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.
Andrew Freedom Parry
Co-Founder of Hitchhikers Improv and current Artistic Director of Hitchhikers Improv in Regina, SK. With the Canadian Improv Games, he has trained and adjudicated on the regional and national scales alongside his work as a trainer at Improv Camp. Between his work as a performer with Hitchhikers, Combat Improv, and his duo Biggie+Smalls with Cameron Chomyn, Andy has been invited to and performed on some of the country’s biggest stages for improvisation. When not performing he is working as a the lead photographer and videographer at Munz Media.
Vinny Francois has over 20 years of experience as a professional improviser and is an award-winning instructor. A founding director of the Montreal Improv Theatre, he has performed in more shows and venues across Canada than he cares to count. He also is Executive Producer of Mprov: The Montreal Improv Festival.
He has co-produced four improv shows for the Montreal Fringe Festival and directed the tragic improv show “It’s Not You, It’s Me” in Canada, the US and the UK. He has appeared in improv festivals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Austin, Ottawa, Toronto, Victoria, Winnipeg & Vancouver (Best Workshop, 2016) and was the inaugural Ensemble Director for the Improvised Play Festival in 2017 (Austin, TX). Vinny has also performed and held workshops in Dublin, London, Paris, Antwerp, Geneva, Tallinn, Canberra, Melbourne, and Wellington.
Carla Cackowski is an improviser, writer, podcaster, and nap-lover. She toured all over Europe, Alaska, and the Caribbean performing comedy with The Second City. She’s a member of SAG-AFTRA and has done voice-over work on shows for ABC Family, TBS, and Disney. She wrote and performed five solo shows that were produced in Los Angeles and her comedic monologues were published in anthologies by APPLAUSE BOOKS. Carla hosts “Improv Yak”, a shop-talk podcast about improv comedy. When they’re not touring their two person improv show “Orange Tuxedo“, she and her husband Craig Cackowski co-host a podcast called “Craig’s List”. Most recently, Carla has written for sketch shows on PBS Kids and Dreamworks TV. She taught improvisation and directed sketch shows at The Second City Hollywood for eight years before relocating to the Pacific Northwest to accept the position of Co-Artistic Director at Curious Comedy Theater.