Workshops

Workshop registration is now open!
Our workshops take place on Zoom,
and welcome improvisors of varying experience levels.

Workshops

Workshop registration opens September 4!
Our workshops take place on Zoom,
and welcome improvisors of varying experience levels.

DEVIOUS VILLAINS, IMPROVISED DEVILISHLY

 

with Curt Da Silva

In DEVIOUS VILLAINS, IMPROVISED DEVILISHLY, we’ll explore all of the joy and comedy that comes from improvising a delightfully maniacal villain. We’ll create characters with diabolical plans, absurdly serious origin stories, and fantastically terrible (in the good way) motivations that will leave the audience wanting more. Our villainous creations may technically be toppled by the hero at the end of the day, but,  damnit, we’ll have a ton of fun before our eventual fall into a metaphorical or literal volcano.

Wednesday September 30, 5-8pm Pacific Time
Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructor Bio:

Curt Da Silva is an improviser and math person who has been improvising for nearly 10 years. He was a part of Instant Theatre for many years, both as a cast member, showrunner, and eventual co-artistic director, where he helped co-spearhead their diversity initiative class + showcase show. Curt created the all-Asian Canadian improv group Fistful of Kicks, which blends together hilarious improvised stories with exciting stage combat, exploring a ton of genres including classic kung fu movies, historical East Asian legends, and giant robot anime. He has improvised all over North America, including the Improvised Play Festival in Austin,  Texas, Stumptown Improv Festival in Portland, Oregon, the Seattle Festival of Improv Theater, and the Vancouver Improv Festival. He has produced sketch comedy for the CBC and can be seen performing in stages all over Vancouver, when that sort of thing is allowed again. 

ORAL HISTORY & IMPROVISATION

with Todd Houseman

An exploration of how traditional storytelling can be used both as a style and a tool in improv using narratives of geography, origin stories, and stories that come from the land, all of which are unique to Indigenous oral stories. Additionally, the class serves as a cultural exchange opportunity for participants. Using personal stories, physicality, and deep remembering, we’ll work to enhance our improv by using structures and elements of indigenous oral literature.

Disclaimer: the teachings in this workshop are not Elder-level as Todd is not qualified to teach those. The focus of this workshop is ultimately on improving our improvised scenes.  

Thursday October 1, 5-8pm Pacific Time
Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructor Bio:

Todd Houseman is a Nehiyo (Cree) mixed-blood actor, improviser, and writer from Edmonton, Alberta (Amiskwaci). His work focuses on decolonization by prioritizing indigenous narratives through satire, political commentary, and storytelling. Todd recently graduated from the acting program at the National Theatre School of canada but has yet to physically walk across the stage. Prior to his schooling, Todd was a senior performer and instructor with Rapid Fire Theatre from 2009-2017. He is the co-writer/producer/star (with Ben Gorodetsky) of Folk Lordz, which began as a touring improvised play and has evolved into a 2-season political sketch comedy web series. In addition, Todd is co-creator of the play Whiteface with Lady Vanessa Cardona which received rave reviews at in its premiere fringe tour. In his free time, Todd enjoys building masks, forging knives, or being in the forests of western Alberta.

ORAL HISTORY & IMPROVISATION

with Todd Houseman

An exploration of how traditional storytelling can be used both as a style and a tool in improv using narratives of geography, origin stories, and stories that come from the land, all of which are unique to Indigenous oral stories. Additionally, the class serves as a cultural exchange opportunity for participants. Using personal stories, physicality, and deep remembering, we’ll work to enhance our improv by using structures and elements of indigenous oral literature.

Disclaimer: the teachings in this workshop are not Elder-level as Todd is not qualified to teach those. The focus of this workshop is ultimately on improving our improvised scenes.  

Thursday October 1, 5-8pm Pacific Time
Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructor Bio:

Todd Houseman is a Nehiyo (Cree) mixed-blood actor, improviser, and writer from Edmonton, Alberta (Amiskwaci). His work focuses on decolonization by prioritizing indigenous narratives through satire, political commentary, and storytelling. Todd recently graduated from the acting program at the National Theatre School of canada but has yet to physically walk across the stage. Prior to his schooling, Todd was a senior performer and instructor with Rapid Fire Theatre from 2009-2017. He is the co-writer/producer/star (with Ben Gorodetsky) of Folk Lordz, which began as a touring improvised play and has evolved into a 2-season political sketch comedy web series. In addition, Todd is co-creator of the play Whiteface with Lady Vanessa Cardona which received rave reviews at in its premiere fringe tour. In his free time, Todd enjoys building masks, forging knives, or being in the forests of western Alberta.

