, fast, and hilarious. Syzslak was formed by Blind Tiger Comedy to showcase some of their top talent. Under the direction of Caitlin Howden, from The Sunday Service, Syzslak has a style that’s always witty and never stale.

Bayside Tigers

Formed out of the Bad Dog Studio Series, this group finds a different approach to a classic improv format.

We are the Bayside Tigers, and we do Harolds.

DuckFace!

Three Improvisers take you on an intimate look at urban ennui through the use of characters, locations, and time. Hilarious, sometimes touching, sometimes silly, sometimes honest, sometimes weird, this show always ventures to find the core of the human malaise.

How the Light Gets In

Dave Morris and Kaisa Kokko will let a sad and beautiful story unravel before your eyes. Join them to watch as the light leaks in through the cracks.

The Feast

It came to Tia in a dream: a narrative improv format all about food! Inspired by the rich culinary imagery of George R.R. Martin and the deep descriptive chapters of the fictional S. Morgenstern, The Feast is three weirdos talking about food a bunch. Let Travis, Kai, and Tia transport you to a different time, and meet all the interesting characters hosting and attending a feast inspired by your suggestion! Let yourself be taken over by the scents and sounds of an imaginary feast set right before your eyes and be surprised by what happens next.

The Improvisors

We all wear different masks. Some we create by ourselves and others are created for us, whether we like it or not. With a diverse cast of improvisers, The Improvisers will delve into the characters behind each mask and explore the rich lives of those who wear them.

This show will feature: Carla Mac, Curt DaSilva, John Gebretatose, Anthony Hall, Peter Abando, Armond Snowden, Nima Gholamipour, and Sehar Manji.

The VIIF is super excited to have this cool show with invited POC improvisers from all over. The show is directed by Vancouver’s very own Ese Atawo. Join the fun as these fantastic improvisers hit the stage.

 

The Showcase Spectacular

Our traditional opening night extravaganza! Come on down to enjoy a mixture of Local, National and International flavours as we get our 2018 festival fired up!

The show will feature: Andy Assaf, Chris Middleton, Rae Lynn Carson, Shawn Norman,Taz Van Rassel, Quinn Buckner, Cassidy Russell, Robert Mackie, Kerri Donaldson, Michelle Hart, Devon Henderson, Al Connors, Jackey Twomey, Jess Lindal, Amir Khan, Malcolm MacLeod, Sehar Manji, Travis Bernhardt, Curt DaSilva, Jay Flewelling and Tom Hearn. 

This show is RIDICULOUSLY PRICED at only $8 and the opening night party follows the show. Come on down and let’s open the festival with a bang!

 

Interested in Performing?

 

Festival ensemble, group, and director applications for VIIF 2019 will open in late March. Stay tuned by following us on Facebook or Twitter.