2023 SHOWS

ANN PORNEL + FRIENDS (Toronto)

Join national treasure Ann Pornel for an evening of spontaneous laughs with some of her west coast besties! This ensemble cast is forged together by their passion for smart improv, a penchant for fantastic fashion, but most of all by their love of Ann Pornel.

You probably recognize Ann as a host from The Great Canadian Baking Show or CW's Recipe For Disaster, or from countless other award-winning television shows such as Because News, The Baroness Von Sketch Show or This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Ann is a Canadian Comedy Award winner, a winner of the 2017 Entertainer of the Year award from My Entertainment World, and a Canadian Screen Award nominee for Best Host. She is an alumnus of Toronto’s Second City Main Stage too. Gosh, this show is going to be fun!

Thu Oct 12, 7:30 PM at Historic Theatre
Fri Oct 13, 9:45 PM at Historic Theatre
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BRANDED SILK (New York City, NY)

Branded Silk is an improv trio forged from the fires of friendship and adversity. All black and all about that sauce. Branded Silk is composed of Onyi Okoli (FBI: Most Wanted, Hack My Life), Jeffrey Kitt (The Art of Killing murder mystery theater), and Aaron LaRoche (The Art of Killing murder mystery theater). Collectively, the trio have been performing improv for over two decades from the Upright Citizen's Brigade, to The Magnet, to the People's Improv Theater, to colleges across the east coast, the Brooklyn Comedy Collective, the Black and Funny Festival in Minnesota, the Rhode Island Black and Funny Festival and now here in the Vancouver Improv Festivall. Using the slacker improv form, the trio explores and creates worlds lampooning the realities and absurdities of being black in the world and when it's not that, it's just plain ole' dumb funny improv stuff. They have an instagram @brandedsilk and can also be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brandedsilk. Individually, you can follow Onyi Okoli on Instagram @Onyiokoli, Jeffrey Kitt @datguy_jeff and Aaron LaRoche @hersheyslickings. Branded Silk is excited to get wild with y'all at the Vancouver Impro Fest. Come thru!

Fri Oct 13, 10:00 PM at The Culture Lab
Sat Oct 14, 7:30 PM at Historic Theatre

DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS (Vancouver)

Secrets are juicy. They create suspense and excitement – everyone has them and it feels so good to share them. This show gives audience members a chance to share their secrets anonymously and watch as improvisers explore them right before their eyes.

Fri Oct 13, 9:30 PM at Tightrope Theatre

DUO POP UP SHOW

Vancouver Improv Festival is proud to present an improv show like no other, hosted by the amazing Ese Atawo. Here’s how Duo Pop-Up Show works: we pair up improvisers who have never played with each other from across the festival to create a guaranteed night of comedic magic! And it’s all captured live in stunning drawings! It’s safe to say that this is a once in a lifetime show, ’cause who knows when these duos will be paired up again?

Fri Oct 13, 7:30 PM at Tightrope Theatre

EMBEZZLEMENT (Vancouver)

Embezzlement are one of two ensembles who are reviving Vancouver's Instant Theatre Company. We are Ava Nasiri, Bryan Clark, Delaram Hajipour, Malcolm McLeod, Montana Rosalle, Ryan Bell, Sinead Grewcock, Taylor McMillan, Tina Hashemnia, and Jullian Kolstee. Since 1994 Instant Theatre has produced improvisational theatre performances and trained generations of improvisors through the education programs it has offered or sponsored in the community. Its legacy has long been established through the exceptional shows, festivals, and improvisors it has produced in that time, which have become part of the fabric of the Vancouver improv community. After a pandemic hiatus Instant Theatre is returning to the stages and studios of the city to continue that legacy, with a new look and new team behind it. Embezzlement performs long form improvisation with a diverse cast drawing from varied improvisational backgrounds. Our cast includes players who were primarily short form trained, long form diehards, and CIG grads, ranging from newcomers to 10 & 20 year veterans. We rehearse regularly and are currently developing our own Harold by experimenting with different openings and devices, found games and one off scenes, creating a method for delivering each beat in a thread, and exploring isolated threads as well as crossed over threads. It's about strong platforms, unique characters, and engaging narratives. We will be refining that into something special for the Vancouver Improv Festival.

Thu Oct 12, 9:30 PM at Tightrope Theatre

THE ESSENTIAL OILS (Vancouver)

Ena and Shyia, aka The Essential Oils, are an improv duo that has been performing together for a year now. They are a part of a bigger collective that is The Essential Oils, and have decided to try out the improv world as two-some. Buckle up for a wild ride filled with crazy characters, goofs n gaffs, and endless laughter as we make fools out of ourselves for your entertainment! You will be the kings and queens and we will be your silly little jesters. Shyia has been involved in Vancouver’s improv scene since January of 2022, taking classes at Blind Tiger Comedy. They became more involved performing in local shows and competitions such as Cagematch and Queerprov. Ena, too, began her journey at Blind Tiger Comedy in October 2021. She has since performed at Cagematch and JFL Comedy Hour. They are looking forward to continuing their improv pursuits, and hope to perform on many more stages in the near future.