MIND READING FOR IMPROVISERS

with Shannon Stott

This workshop blends Improv and Mind Reading techniques to give Improvisers a unique perspective into the minds of scene partners and audience members. Participants will practice attuning themselves in order to be clearer with offers and create engaging scenes for audiences.

Friday October 2, 5-8pm Pacific Time
Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructor Bio:

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.

HOW TO BE REALLY KIND & REALLY MEAN

with Lena Breuer and Nick Maaß

Do you know those moments, when the audience gasps and holds its breath? When people are laughing and crying at the same time, because they are so touched by what is happening on stage? As improvisors those moments are gold – but they are hard to find and even harder to connect. But, behind these moments is actually a simple secret – you need to have a truthful connection with the audience and with your stage partner. In this workshop Nick and Lena will give you some tools to create truthfulness on stage, so that you can be really kind and also really mean. In a good way. Guess who’s teaching you what?

Saturday October 3, 10-1pm Pacific Time
Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructors’ Bio:

Nick and Lena are two improvisors from Cologne, Germany. Together, Nick and Lena perform their improvised romantic comedy called When I Met You. They have both been a part of festivals all over Europe, trained at iO and Loose Moose Theatre in North America, and most recently produced Impro Fest Online, a regular online improv festival. Lena studied acting and journalism and lost her heart to improv 10 years ago. Since then, she has been teaching and performing, as well as working in physical and scripted theatre and clowning. Lena is also a professional tv producer for Germany’s biggest public tv station. Nick discovered improv at the tender age of 19 and fell in love immediately. He currently teaches theater, and is training to become a systemic consultant.

HOW TO BE REALLY KIND & REALLY MEAN

with Lena Breuer and Nick Maaß

Do you know those moments, when the audience gasps and holds its breath? When people are laughing and crying at the same time, because they are so touched by what is happening on stage? As improvisors those moments are gold – but they are hard to find and even harder to connect. But, behind these moments is actually a simple secret – you need to have a truthful connection with the audience and with your stage partner. In this workshop Nick and Lena will give you some tools to create truthfulness on stage, so that you can be really kind and also really mean. In a good way. Guess who’s teaching you what?

Saturday October 3, 10-1pm Pacific Time
Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructors’ Bio:

Nick and Lena are two improvisors from Cologne, Germany. Together, Nick and Lena perform their improvised romantic comedy called When I Met You. They have both been a part of festivals all over Europe, trained at iO and Loose Moose Theatre in North America, and most recently produced Impro Fest Online, a regular online improv festival. Lena studied acting and journalism and lost her heart to improv 10 years ago. Since then, she has been teaching and performing, as well as working in physical and scripted theatre and clowning. Lena is also a professional tv producer for Germany’s biggest public tv station. Nick discovered improv at the tender age of 19 and fell in love immediately. He currently teaches theater, and is training to become a systemic consultant.

IMPROVISED (DIGITAL) PHYSICALITY

with Ben Gorodetsky

This workshop will GET YOU MOVING! Practical tools to heighten your physical comedy on-screen, expand your character range, and play with Zoom as a visual medium. Drawing on elements of clown, physical theatre, dance, and puppetry this approach will arm you with techniques to develop your digital comedy beyond words

Sunday October 4, 1-4pm Pacific Time
Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructor Bios:

Ben Gorodetsky is a theatre maker, improviser, and producer based in Waterloo, Canada. He’s made two new digital performances during the pandemic: Dolik’s Clothes for Dancing on the Edge and Yard Dances for Joy and Healing for e-Volver Festival. His (live) performance work has been presented by Movement Research at Judson Church, The Tank NYC, Mile Zero Dance, Brian Webb Dance Company, Expanse Festival of Movement Arts, Rubaboo Festival, SpringWorks, and the Gas Station Arts Centre. He is the former Associate Artistic Director of Rapid Fire Theatre and has performed, taught, and directed improvisation in Atlanta, Detroit, Austin, Philadelphia, NYC, LA, Reunion Island, Vienna, Ljubljana, Montreal, Toronto, Yellowknife, Calgary, and Vancouver. He is co-creator of political satire comedy duo Folk Lordz (VICE), and creator and former host of experimental variety show Dirt Buffet Cabaret. Ben has written for The Beaverton and alt.theatre magazine. He is the winner of the 2016 Emerging Artist Award at the Mayor’s Celebration for the Arts (Edmonton) and a nominee for a Canadian Comedy Award. Ben has taught at UBC Okanagan, and holds a BFA from the University of Alberta and an MFA from Brooklyn College-CUNY.

