Performers

Check out our 2019 Festival Lineup!

TRIO

Trio features improv legends Stephnie Weir (MadTV), Bob Dassie (Dasariski, Baby Wants Candy), and Rich Talarico (Dasariski, writer: Key & Peele). Twenty years ago, they created a long form experience like no other in Chicago. Trio is a long-form improv show based on the idea of the jazz trio, exploiting the dynamics of small groups and how they riff and support each other, trading back and forth to optimize discoveries. Trio was an instant hit back then, and spawned a new way to play comedy in smaller long-form improv combos.

COKO & DAPHNEY

Coko & Daphney​ ​are an improv comedy duo based in Toronto. Together, they have performed all over North America including New York, Boston; and major shows in Canada like Just For Laughs’ OFF-JFL/ZOOFEST, Kuumba at the Harbourfront Centre, Black and Funny, and opening for Gina Yashere. Coko & Daphney bring you fresh perspectives, laughs, and Black Girl Magic!

Fistful of Kicks feat. Andrew Phung

Fistful of Kicks has been kicking butt (both figuratively and literally) since 2017. Featuring a cast of ultra-talented Asian-Canadian improvisers (Kai, Brent, Alyssa, Aidan, Vivian, Carla, Curt, Ken, Alex, Brigitte), this show infuses all of your favourite anime shows, along with a healthy dose of stage combat, into one unique story created from a single suggestion. Fistful of Kicks is one of the mainstage shows at Instant Theatre Company. This very special edition of the show will include CBC’s Kim’s Convenience star Andrew Phung.

THE FESTIVAL ENSEMBLE

The Festival Ensemble is made up of talented individual improvisors, who come together to workshop and create new shows over the course of the festival. This year, the Festival Ensemble features performers from Portland, Toronto, Regina, and Edmonton. The group is directed by Coko Galore and Rich Talarico. Find out more about the members of the Festival Ensemble here.

MISSED CONNECTIONS feat. Andrew Phung

Because sometimes that first impression needs a second chance…
Ever wondered what would have happened if you made that connection on the train with the person across the aisle? If the waiter who winked at you was still there when you got back to the table? If you did make it to the top of the Eiffel Tower by midnight?
This show explores real Craigslist “Missed Connections” to finally answer the question “What if?”

Shakespeare After Dark

Instant Theatre’s 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. The cast is Zach Wolfman, Julia Lank, Brent Hirose, Nikolai Witschl, Abdullah Wasfi, Katherine Alpine, Isabella Halladay, and Patrick Dodd with improvised musical accompaniment by Evan Thompson on guitar.

MAESTRO YVR

Join an international cast as we kick off our festival with a performance of Keith Johnstone’s classic improv format MAESTRO! Fourteen improvisors start, but only one will be left standing. Directed by Ali Froggatt & Jeff Gladstone. Featuring: Arthi Chandra, Ese Atawo, Tom Hill, Andrew Job, Julia Lank, Devin Mackenzie, Lindsay Mullan, and many more. This show is produced by Sour Dog Theatre, with the support of The International Theatresports Institute.

CATCH UP

Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience) and Quinn Contini (Rapid Fire Theatre) are old friends who haven’t connected in a few years. Well, not until they meet again on stage at the Vancouver International Improv Festival. Watch as these old friends have a drink, share stories, and improvise scenes inspired by all the things happening in their lives. This will be an often honest and always hilarious look at friendship, life, and all of the things in between. Come have a drink and laugh with Andrew and Quinn in CATCH UP.

PAPA?

Papa? Improv is comprised of your favorite father figures: Tony Cohen, Brianna Núñez-Webb, Emilie Sites and Roland Mechanik. They are an indie team from Portland, OR, performing regularly at Kickstand Comedy. These four friends build a world by embodying unique characters they use to explore the edges of reality. 

NON GRATAS

Patricia comes from Argentina, and Mariela from Puerto Rico. They met in Colombia in 2013, in an intensive improv specialty course, and they instantly felt the chemistry of an improv duo. Since, they have improvised together in English and Spanish everytime they found each other in the same city, which happened to be Toronto, where Patricia moved to in 2016.

