One of the hottest Canadian acts around, the absurd and unpredictable tag-team improv duo of Isaac Kessler and Ken Hall take you on a bizarre ride of undefinably funny comedy. Tired of talking heads? So are we. Using their charismatic charm, manic delivery, and balls to the walls physicality, 2-MAN NO-SHOW creates a whimsical and fantastical world of heart-felt characters connecting in genuine andhilariously unexpected ways.
2-MAN NO-SHOW have wowed audiences and critics at North America’s top Comedy Festivals, and performed a full run at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. They were nominated for two Canadian Comedy Awards as Best Improv Troupe and Best Comedic Show, as well as Toronto’s Best Improv Troupe of 2013 & 2014 by NOW Magazine.
Check them out every month alongside RN and Cawls at Bad Dog Theatre in their power packed duo show, PARTY HARD HARD PARTY, which just surpassed 50 shows!
The festival's best and brightest assemble in one place to bring the house down!
Abra Cadaver is a high energy, theatrical improv troupe based in Toronto. Formed out of the Second City Long Form program (RIP) and now performing as part of The Assembly, Abra Cadaver is a very physical, very weird, and very lovable group of improv dumdums. We've spent the last year performing around the city, including our monthly show BUNZ LIVE and last year's BCIF
After School Grandma performs a fast paced freeform style of improv inspired by training and lessons from ImprovBoston as well as homegrown Baltimore style. Our sets seek to build and destroy multiple worlds on the fly while using a variety of organic edits to transition between worlds.
Rory Grant (musical director)
We originated as a Bad Dog advanced musical improv class under Carly Heffernen and then continued on as a troupe. Our format is truly unique, and audience pleasing.
Bad Dog's Academy Tuesdays are a weekly showcase of our various Performance Level classes! Come see what each class is working on, support friends and family, or just see a great show. Each week is a different combination of classes and levels, so you're bound to see something new and exciting.
Featuring Daphney Joseph, Kyah Green and Tom & Erica
Tickets are only available at the door. No passes.
Bed Post is Toronto's Sex & Sexuality Variety Show featuring erotic readings, real life sex stories, ask a sexpert, raunchy comedy, giveaways, and stripping. And this month it's featuring some of our festival performers!
Photo by Paul Aihoshi
We formed as part of the Narrative Studio Series at Bad Dog and have a keen knack for stage combat and imagery. Our troupe is very high energy while still building deep emotional relationships. Something different than just your normal improv montage.
Nicole and Sara are performers with the Kinkonauts, Calgary’s longform improv powerhouse. United they become Ben Gazi, a longform duo exploring love in all it’s forms. Their relationship-based improv is inspired by song requests from the audience. Each song is the jumping off point for another stage of the relationship.
Sara is an improviser in the Kinkonauts’ Shakespeare, Austen, and Squadball troupes. She is a founding member of the shortform troupe Obviously Improv, and has also appeared with the Improv Guild, and at the Calgary International Improv Festival.
Nicole is a 17 year veteran of Calgary’s Dirty Laundry improvised soap opera, as well as an 8 year member of the Kinkonauts. She has performed improvised genres such Musicals, Film Noir, Shakespeare, Western, and perhaps her favourite, Chekhov. She has also guested at the Loose Moose, Improv Guild, and Calgary International Improv Festival.
Together they disassemble the patriarchy and nurture future generations. Fart jokes guaranteed.*
Ben Gazi is a terrific fit for BCIF because we are filled with western alienation! We also are living proof that Alberta’s greatest resource is feminist comedy powerhouses who, despite the arid climate, still manage to be filled with wit, wisdom, and love.
*Fart jokes not guaranteed
The cast members of Big Bang represent some of the best improvisers from the Boston Improv scene since 2000 with over 100 years of collective improv and comedy experience which includes appearances on television, stage, film and festivals all over the world. Big Bang is directed by Will Luera, a member of the Boston Improv community since 1997. He is the current Director of Improvisation at Florida Studio Theatre, Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston and a globally renowned improv and theater actor, director and instructor that performs and teaches regularly all across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Rotating cast including:
Blast From The Past features a cast of Toronto’s best improvisers who celebrate all things nostalgic and honour the innocence of childhood with a unique spin on show and tell. Our monthly show invites members of the public and special guests to share items from their childhood with the audience. The stories they reveal inspire a series of improvised scenes performed by our “Cast From The Past”. It is a true delight to experience our guests share their childhood and then watch with big grins as their very own memories are transformed into one of a kind improvised magic.