DELVE IN!

with Ese Atawo

Ese Atawo is back again with another character workshop: Delve in! This workshop is based on Ese’s theatre training in taking time and giving your body the freedom to bring forth the characters you have inside. With focus on vocal and physical exercises, students will create characters that are rich and grounded and most importantly, rooted in you because it is you! This workshop will require you to be truthful to yourself and your process – you can only go as far as you allow yourself to go.

Prerequisite: 2+ years of improv training, or part of an improv troupe

Pre-workshop Homework: Please bring a piece of literature that you are comfortable reading out loud. It could be anything so don’t over think it.

Warning: This workshop is meant to be a deep dive, and will require you to arrive prepared. While we hope the workshop will be enjoyable for you, it will take a lot of energy and commitment, so it is not your typical “silly improv workshop”. Please join the workshop having eaten, in comfortable clothing, and feeling ready to work.

Sunday October 4, 5-9pm Pacifc Time

Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructor Bio:

Ese Atawo is a Nigerian Canadian actor and comedian. Raised in Toronto, Ese began her love for live performance through local theatre companies and festivals. She enjoyed the diversity of being apart of Canada’s largest ten-minute play festival, InspiraTO Festival, for two consecutive years. She found strength through truthful vulnerability as a cast member of Toronto’s Vagina Monologues production of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer as well as Any One of Us; and she embraced the challenge of a German written play in Summerworks production of Kasper and the Sea of Houses. Along side Ese’s involvement in theatre, she began studying improvisation through Second City Toronto. With improv being so engaging and spontaneous, Ese completed all six level as well as Second City’s Conservatory program. Ese relocated to Vancouver to expand her training in improv by taking classes through Instant Theatre and eventually became a cast member and frequent player. Her involvement in improv has enabled her to be apart of successful improv troupes such as Your Moms and Nasty Women; a faculty member and a Diversity Coordinator for Blind Tiger Comedy school; as well as being involved in successful theatrical events and festivals throughout Vancouver and abroad.

DELVE IN!

with Ese Atawo

Ese Atawo is back again with another character workshop: Delve in! This workshop is based on Ese’s theatre training in taking time and giving your body the freedom to bring forth the characters you have inside. With focus on vocal and physical exercises, students will create characters that are rich and grounded and most importantly, rooted in you because it is you! This workshop will require you to be truthful to yourself and your process – you can only go as far as you allow yourself to go.

Prerequisite: 2+ years of improv training, or part of an improv troupe

Pre-workshop Homework: Please bring a piece of literature that you are comfortable reading out loud. It could be anything so don’t over think it.

Warning: This workshop is meant to be a deep dive, and will require you to arrive prepared. While we hope the workshop will be enjoyable for you, it will take a lot of energy and commitment, so it is not your typical “silly improv workshop”. Please join the workshop having eaten, in comfortable clothing, and feeling ready to work.

Sunday October 4, 5-9pm Pacifc Time

Platform: Zoom
Link will be emailed in advance of the workshop

Instructor Bio:

Ese Atawo is a Nigerian Canadian actor and comedian. Raised in Toronto, Ese began her love for live performance through local theatre companies and festivals. She enjoyed the diversity of being apart of Canada’s largest ten-minute play festival, InspiraTO Festival, for two consecutive years. She found strength through truthful vulnerability as a cast member of Toronto’s Vagina Monologues production of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer as well as Any One of Us; and she embraced the challenge of a German written play in Summerworks production of Kasper and the Sea of Houses. Along side Ese’s involvement in theatre, she began studying improvisation through Second City Toronto. With improv being so engaging and spontaneous, Ese completed all six level as well as Second City’s Conservatory program. Ese relocated to Vancouver to expand her training in improv by taking classes through Instant Theatre and eventually became a cast member and frequent player. Her involvement in improv has enabled her to be apart of successful improv troupes such as Your Moms and Nasty Women; a faculty member and a Diversity Coordinator for Blind Tiger Comedy school; as well as being involved in successful theatrical events and festivals throughout Vancouver and abroad.

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