Sep 23

Calgary Improv Festival – Laugh so hard you’ll choke

by Wil Knoll · 0 comments

In High School (St. Francis), the kids on the improv team called themselves “Our School has a Taco Bell”. It did. The food was horrible. I ate often. But the team was pretty good.

I never participated on the team. I’ve done a little bit of Improv, but I take myself a bit too seriously I think, to ever really do the work justice. But around this time last year I couldn’t help but check out the Calgary Improv Festival. People kept talking about this team from Edmonton, and I knew a few of the Calgary guys. Why not? Everyone said it was a guaranteed good time.

The were right. I’m not one to use the old school hyperbole standbys, but I was literally falling out of my chair at one point. Sitting far right front row, as the team from Regina (I think) was building a story about an old scientist and the spaceship in the garage, I was struggling for breath. I wanted to stop laughing, to catch my breath. But I couldn’t. So my legs went board straight and I was clawing at the seat. I was barely in it.

I wasn’t the only one.

It’s your chance to be strangled by your own laughter. The Improv Festival is back.

The group that runs the festival is Calgary’s own Canadian Improv Guild Theatre. They run a Friday Night improv at their space, the Impro Depot, on Macleod Trail across from the Humpty’s. They return to their normal schedule on October 22nd.

This year for the festival however, they have outdone themselves. Teams from Norway and Australia will go up against teams from all over Canada. Roman Danylo is back to host, and Colin Mochrie headlines.

Colin Mochrie. Yeah, that guy, you’ve laughed at him. Lots.

The venues are Engineered Air and Jack Singer at EPCOR Centre, and the Comedy Cave. The big closeout is on October 3rd at The Jack Singer with Colin Mochrie. There are a few interesting shows that might be suited to a particular taste, from French speaking improv, Kidprov with Calgary Young People’s Theatre, and Women In Improv. They say the Women in Improv show is one not to miss.

“They” were right last year, so I’m taking them up on it again this year.

There’s a bit of a contest going down as well. @improvguild‘s twitter account is looking to hit 300 followers. Beyond being the best source for up to the minute info about the Guild and the festival they may also have side contests for show nights. Be one of the people that helps them hit 300, and you may end up with tickets to the Oct 3 blowout. (psst… at the time of writing this they are at 200…)

Really, do you need any excuse to just laugh? Do yourself a favour, and prepare to struggle for breath.

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