Fri Oct 13, 10:00 PM at The Culture Lab

FESTIVAL ENSEMBLE (North America)

We've assembled some of the best and brightest improvisers from around North America to form the Festival Ensemble! Under the inspiring direction of Gordie Lucius (Edmonton) and Shannon Stott (London, UK), these intrepid performers will create never-before-seen improv shows that will blow your mind. For more information about the Festival Ensemble, click here.

Wed Oct 11, 7:30 PM at The Culture Lab
Thu Oct 12, 8:00 PM at The Culture Lab
Fri Oct 13, 7:30 PM at Historic Theatre - Relaxed Performance
Sat Oct 14, 7:30 PM at Historic Theatre

FISTFUL OF KICKS (Vancouver)

Fistful of Kicks is fast, funny, and fresh comedy brought to you by some of Vancouver’s finest Asian-Canadian improvisers! Our latest format is improv from across the multiverse, based on the Oscar-sweeping movie Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Have you ever had a relationship in your life where you wondered -- what could've been if things had gone down a slightly different path? Would I still be with the person I'm with now, if that one opportunity paid off, if that one series of accidental events never happened? We'll explore these questions, and so many more, through every possible timeline through the magic of improv. We're excited to showcase our new format at this year's Vancouver Improv Festival, come out and join the fun with us! Since 2017, Fistful of Kicks has been a mainstay of Vancouver stages and has performed at festivals in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and Austin, and you can catch them at their monthly show at the illustrious Tightrope Theatre.

Sat Oct 14, 10:00 PM at The Culture Lab

GRAD SCHOOL IMPROV (Vancouver)

Grad School Improv is a Vancouver-based ensemble who have been working together for over a decade. Performing monthly, Grad School Improv's genre-based pieces recreate the television or film you love while reimagining them based on audience suggestions, hitting all the tropes and cliches along the way.

Thu Oct 12, 8:00 PM at The Culture Lab

GROUND FLOOR IMPROV (Vancouver)

Ground Floor takes a leap of faith into the future by experimenting with artificial intelligence in their improv, using it as a tool to help inspire their scenes! Ground Floor takes audience suggestions and plugs them into ChatGPT to generate various prompts like movie trailers and embarrassing diary entries, that are read aloud and then explored in a series of scenes. Ground Floor formed in 2022 as one of Blind Tiger Comedy’s House Teams, and performs monthly at China Cloud Studios in Vancouver. They are very excited to perform!

Fri Oct 13, 8:00 PM at The Culture Lab

HINPROV (Toronto, ON)

Hinprov are Canada's first bilingual Bollywood-inspired improv ensemble. They are a community for/of Hindustani Improvisers in Canada that runs workshops and shows across stages in Canada. Their aim is to find and showcase South Asian Artists using improvised theatre. Join them as they create (write, direct, edit, act & dance) a Bollywood film, right in front of your eyes based on your suggestion. Maybe join them on stage and dance a little too. The Hinprov ensemble performs in English mixed with Hindi, and provides verbal translation whenever needed.

Fri Oct 13, 8:00 PM at The Culture Lab
Sat Oct 14, 9:45 PM at Historic Theatre

HOT SNACK (Vancouver)

Hot Snack is a group of femme improvisers whose collective passion for quality snack food brought them together in 2020. They've been performing as a team ever since. Their shows focus on making a safe space for creativity, complete silliness, and big risks. They play big characters and build complex worlds. Hot Snack is Della Haddock, Helen Camisa, Tiffany Anderson and Kirsten Wiltshire.

Thu Oct 12, 9:30 PM at Tightrope Theatre

NO SEX AND THE CITY (Portland, OR)

With a name that perfectly captures their unique perspective on romance, this Portland duo uses their lack of love lives as comedic fuel to ignite the stage. They hilariously lament their perpetual single status while never quite summoning the courage to change it. Mariah and Roland are performers and teachers at Kickstand Comedy in Portland, OR. Mariah is also lead facilitator at On Your Feet, a creative consultancy that uses improv to help businesses achieve better results. Roland performs improv, standup, and sometimes weird bits with his mannequin!

Sat Oct 14, 10:00 PM at The Culture Lab

OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATION (North America)

Join us for the opening night of the 25th Vancouver Improv Festival. For the person who likes a little of everything: this show will be a sampling of the amazing acts you can expect at the festival this year!