Past shows have featured diary entries, grade school crushes, family videos, pen pal letters and even notes from a 1970s girls’ health class. Any item from the past with a story to tell is perfect fodder for our cast and we’re excited to share this experience with the BCIF audience. Our troupe would also like to invite other performers accepted into BCIF to participate in our show by sharing their childhood treasures on stage for our talented cast to improvise based on.
Jaymie Guy Metivier
Blood & Thunder have been together forever. They are from Montreal and have performed in Toronto, Vermont, Austin, Ottawa, Vancouver and at a burrito restaurant. They are fun to watch, charismatic on stage and their moms are very proud of them.
The Bloody Marys is an improv comedy duo made of up Second City Toronto Mainstage Alumni Kirsten Rasmussen and Leigh Cameron. The duo has performed in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and most recently in All Star Improv for Off JFL. In February they won Bad Dog Theatre's GlobeHead Theatresports Festival. They soon will be travelling to the Stumptown Improv Fest in Portland and the Vancouver International Improv Festival and would love to perform at BCIF in their home town.
We have been performing together in Vancouver for over three years both together, and as cast members at Instant Theatre. We have both been part of the Vancouver International Improv Festival’s International Ensemble for the past two years and have performed together in different ensembles at the Del Close Marathon, the Seattle Festival of Improvised Theatre, and the Vancouver International Improv Festival. This year we were also part of Montreal SketchFest and Portland Sketchfest as Brunch, and Kerri was at Edmonton’s improvaganza with her group, Your Moms. We try to showcase different female characters who are all just trying their best and taking life one Woman & Songs mixtape at a time. And also, we’re very fun, we promise!
Nicole Elsasser, Ty Kostyk and Yitzi Gal Are all graduates of the Second City Conservatory from wildly differing times. Nicole performs Sketch with her team "Tall Sigh" Yitzi Improvises around the city but mostly at the John Candy Box Theatre, and Ty spreads joy wherever his eccentric path leads him.
Classic Humans will be extracting themes from your dreams! Images and sounds wash over you. All of a sudden you're in a rich world of stories, characters, sights and sounds. You'll come to, knowing that it all was, in fact, NOT A DREAM.
Coffee break is a group of Montreal Improv teachers and house team members bringing multiple perspectives to their scenes. Members range from 24 to 52 years of age, hail from Canada, the United States, Nairobi and Kuwai and represent different religious, social economic, and ethnic backgrounds. Each member brings a unique voice to the set.
Erin L Campbell
Calm Springs is an improvised soap opera narrative troupe with two successful seasons under their belt. We are a Second City Conservatory grad class who love to play together. We have performed two six week seasons at the Comedy bar on the main stage. Our seasons have a simple fun settings with lots to play with, story line and characters are created by each individual improviser. We think we would be a great fit for BCIF because we think we would bring something different to the festival with our improvised soap opera style. We love playing up the tella novella style and would love to have the chance to bring our show to the BCIF.
Tamara Cavell Allette
Casually Dope is a unique troupe representing the underrepresented in improv. With our mix of high-energy, audience-inspired improv, we create characters you’ll never forget, and leave you as satisfied as your mama’s sweet potato pie.
Chestnuts will be performing "The Rewind" which is an improvised movie but is played out backwards, starting with the last scene of the movie and ending with the opening scene. We also do jigsaw puzzles upside-down because we love making things unnecessarily difficult.
Linda Julia Paolucci
Chakra Khan is cool group of buddies who came together thanks to the Second City Long Form Program and evolved into the awesome team they are today through The Assembly. Although the troupe has been around for over a year, the team now is composed of a mix of original and new members, all of which love game based long form to pieces. Coached by Adam Cawley, Chakra Khan aims to keep growing their game skills!
