During the festival we have some amazing professional improvisers in town. If you’re an improviser, comedian or actor, here’s your chance to learn from the best!
Taking Up Space
NOTE: The instructor generously offers the PWYC option to make it accessible to folks with financial barriers — the workshop is valued at $45 for those with the means to pay the full amount.
This workshop will focus on providing marginalized performers tools to feel encouraged to take up space and tell their stories. The workshop will utilize improv & story-telling exercises in order to do so. However, the workshop will also provide room to discuss some of the obstacles marginalized performers face, and will have a malleable structure to suit the needs, questions and desires of the participants. The workshop is open to all, however please reflect on the space you take up in life, and if you choose to attend the workshop be mindful of the way you take up space in the workshop (we have PWYC spots available for those with financial barriers who identify as BIPOC and those from marginalized ethnicities — to reserve a spot, email Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to register).
Sara Meleika is an Egyptian improviser, storyteller, and high-school teacher. She produces and performs in Colour Outside the Lines – a show created out of a desire to see greater representation appear on Montreal’s improv stages. She is the (Anglophone) Inclusion Coordinator at Montreal Improv, co-produced Ladyfest Montreal 2017 & 2018, and co-artistic directed MPROV 2019. She has performed in MPROV, Montreal Sketchfest, Ladyfest Montreal, the Ottawa Improv Festival, Toronto’s Combustion Festival, the Big City Improv Festival and OFF-JFL/Zoofest.
We’ve all been there. That feeling of emptiness on stage; when a “yes and” feels more like a “please end this now”. Eff that. With an emphasis on clowning techniques, this workshop will focus on reigniting our love of improvisation through physicality and play. Fun is a technique, and Play is a muscle… so let’s get swole!
Isaac Kessler has been performing, writing, and producing comedy for over ten years. He is a multiple Canadian Comedy Award nominee nominated as Best Male Improviser in 2015. He is also one half of the award winning sketch/improv/clown duo 2-MAN NO-SHOW along with his comedic soulmate Ken Hall. Isaac has studied improv at The Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO Chicago, and UCB, and with a long list of many amazing teachers. For the last 8 years, Isaac has trained in Clown, Mask, and Physical Theatre with master instructors Philippe Gaulier, Paola Coletto, John Gilkey, Dr. Brown and Aitor Basauri.
This workshop review tools and skills needed to build single-world storylines over one scene or several. We will look at how to build a world that not only grounds the story but also provides opportunity for exploration via interesting characters and narrative specific transitions. Students will step away with the tools to create their own narrative short-form games or long-form shows.
Will Luera is the Director of Improvisation at Florida Studio Theatre, Director of Big Bang Improv and serves as the Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston. Will is co-creator of Healing Moments for Alzheimer’s, a non-profit organization that provides education, advocacy, and ministry for persons with dementia and their caregivers. Will tours globally as an improv and theater actor, director and instructor that performs and teaches regularly all across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Misch Whitaker is an energetic performer and director working in Boston. She performs regularly on Fridays in Boston on the cast of Dirty Disney (Catalyst Comedy) and throughout the year at Improv Asylum as both a corporate actor and workshop instructor. Misch is also an RN working in the combined field of harm reduction and substance use disorders. She uses her multiple areas of expertise to create customizable improv workshops for healthcare providers in Boston and beyond. When she’s not on stage (or wearing a stethoscope), Misch loves to listen to murder podcasts and play ukulele.
Big Character Choices
Need to make a choice? Choose character. Learn how to follow the fun and make BIG CHARACTER CHOICES. Feel the power of POV – the choice that guides all choices. See how easy it is to discover your character’s world view, the lens through which only you look, and how to keep “playing the game” of your character throughout a scene and a show.
Tom Hearn is a Canadian Comedy award-winning comedian, writer and producer. In Toronto you can catch him in playing in the hit improv show Hookup at Bad Dog Theatre Company, Sunday Night Live with the The Sketchersons, or his sold out original hit LIPSYNCED at Buddies in Bad Times. Tom is the creator of the sold-out Proud + Funny Festival and the 420 Comedy Festival. Tom is currently touring his 5 star reviewed solo show “SLANG” with the next stop being the Toronto Sketchfest!
Don’t Panic It’s Organic
This advanced class will focus on discovering the fun and freedom of organic improv. Yes… it can be fun! Students will learn how to harness the abstract group mind and focus it into clear moments and scenes, transforming the way you approach group work. Students will be encouraged to trust their guts and use their bodies, freeing the improvisor to follow inspiration instead of being confined by obligation. Learn to YES so hard that it turns into the AND!
Cam Algie is one fourth of the ineffable improv troupe S&P. He’s the founder of Play With Fire Improv, and the Improv for Anxiety program at Second City, Toronto. He’s been teaching for over 10 years. He like bananas. Kevin Whalen is one fourth of the illustrious improv troupe S&P. He is an alumnus of Toronto’s Second City Mainstage and has been teaching improv for over ten years. He has appeared in shows like Baroness Von Sketch, What We Do in Shadows and Hannibal just to name drop a few.