What to Watch at the Vancouver International Improv Fest

Celebrate the best of improv comedy October 4 to 8 at VIIF.

October 4, 2016

By Sally Michael White / Photo: Nolan Connor

Comedy fans, rejoice: Instant Theatre’s 17th Annual Vancouver International Improv Festival is taking over Granville Island from October 4 to 8, bringing together headliners from across North America, and showcasing our booming local improv scene. We spoke to Daniel Chai (The Fictionals, VTSL) and Amy Shostak (Rapid Fire Theatre, The Irrelevant Show)—both members of this year’s International Ensemble—to hear what they were most excited about for the week ahead.

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The Ensembles

October 5, 7 & 8 at Performance Works and The Revue Stage

Vancouver is rich with comedic talent, but improv shows often take place off the beaten path in small art spaces or bars that may be off the radar of typical theatre-goers. “VIIF offers a chance for everyone to showcase their skills and celebrate the form on a bigger stage” says Chai, “We get to really put a spotlight on what we love doing.”

Ensembles are the ultimate example of this: members and their director are brought together to perform for the first time at the festival. “I think it’s the most exciting part,” says Shostack, “It allows us to play together, work as an ensemble and see the special styles that everyone brings to the table.”

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Missed Connections

Friday, October 7 at The Revue Stage

Calgary comedians Andrew Phung, Ali Froggatt, Michael Roik, Ellis Lalonde, Renee Amber and Anyssa McKee bring you a show inspired by Craigslist ads and real-life lapses in courage.

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Sneak Peek

Saturday, October 8 at The Revue Stage

Joe Vanderhelm, Paul Blinov and Matt Schuurman from Rapid Fire Theatre present the audience with three obscure movie trailers and let them decide which one they want to see acted out in its entirety on stage. Have they seen the movie? No. Will you laugh? We’d bet the cost of a movie on it.

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Limbo Land

Saturday, October 8 at The Revue Stage

Describing it as “exciting and a little bit daring,” Chai was quick to recommend this one-man musical show from New York based actor/improviser T.J. Manic and musical director James Rushin.

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One Lions

Saturday October 8 at Performance Works

This Calgary duo takes on one of the theatre world’s most beloved plays with their surrealist Waiting For Godot-inspired show. Beckett would proud.

For full event listings and to buy tickets, visit vancouverimprovfest.com

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