The 3rd Annual Paper Street Theatre Improv Festival is here! This year's festival celebrates the most innovative improvised theatre from around the world including guests from from Vancouver, Seattle, Sweden, Finland and Victoria!
For five nights enjoy Paper Street Theatre's award-winning improv. With two shows every night, plus late night mash-ups Friday/Saturday, the festival is jam-packed with creativity. See shows from Paper Street Theatre, GBG Impro, 4and20 Improv, Kaisa Kokko, and more!
Local Cabaret: To kick off this year's festival we're shining the spotlight on Victoria's local talent. Come and see members of Paper Street Theatre, VIKES Improv, First Time Last, and more in this cabaret-style evening of improv!
Ants: Paper Street Theatre favourites, Byron Kjeldsen and Nicole Olszewski are Ants. A kafkaesque absurd storytelling show that follows two characters through the mundanity of life.
Visions: Visions is a beautiful yet rough combination of physical movement, viewpoints, tableaus and scene work to explore the possibilities and threats of the near and further future. Featuring the Festival Ensemble.
- Directed by Kaisa Kokko (Finland)
GRAFT: Grafting is a horticultural technique whereby tissues of plants are joined so as to continue their growth together. Graft is an improvisational form whereby multiple scenes and characters are joined so as to continue their growth together. Featuring Tom Hill and Amy Shostak.
A Magical Journey: A magically improvised music theatre that takes you to a place where only the imagination sets the boundaries. Bring your whole family and enjoy improvised songs, great magic and a magical journey! Featuring the Festival Ensemble.
- Directed by GBG Impro (Sweden)
How the Light Gets In: Dave Morris and Kaisa Kokko will let a sad and beautiful story unravel before your eyes, join them to watch as the light leaks in through the cracks.
Hidden Motives: A full-length contemporary improvised play where everything is driven by mantras provided by the audience. Watch as the hidden motives of the improvisers, lead them into an unknowable story. Featuring the Festival Ensemble.
- Directed by 4and20 Improv (U.S.A.)
Backstory: A chaotic, improvised heist-thriller played backwards! As an audience member you will give us suggestions that will shape the mysterious final scene that will set in motion a mind-bending journey backwards in time to the final beginning. Watch as this dramatic crime story unfolds piece by piece. A dark puzzling tale of violence, money, trust and betrayal… A fast paced show that will have you on the edge of your seat, asking what will happen next… or rather, what has happened before? Featuring GBG Improv.
Double Exposure: This innovative piece of improvisation features the entire ensemble on stage as often as possible. 2 heads are better than 1, 8 heads are better than 2. Featuring the Festival Ensemble.
- Directed by Amy Shostak (Canada)
CONSPIRACY: It’s the 1970s, and something is very wrong. Shadow corporations! Rogue government agents! Foreign actors! Enter the unsettling world of Conspiracy... This unscripted play will take you on a journey through small towns turned bad, illegal laboratories, secret societies and all the way to the top: to a place where truth is a luxury that only the powerful can afford! Who's pulling the strings? Who's watching who? How far does the conspiracy go? And is anyone safe? Featuring 4and20 Improv.
Kaisa Kokko is an improviser, instructor and communication skills teacher. She has learned, performed and taught improvised theatre for over 12 years and has more than 20 years of experience in scripted theatre. Kaisa specializes in deep and meaningful connections, relationship based grounded scene work, and musical improvisation. Kaisa firmly believes in the strengthening power of improv and is always thrilled to be part of an art form that will – little by little – change the world!
GBG Improv is just what it sounds like! Gothenburg Improv Theatre. They are one of Sweden's leading improv companies, and offer the widest range of performances in the country. With only the minds of the actors and a little help from the audience, they create stories on stage that are guaranteed to be pure entertainment. They've been living in the moment since 2005!
Tom Hill and Amy Shostak are a Canadian improv duo who derive a near unreasonable amount of joy from playing with and for audiences. They share a keen interest in subverting audience expectations, and pushing themselves as performers. Tom is a founder of Blind Tiger Comedy, an alternative improv and sketch comedy school in Vancouver and one-half of the Canadian Comedy Award-Nominated HipBang! Amy served as Rapid Fire Theatre's Artistic Director for six years before moving to Vancouver and starting process-focused improv ensemble, Brio.
4and20 Improv is a Seattle-based improv collaborative of four improvising directors, producing independent unscripted theatre and improvised long-form, and eating a lot of pie as they go. 4and20 improvisers have taught, directed and performed in Austria, Belgium, England, Canada, Germany, Scotland, Slovenia, the UAE, and across the United States. All four can regularly be seen performing at Unexpected Productions, in Seattle, Washington.
We have four public workshops being offered during the festival! You can sign up individually, or sign up for a more and save yourself $10 per workshop!
This workshop uses viewpoints, a physical theatre style invented and popularized by Tina Landau and Anne Bogart, to be the drawing point for improvisational theatre. In the workshop we will explore the possibilities of time and space, break physical movement into specific elements and explore them in our work. We will gain tremendous flexibility to use our bodies and look at our scene work from different angles. This will enable us to tell unconventional stories on the stage.
Being truly present means a lot more than listening with the mind. Most improvisers eventually learn to be intellectually present, but often neglect presence at a physical and/or emotional level. This workshop will explore authentic presence that allows us to receive and make offers at all three levels, not just the one. We will explore what the the sort of mindfulness required to combine these three levels of presence feels like through exercises, scene work and exploration.
Platform: The bones of a story. Platform is crucial for a story to survive. In this workshop we explore not just what relationships the characters have, but how they manifest themselves. How do we act around people who knows us from the inside and out? How do we create scenes that gives the audience the feeling of being thrown in to a living, breathing, everyday life? It’ll be a workshop filled with laughter, teasing with heart and, most importantly, comfort.
Learn how to find more complexity in your characters. You’ll learn how to play with subtext, hidden intention and your character's duality. In 3 hours you’ll explore the whole range of both silent scene work and improv based more on acting than being verbally funny. The exercises are inspired by dramaturgic writing and a Swedish improv style that tends to go towards a more heavy and dramatic kind of comedy.