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 has been performing a weekly improv show in Vancouver for nearly 4 years now. The cast consists of longtime improvisers who had been playing together in different formations over the years and share a sensibility for storytelling and style. In Weird Dreams, Little Mountain Improv will play recorded clips of the cast describing their dreams immediately after waking up. Then they will perform scenes based on those bizarre and surreal recordings. Follow us @littleimprov

UNCLE JANES feat. ALMA BITCHES

Uncle Janes is Vancouver’s newest improv comedy show for queer-identifying funny folks! A bi-monthly show, Uncle Janes celebrates the amazingly talented queer community in Vancouver.Uncle Janes is produced by Jill Lockley and Blind Tiger Comedy. You can expect outrageous true stories told by our special guest Alma Bitches, and gut-busting improv inspired by those stories. For our Vancouver Improv Fest show, Uncle Janes is proud to welcome acclaimed drag artist Alma Bitches! Alma hosts two weekly drag shows on Davie Street as well as numerous monthly and quarterly events around the city. Known for their off-the-cuff wit Alma has become one of Vancouver’s top drag hosts! Alma is buxom, bearded and beautiful and enjoys being one of Vancouver’s most recognizable drag queens. 

LAMABATI

Lamabati is one of Israel’s leading improv groups, and one of the oldest regularly performing ones. The group started out in 2010 and went on to win the first Israeli improv championship, found several improv communities in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, travel, teach and perform in many European festivals and theaters and push improv as a form of art and entertainment in Tel Aviv and beyond.

PEARL

The girls of Pearl are Second City-based improvisers who’ve been playing together for five years. Amanda, Carla, Piper and Theresa perform longform improv with focus on relationship and character. Pearl can be seen playing shows all over Los Angeles, and at festivals across the US. They offer workshops that focus on strong establishment of relationship, finding unique character, and utilizing space/environment. This fem-tastic foursome is proudly coached by Celeste Pechous.

The Sunday Service

CCThe Sunday Service is Ryan Beil, Caitlin Howden, Kevin Lee, Aaron Read, Mark Chavez and Taz VanRassel. Every Sunday since 2005, The Sunday Service has delivered Vancouver’s most popular independent comedy show. Favouring discovery over structure, the group builds, demolishes, and builds again an absurd patchwork of scenes and stories. Using strong narratives and character work to ground their set, the group dips in and out of meta-comedy, rock opera, word play and even slapstick shtick. This year, catch them at their festival showcase, as well as their Sunday show at The Fox Cabaret, which is the official festival Closing Party.

INSIDE VOICES: A MUSICAL IN THE KEY OF P

We have many “inside voices” that affect the way we think, behave, interact with the world, and live our lives. What happens if these inside voices were all let out to play as they wished, moment to moment, in front of an audience, inside the container of a musical theatre piece? Welcome to Inside Voices: A Musical in the Key of P!  This is an improvised performance, by Jennifer Pielak and Peter Abando. Jennifer Pielak is an improviser, actor, singer and experimental theatre artist and Peter Abando is a musician, composer and accompanist. As long time artist friends, they have come together to create the show Inside Voices: A Musical in the Key of P, which debuted at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 2018.

MAMA CUTSWORTH

Improvising on turntables and a mixer for 15 years, Winnipeg’s Sarah Michaelson—known better by her DJ name, Mama Cutsworth—has provided soundtracks for many of the world’s best in the improvised theatre scene: CRUMBS (Winnipeg), Det Andre Teatret (Norway), Patti Stiles (Australia), and more. In 2013, she co-created a wordless long-form improv show called Speechless, along with with Bogotá’s Felipe Ortiz and Daniel Orrantia. Since its debut, the trio has toured Europe, North and South America, and the United Arab Emirates. Most recently, Sarah directed the 2019 ensemble at Edmonton’s Improvaganza, presenting her format called “Midnight Radio.” Sarah will be accompanying shows throughout the Vancouver Improv Festival!