WORKSHOPS

BIG ‘N’ BOLD CHARACTERS: FULL OF FLAVOUR with Gordie Lucius


We’ve all had a pack of Ichiban noodles; deliciously salty, super simple, a reliable quick meal. BUT what if you juiced that sucker up with some eggs, green onion, burnt garlic butter, and some bbq pork? Now that’s an upgrade. In this workshop you’ll explore everyday characters and Gordie will show you some new techniques, so in the end you’re playing characters you had never even thought were possible! Through the use of exercises engaging your voice and physicality, Gordie will show you that everyone is capable of creating some BOLD ‘n’ JUICY characters.

Date: Thursday October 12, 5:00-7:30 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bio:
GORDIE LUCIUS (Edmonton)
Gordie Lucius is an award-winning creator, comedian, and writer and most recently has become the co-creator/host of the totally wild and out-there comedic natural history series Frick, I Love Nature which you can totally watch on CBC Gem. Other than being a cheeky lil nature host, Gordie was a finalist of the National Screen Institute’s 2020 Totally Television Program and is a recent alumnus of the Corus Writer’s Apprenticeship program where he had the pleasure to work on CBC’s Run The Burbs. When he’s not writing, hosting, or making props out of old tennis ball containers he can be found performing improvised comedy with Rapid Fire Theatre, where he has been a senior member for over 13 years.

EVERY SCENE A PAINTING with Nick Gillette


Improv is a visual medium, so let's activate that visual creative space! If you're bored by 'talking heads' scenes, this workshop will break you out of your rut. Students will learn and practice physical theatre tools to animate scene work and ground characters. This workshop plays with comedic tension, comedic timing, and stage composition so you can make every scene look and feel like something grand is happening right away.

Date: Sunday October 15, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bio:
Nick Gillette (he/him) is a physical theatre artist and improviser. Co-founder emeritus of Almanac Dance Circus Theatre. Graduate of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training, 2014 New York Live Arts Fresh Tracks resident artist, and 2016 Colgate University Christian A. Johnson resident artist, 2021 FringeArts Audience Choice Award winner for Comedy/Improv. With Almanac, he has devised and performed dozens of critically acclaimed nu-circus works. Co-creator of improvised absurdist plays with The Wadsworth Constant. Had performed with Cabaret Red Light, BRAT Productions, Lighting Rod Special, Pig Iron Theatre Co., Alex Bechtel, International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City, and Vancouver International Improv Festival’s International Ensemble. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and children.

FINDING YOURSELF ON STAGE with Shannon Stott


In this workshop you will practice using who you are to inspire and commit to characters, scenes and stories. Participants will explore reducing the stress of creating from scratch by using themselves as source material in each moment of a scene. This workshop is for any improvisor who is finding it difficult to bring their full selves to stage or are not contributing to scenes because they "just weren't inspired" or "didn't know what to do with that suggestion." Students will discover ways to flow through any scene, by using their own backgrounds, emotions, physicality and sticking to what they have already brought to the scene to drive their choices.

Date: Saturday October 14, 3:30-6 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bio:
SHANNON STOTT (Austin) Shannon Stott is the Creator and Director of Improv | On and Off the Stage, an Improv Production Company, producing shows and content helping people connect to themselves and others through Improv. She teaches Improv for Design at the University of Texas and has been performing internationally for over 20 years. Shannon considers Improv a practice, a way to become aware of self. She encourages you to continue this practice in your theaters, workplaces, homes, relationships and lives.

FIRST BEATS: GROUNDED DUO SCENES with Dana Puddicombe


This approach to strengthening First Beats is all about clear communication and honouring agreements. Connect with your partner, take the pressure off your initiations and build a great scene together in the moment (and out of your head!). We will explore initiations, world building and identifying games (there isn’t just one), celebrating justification to provide context and connection in your scene. From these first beat scenes, we will practice identifying themes and generating second beat inspirations.

Date: Tuesday October 10, 7:00-9:30 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bio:
Dana Puddicombe (she/her) is an Actor, Writer and Performance Coach from Roaches Line, NL. She has been a professional actor for over twenty years, with television credits including The Accused, Son of a Critch, The Handmaid's Tale, Baroness Von Sketch and Republic of Doyle. Dana co-wrote/ produced/ starred and played drums in the digital series Band Ladies and is the voice of Darcy the Driller on Thomas and Friends: All Engines Go!

GOT YOUR BACK with Kelly Turner


"Got your back", the sweetest words uttered to an improvisor behind the curtain. In this workshop we will explore different ways to support your scene partner and yourself so you can hit the stage feeling supported and confident as hell! We will be focusing on what back line support looks and feels like through larger group games. As well as presenting our offers in a way that excites your fellows players. And, of course, exercises that build trust quickly. Whether you're working with a new ensemble, or looking for a warm up game to get you out of a funky day and stage ready with your regular troupe, these games will get you on the same page and ready to riff in no time!

Date: Sunday October 15, 4:00-6:30 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bio:
KELLY TURNER Kelly is an Edmonton based comedian who has been performing improv since 2009. She is a senior ensemble member of Rapid Fire Theatre, and a cast member of Die! Nasty, Edmonton’s improvised soap opera. Through Improv and sketch comedy Kelly has been delighted to perform in the several Edmonton Fringe Festivals, Next Fest, Grindstone Comedy Festival, the Toronto Sketch Fest, and the Minneapolis Black and Funny Improv Festival.

IMPROV FOR ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS - PAY WHAT YOU WISH with Kristen Schier


Join Portland’s Kristen Schier for a toe-dip into the world of improvisation! This workshop is for anyone who has always wanted to try improv, or for anyone who didn’t know they wanted to until now. Using simple group and paired exercises, this workshop will explore the basic concepts of improv - agreement, happy failure and making your partner look good. We promise it will be a lot of fun! Zero improv experience encouraged. This workshop is Pay What You Wish - pay zero, ten, fifty dollars - it’s up to you! Registration is required.

