With over 100 improv actors from 18 countries, Vancouver TheatreSports is literally bringing the world to our city as it gets set to host the 2019 edition of the International Theatresports Institute Conference and Festival.
Convening every two years, the biennial Conference and Festival is organized by the International Theatresports Institute (ITI), the largest improv network in the world, representing 90 improv companies, schools and universities from 22 countries on six continents.
Taking place on Granville Island from October 14 through October 20, in addition to delegate-only workshops, the week-long event will include more than fifty public performances in a celebration of the improv art form and how it has evolved around the world from different cultural influences.
Currently, improvisers from as far away as India, Norway, Japan, Brazil, and New Zealand have signed up to attend the week-long conference and perform in the festival. A little closer to home, improvisers from across Canada and the United States will also be in attendance.
“It will be a fabulous opportunity for the public to see the different styles of improv as performed by the visiting delegates,” says Vancouver Theatresports artistic director Jay Ono in a media release.
Ono goes onto point out Vancouver’s impact as a global leader within the improv art form, with the conference and festival being a unique opportunity for local improvisers and international delegates to learn from each other.
“At the same time, the public will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see companies and improvisers who do not normally perform outside of their home country,” he continues.
Many of the shows currently scheduled as part of the public performances will demonstrate the unique way in which improvisers from other countries have expanded the improv format.
Among them is The Toys Strike Back from Norway’s Det Andre Teatret, in which the Norwegian company will create its content from the toys children bring with them to this family-friendly performance.
In El Jaguar Fiesta Tour of Vancouver, audiences are invited on a bus for a tour of the city with masked Mexican luchador El Jaguar, aka New Zealand’s Derek Flores.
Vancouver TheatreSports will also represent with an international production of its show OK Tinder, for a global take on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of dating in the digital age.
The conference and festival will also act as an early celebration for Vancouver TheatreSports who turn forty next year.
“We are excited to kick off our anniversary celebrations by sharing so much laughter with the people of Vancouver,” says Ono.
The 2019 International Theatresports Institute Conference and Festival takes place at venues across Granville Island October 14-20. A complete list of public performances will be released soon. Visit vtsl.com for more information.