Tue Oct 10, 7:30 PM at The Culture Lab

QUEERPROV (Vancouver)

Are you tired of heterosexual relationships and stereotypes? Want to see stories where diversity is the norm, rather than the exception? Our shows are playful, frisky, and personal - intended to bring together, queers and allies alike. QueerProv has been the premiere queer improv comedy troupe in Vancouver since 2006! Our players have trained throughout Canada and the US, and for the past few years have performed every week at Junction on Davie Street.

Sat Oct 14, 8:00 PM at The Culture Lab - Relaxed Performance

SPONTANEOUS SHAKESPEARE COMPANY (Vancouver)

“ …a delightful celebration of what improv — and Shakespeare — can be. ★★★★★” -- Saskatoon Star Phoenix

The Spontaneous Shakespeare Company presents Breaking Bard, a fully improvised Shakespearian tragedy. Each show, using audience suggestions, the company creates a brand new Shakesperian epic, delivered in iambic pentameter and overflowing with the tropes of the Bard of Avon. This format recently played a sell out run at Vancouver's Tightrope Impro Theatre before being a smash hit on the 2023 Fringe circuit and was awarded "Best National Show" at the Saskatoon Fringe. Breaking Bard is being retired at the end of 2023, so catch it while you can. To miss it would be tragic!

Sat Oct 14, 9:45 PM at Historic Theatre

THE STOTT & ATAWO EXPERIENCE (Austin, TX & Vancouver)

Characters! Characters!! Characters!!! And more Characters!!!! Stott and Atawo skillfully blend their wacky, eclectic and wild styles to bring forth a captivating array of CHARACTERS that will not only astonish you but also keep you firmly planted in your seats, just as you were at the start of the show. Ese Atawo (Vancouver) and Shannon Stott (Austin) are two internationally-renowned improvisers, actors and instructors, who have connected over the years at festivals around North America. They are thrilled to be debuting their first duo show at Vancouver Improv Fest.

Wed Oct 11, 7:30 PM at The Culture Lab
Thu Oct 12, 9:45 PM at Historic Theatre

TIGHTROPE THEATRE + GUESTS! (Vancouver)

Tightrope Impro Theatre is a company specializing in the art of Improvisation. Vancouver Improv Festival is happy to co-present three special jam shows with Tightrope Theatre, featuring festival guests mixed in with the Tightrope Ensemble.

All shows take place at Tightrope Impro Theatre at 2343 Main Street in Vancouver.
Note: As these formats are part of a regular lineup of shows, please make sure you select the correct dates at the links below.

Thu Oct 12, 7:30 PM at Tightrope Theatre
Sat Oct 14, 7:30 PM at Tightrope Theatre
Sat Oct 14, 9:30 PM at Tightrope Theatre

TREAT SHOW (Vancouver)

Treat Show is an improv comedy group comprised of Vancouver sweethearts Allie Entwistle, Alyssa Hirose, Devin Mackenzie, Kerri Donaldson, Kevin Vidal, Maarten Bayliss, Ronald Dario, Syd Campbell, and Tom Hill. They perform two shows every Saturday night and invite you come down and treat yourself. The motor of our show is a focus on finding the game of the scene. We are fuelled by a collective joy, each scene driving towards what we and the audience finds fun. Outside of the troupe we are all dear friends who love to laugh, commiserate, and make fun of each other. Our pre-show ritual involves getting together, catching up, checking in with where we’re all at, making goals for how we want to perform that night, and above all picking on Kerri. This show is our treat.

Fri Oct 13, 9:45 PM at Historic Theatre

UPFRONT THEATER (Bellingham, WA)

The Upfront Theater is a non-profit that performs a variety of shows in the small town of Bellingham, Washington. Our specialty is performing improvised narrative long form full length play parodies. From murder mysteries to musicals, we love have been doing fantastic improv for 20 years. We are beyond excited to be participating at the Vancouver Improv Festival and perform slightly more north than we are used to.

Thu Oct 12, 7:30 PM at Historic Theatre
Sat Oct 14, 8:00 PM at The Culture Lab - Relaxed Performance

WADSWORTH CONSTANT (Portland, OR & Philadelphia)

Professional idiocy in a world of amateur idiots. The Wadsworth Constant is an improvised, absurdist one-act play by Portland’s Kristen Schier and Philadelphia’s Nick Gillette. Drawing from the theatrical traditions of Albee, Ionesco, and Beckett, two veteran improvisors launch themselves into a newly generated world of absurdity and existentialist themes. Since its inception in 2014, the Wadsworth Constant has continued to astound and delight audiences from coast to coast. It might make ya laugh, it might make ya cry. They’re pros at getting both at once.

Thu Oct 12, 9:45 PM at Historic Theatre
Fri Oct 13, 7:30 PM at Historic Theatre - Relaxed Performance