Date: Friday October 13, 5:00-7:30 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bio:
KRISTEN SCHIER Kristen Schier (she/her) is an actor, improviser, teacher, and clown. She has extensive improv teaching, directing, and performing experience. She holds a BFA in Theater Arts from the University of the Arts where she also taught Acting for Non-Majors, Improvisation for the Actor, and first-year Acting Studio. She has toured all over the country teaching and performing at various festivals such as the Seattle Festival of Improvised Theater, Chicago Improv Festival, Vancouver Improv Festival, Boom Chicago Comedy Festival in Amsterdam, and more. Kristen is the former Co-Artistic Director of Curious Comedy in Portland Oregon and former Improv Producer at the Philly Improv Theater. She has studied improv at Second City, Magnet Theater, and Annoyance. Kristen has also studied Physical Theater, clown, extensively with Pig Iron Theater company and Movement Theater Studio.

IMPROVISING SHAKESPEARE with Brent Hirose


Do you love the Bard? Do you want to add more poetry to your improv? Are you looking for a new improv challenge? In this workshop, Brent Hirose, the Artistic Director of the Spontaneous Shakespeare Company will introduce you to the techniques that the company uses to create full length Shakepsearian plays, most recently garnering five star reviews on the Fringe and being named The Best National Show in Saskatoon. In this workshop you'll learn techniques to speak poetically, to rhyme more easily, and how to speak in iambic pentameter. Brent has a decade of teaching experience, and has taught for Instant Theatre, Tightrope Impro Theatre, and Vancouver Film School. Recommended for players with previous improv or acting experience.

Date: Sunday October 15, 7:00-9:30 PM at Tightrope Theatre


Instructor Bio:
Brent Hirose is an actor, director, writer, voice over artist and improviser based out of Vancouver B.C. He served as the co-artistic director of Instant Theatre from 2016-2019, and is currently a company member and instructor with Tightrope Impro Theatre, a founding member of Fistful of Kicks and the current artistic director of the Spontaneous Shakespeare Company. He has performed improv all over Canada, and has participated in the Seattle Improv Festival, the Stumptown Improv festival in Portland and the Festival of Improvised Plays at the Hideout in Austin, Texas.

LGBTQ+PROV with Syd Campbell


LGBTQ+prov is born of queer instructor Syd Campbell’s desire to teach a class they always wished they could take. Using comedy we will explore performing queer narratives in fun and hilarious ways, opposing the idea that our queerness is an inherently painful part of ourselves. This workshop will play with gender performance, confidence, vulnerability, taking up space, and bringing joy into our queer bodies. This workshop is open to all folks who self-identify as members of the queer community.

Date: Wednesday October 11, 7:00-9:30 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bio:
SYD CAMPBELL Syd Campbell (they/them) is a queer comedian working as an improviser, stand-up, sketch writer/performer, director, and instructor. They’re an alum of Rapid Fire Theatre where they improvised as a member of the senior ensemble, as well as taught through Rapid Fire’s outreach program, and the Citadel’s Foote Theatre School. Syd now teaches sketch and improv with Blind Tiger Comedy and Tightrope Theatre. They are a current cast member of various improv troupes including Treat Show Comedy, Tightrope Theatre, and Queerprov. Syd writes and performs sketch comedy with their troupe Gender? I Hardly Know Them, just finishing up both a national tour, and the filming of the first season of the Gender? I Hardly Know Them webseries this past year.

STARTING STRONG with Michael Haycock


The first few seconds of an improv scene are incredibly important. It sets the expectation for the audience, it is when you make your first discovery, and it is when the relationship starts to become clear. If you start strong and get that momentum moving the rest of the scene will be a walk in the park.

Date: Sunday October 15, 1:00-3:30 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bio:
Michael Haycock is the Artistic Director of the Upfront Theater in Bellingham WA and the Co-founder of the Wasatch Improv Festival. He frequently tours with his improv duo Murder Fairy and Arson Leprechaun.

THE SLACKER WITH BRANDED SILK'S SAUCE with Aaron Laroche and Jeffrey Kitt


The Slacker is a long form improvisation that utilizes tags to transition to new scenes. Learn how to play fast, think out of the box and be 100% you as Branded Silk teaches you their Slacker with Sauce! Focusing on building world and relationship amongst players to fill out scenes.

Date: Saturday October 14, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM at Jim Green House


Instructor Bios:
BRANDED SILK (New York City) Branded Silk is a trio based out of NYC. They started their journey at UCB when they formed to participate in their annual three on three tournament. From there they have performed all over New York City including having their own monthly show currently at The Brooklyn Comedy Collective! They have also toured doing various improv festivals across the country. Using the slacker form they explore and create worlds lampooning the realities and the absurdities of being black in the world, but when it's not that it's just plain ole ' dumb improv. Branded Silk consists of Aaron Laroche, Onyi Okoli, and Jeffrey Kitt. Some of their credits include Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, FBI Most Wanted, and Astronomy Club on Comedy Central.

FOR ALL WORKSHOPS

All workshops are mask-optional. Please respect the choice to wear a mask.
If you are feeling sick or test positive for COVID-19, please do not attend in-person workshops or shows. Questions? info @ vancouverimprovfest.com

Workshops open to improvisors aged 19+. All participants will be required to sign our Anti-Harassment Policy prior to the workshop. Please note, we will not be able to offer refunds for workshops.

If finances are a barrier to your participation in a workshop, please email info @ vancouverimprovfest.com.