FESTIVAL ENSEMBLE

FESTIVAL

ENSEMBLE

Aidan Parker

Aidan Parker is a Vancouver-based writer, improvisor, actor, and teacher. He holds a BFA in playwriting, screenwriting, and creative non-fiction from the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing Program. He’s performed with various shows and companies, including the Canadian Improv Games, UBC improv, and Instant Theatre. He is currently a cast member of the Asian Canadian improv troupe Fistful of Kicks. He teaches improv to students from a variety of backgrounds aged 6-55 for many institutions, including Instant Theatre, UBC Improv, The Canadian Improv Games, the East End Boys Club and Girls Group, the Vancouver School Board, Improvcamp, and Tightrope Impro Theatre. Aidan Parker is the co-founder and director of Instant Theatre’s diversity initiative Colour Commentary, which aims to bring more people of colour into the improv theatre community. He is currently lead instructor for The Arts Club Theatre Company’s devised theatre programs, where he directs and builds shows with students from equity-seeking communities in the lower mainland. Recent festival credits include: the Stumptown Improv Festival in Portland, the Improvised Play Festival in Austin, the Montreal Improv Summit, and the Vancouver Improv Festival. 

Arthi Chandra

Arthi Chandra (she/her) is a Vancouver based director, actor, and improvisor. She studied Theatre performance at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts. Arthi’s been improvising since she was a spry fourteen year old, and has been lucky enough to perform in both Vancouver and New York. She’s been a member of Off Key Musical Improv, performed in the JFL NorthWest Festival, the New York Musical Improv Festival, and is one half of the Interabang comedy duo. This marks Arthi’s third year performing at the Vancouver International Improv Festival, and while we can’t have a beer together, she’s sharing her favourite self-made cocktail recipe with you (drink responsibly): shake 2oz oaken gin with 1oz crème de cassis, strain over ice. Top with tonic water and 2-3 dashes lavender bitters. 

Ashlee Ferral

Ashlee Ferral is both Black and White, but not Read-All Over, so she’s not a Newspaper. She recently won Story, Story, Lie! and regularly can be found performing Improv and Stand-Up all over Vancouver. She has trained with, The Groundlings, Second City, and UCB. Ashlee attended Queen’s University where she pursued her bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Studies. The department had just added the “media studies” suffix because they thought the whole “YouTube thing might really be sticking around.” — this was 2010. While she did receive a world class education in classical film studies, Ashlee has gone on to train in sketch and web series writing with Second City, Blind Tiger, and the Vancouver Film School. Ashlee has had her works shown and featured at Comedy Here Often, Vancouver Sketch Fest, Van Chan, Smash Comedy Fest, Comedy Waste Fest, Teen Angst, Tindr Tales, Sad magazine, New Moon Comedy and Sidekicks. Ashlee is a very accomplished woman who has never learned how to tie her own shoes.

Charlie Cook

Charlie is an actor, improviser, and drag king currently based out of their living room in Vancouver, BC. They are passionate about using improv to create worlds where characters are free from constraints of the gender binary and compulsory heterosexuality. Through the Smash Comedy Festival and Queerprov, Charlie has created workshops for trans folks and allies to explore more inclusive improv. Charlie is excited for the Online Festival’s potential to reach new audiences, like their cat.

Jane Testar

Jane is a greedy little performer and wants to do it all. A veteran improviser, performing for the past 17 years with the musical improv troupe Outside Joke, Jane is also a member of the Canadian Comedy Award nominated sketch troupe, Hot Thespian Action.

She is a loyal member of the Fu fu Chi Chi Choir, who released their first EP last fall. Theatre-wise she has appeared in productions with Prairie Theatre Exchange (Little Munsch on the Prairie, Munschbusters) , in French with Cercle Molière (Que Faire d’Albert?), and in Noël Coward’s Private Lives (RMTC).

Jane has written sketch comedy for CBC Radio and was also known as a modern etiquette expert with her radio column “Miss Conduct”. She has co-written two original, bilingual children’s theatre shows for Canadian Parents for French and hosts the CBC Comedy Factory Podcast.

 

John Guelke - Photo Credit Rich Spencer Photography

John Guelke

John is an improviser, actor and moral philosopher.  John regularly appears with improv troupes Box of Frogs (director Jon Trevor), and Behind the Headlines (director Jon Paul Houghton).   From 2017-19 he directed musical troupe Off Broad Street, and currently is artistic director of the Sandbox project, facilitating experimental improv theatre in Birmingham, UK.  He is also on the committee for Birmingham Improv Festival.  He has trained with the Maydays, and at the IO Theatre.  Previous appearances in scripted theatre include Zuniga (Carmen) for Midland Opera, Trigorin (the Seagull) for the Shakespeare Institute Players, Tom Watson (Parade) and France (King Lear) for the Crescent Theatre, Jupiter (Orpheus in the Underworld) and Major General (Pirates of Penzance) for University of Birmingham G&S Society, and Hel Helson (Paul Bunyan) for the Barber Institute’s Summer Festival Opera.  John is a singing student of Gwion Thomas.  By day he is a post-doctoral researcher in surveillance ethics at the University of Warwick.

 

Karla Monterrosa

Karla Monterrosa is a Salvadoran illustrator, animation filmmaker, and comedian. She performs improv and sketch comedy with The Radical, the Blind Tiger House Team Homeroom, and is one half of comedy duo Meeting. Karla also talks about the internet on the podcast QTYN.

Vivian Tang

Vivian Tang is a Vancouver-based improvisor, graphic designer, and candy connoisseur. She’s currently doing an online show every Tuesday with her best buds, Paintbucket Improv. She’s also a proud member of the all-Asian improv troupe, Fistful of Kicks. Vivian has performed in the Seattle Festival of Improv Theatre, Improvised Play Festival in Austin TX, JFL NorthWest, Smash Comedy Festival, and the Queer Improv Festival. Vivian is an alumnus of Instant Theatre Company and UBC Improv. Fun fact, Vivian can write in cursive on an etch-a-sketch and name all the countries in the world by memory. When she isn’t doing those two things, there’s not much else going on.

DIRECTED BY

Shannon Stott

Shannon Stott is an improvisor based in Austin, TX. She has been performing and teaching Improv to theater students and corporate clients for over 20 years. Shannon challenges her students to make bold choices that  introduce them to new techniques and broaden their playing styles. She utilizes improv as a tool to change lives both on and off the stage, encouraging her students to carry these tools out of their theaters and into their workplaces and homes.