Festival Ensemble: Improv in Five Dimensions

Award-winning shadow puppetry duo, Mind of a Snail, direct an international ensemble in a smorgasbord of the senses! Using live projection, music and shadow puppets, improvisers from around the globe are beamed into this never-before-attempted technical marvel of an improv show. Experience it in person, or live stream it from the comfort of your home.


IMPROV IN FIVE DIMENSIONS: in-person at the Historic Theatre at The Cultch or stream it from home!

Fri Oct 15, 7:30PM
Sat Oct 15, 7:30PM



Chloé Ziner and Jessica Gabriel
Festival Ensemble Directors

Mind of a Snail is a shadow puppetry duo currently based out of Vancouver BC. Since 2003, Chloé Ziner and Jessica Gabriel have been developing a multilayered style of visual storytelling using overhead projectors as their main light source, and have been recently integrating live video and interactive live-streaming into their tool kit. Their performances play at the intersection of puppetry, visual arts, clowning & music.

They have performed in theatre & arts festivals across Canada such as Wildside Festival in Montreal, Revolver Festival in Vancouver, Summerworks in Toronto, Casteliers International Puppetry Festival in Montreal, Festival International des Arts de la Marionnette à Saguenay and many more. International highlights include a tour of Taiwan 2017 & performing on the mainstage of the Puppeteers of America Festival in Minneapolis in 2019 with their show “Caws & Effect”. During covid, they quickly pivoted to an interactive online format and have performed live virtually for a number of festivals across Canada & internationally, including Festival Internacional de Teatro de Sombras in Brazil and Red Pearl Clown Festival in Finland.

Their show “Multiple Organism” won Critic’s Choice Innovation Award at the 2018 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. They were nominated for Outstanding Projection Design for Persephone Theatre’s production of “Matchstick” at the 2015 SATAwards in Saskatoon. Their shows “Multiple Organism”, “Curious Contagious”, “Caws & Effect” & “Against Gravity”  have won dozens of awards including “best of fest” “artistic risk” and “patron’s pick” at Fringe Theatre festivals across Canada and the USA.

Melbourne, Australia

Amy is a puppeteer, improviser, actor, teacher, director. She began both puppeteering and improvising around the same time, 10+ years ago. Amy has taught and performed improvisation, drama, and puppetry workshops and shows to children and adults throughout Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Europe, Canada, Reunion Island and online. She has developed and directed numerous improvisational formats and has performed in and developed numerous scripted and non-scripted shows including performances at the Sydney Opera House, in numerous Australian Comedy and Fringe Festivals and numerous international festivals.


Toronto, Ontario
Chantal is a Toronto-based improviser of Generation Zoom. She began Second City’s Improv Program in February 2020 and has since played virtually with theatres from all over the world, most recently performing in the 2021 ImprovisAsian Festival. Catch her studying longform at UCB and performing with her three wonderful teams, The Low Bar Comedy Troupe, Chat On Duo, and Niagarontonians. She also works as a CX Consultant and bakes a lot of bread.

Bangalore, India

Laxmi is a Playback Theatre performer and has been improvising for a decade in and around Bangalore, India. She performs with The Adamant Eves (India’s first all-female improv company) and is a co-founder of citylamps Playback Theatre. A graduate of Interdisciplinary humanities from the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, she has facilitated spontaneous theatre-based processes and training since 2014. Her training modules focus on the theatre-based answers for making a work environment more suitable to work and play and for encouraging creativity and critical thinking in young learners. Additionally, she is currently working on tools to recognise and maintain various manners of tension in an improv scene. Her teachings are heavily inspired by her experience in Playback theatre, critical thinking and improvisational theatre.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Liam Fair (he/him) is a Halifax based improviser and founding member of Hello City. Getting his start with the Canadian Improv Games, he eventually continued on to perform with a number of troupes such as FLiNT & Make Em Ups. Liam has been teaching and performing in Halifax close to a decade now, and is committed to helping grow the improv community in Halifax.

London, UK

Rhiannon is an improviser, actor, teacher, facilitator, and director working across London and Europe. She performs regularly with They Don’t Know the Half of It, The Ol’ Bill, and Eggplant improv and has performed in and directed several shows at The Hideout Theatre. She directs Hot Singles in Your Area, and directed The Love Circle at The Hideout Theatre, which was nominated for the Ethel Hinkley Award for Outstanding New Troupe. Rhiannon was an original cast member of Acaprov: the improvised A Capella Musical, and previously played with Improbotics, Happy in Their Own Way, and other Nursery Originals productions. Rhiannon works for HeartLink: a startup in the death, dying, and bereavement space, and runs a Death Café for Performers. She has completed Level One End of Life Doula Training with Doulagivers, and was previously in training as a vet, so has had her fair share of experiences working with Death! Rhiannon trained in Musical Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and in improv with Hoopla, The Free Association, and the Nursery. You can find out more about Rhiannon at rhiannonjenkins.net.

Montreal, Quebec

Vinny Francois has nearly 25 years of experience as a professional improviser in both English and French and is an award-winning instructor. A founding director of Improv College & the Montreal Improv Theatre, he has performed in more shows and venues around the world than he cares to count. He was the Executive Producer of Mprov: The Montreal Improv Festival, runs Camp Zipzap (an improv camp for adults in Quebec). He has been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and is currently a staff writer for Canadian satire site, The Beaverton.


As of September 13, by order of the Provincial Health Officer of BC, proof of vacation will be required to access indoor events. Audience members at shows and participants at in-person workshops will be asked to show proof of vaccination. Masks will be worn at all times, with the exception of eating or drinking while seated as an audience member.