CHUCHO is an all-Hispanic/Latinx indie improv team that performs throughout NYC. Collectively, CHUCHO has trained at Magnet Theater, UCB, IO, WIT, Groundlings, Dojo Comedy, Theater 99, and mother-loving PBCC (Palm Beach Community College), y’all! Their love for improv as an art and the push for diversity in comedy is what brought them together. We love playing together and bringing our comedic and cultural sensibilities to venues and shows that want to see where we come from too! ¡CHUuuuuCHO!
Chunky was born out of the Second City Longform Conservatory program in 2017. Its members hail from all corners of the globe: Toronto, Guelph, New Zealand, and Aregentina. Their style is fast attack, big support and wild association.
Birthed from the Ensemble Studio Series program at the Bad Dog Theatre Company, Clarke Pengu pushes the bounds of long form improv by inventing original formats, and exploring the silly, absurd worlds they create.
Classic Humans met in their October 2015 Bad Dog Ensemble Class. After graduating in June 2016, they have been work-shopping and perfecting their inception inspired dream-like montage at BCIF 2016, Bad Dogs 2016 Block Buster Week, Spring Binge (A weekly 3 month run at Bad Dog alternating the headlining spot with troupes (America's Next Top _____ and Pantsuit) and across various stages across Toronto. Their style is grounded yet surreal, fun and playful.
Dale Boyer and Amanda Barker have known each other for 15 years and have about 40 years of improv experience. They are currently developing a format and show that uses clothing as an offer. They are examining the seams of empathy among women through their shared history of clothing swaps.
Coffee break is a group of Montreal Improv teachers and house team members bringing multiple perspectives to their scenes. Members range from 24 to 52 years of age, hail from Canada, the United States, Nairobi and Kuwai and represent different religious, social economic, and ethnic backgrounds. Each member brings a unique voice to the set.
Crybabies is a fast paced duo made up of major league idiots, D.J. Mausner (Winner JFL Homegrown competition) and David Kaufman (Off-JFL/JFL-Stage). With a focus on New York style game based play, Crybabies explores the worlds of sad sacks, goofballs, and contemptible misfits. Outside of regular performances in Montreal, as a duo they have appeared in Just for Laugh's OFF-JFL festival and have opened for Easy Action, Mark Little, and the popular half-scripted show 50-50. They perform a two person Pretty Flower.
Common Folk is a weird and wonderful duo that explores the darker said of comedy with a cheeky wink and kind smile. Sweet humans doing messed up scenes.
Andrea and Sam have been working together for a while under the guidance of Leigh Cameron. They love playing big, bold characters and grounding them in reality. They're all for earning their laughs by building their set gradually towards the weirder side of things.
Coming Soon is a Narrative Improv show that has been performing in Toronto for almost 3 years, having got it's start during Bad Dog's Third Annual Blockbuster Week. We take a trailer from an upcoming film, watch it with the audience for the first time, and based on the ques from the trailer, we improvise our take on what the movie will be.
The fact that we don't know what trailer is going to play is what makes this show so fun. It gets the audience invested in the show from the start, and showing a video at the beginning is a different kind of improv "get"
Hosted by Jason Agnew
Special guest judge John Catucci ("You Gotta Eat Here")
Catch23 is Toronto's deadliest improv pit fight. Watch teams from all over Toronto (and sometimes beyond) battle it out against house players, "expert" judges and you, the audience, for improv domination.
Returning champions are invited back the following week to defend their title.
Marcel St. Pierre
The Coincidence Men are respected vets of Toronto’s improv and sketch comedy scene. Two of them are sometimes known as the sketch-comedy-Gemini-Award winning comedy duo Fast n Dirty. Two of them are published authors and own ridiculously small dogs. Three of them were the founding alumni and creative force behind The Bad Dog Theatre Company. Three of them are alums of Toronto’s Second City while the other two are known to run The Social Capital Theatre. They have 100 years of collective improv experience between them, and a handful of comedy awards and nominations.
Two kooky ladies perform improvised comedy filled with fresh and unique perspectives, laughs and curlz!
Watch out Topanga! Get out of the way Shawn! Move it Mr. Feeney! cause here comes Corey Matthews! These three Toronto improvisers and Boy Meets World fans are coming at you with their vast knowledge of pop-culture , scenes and trivia to bring Improv that will hit you like growing up in the 90's. These Fringe Fest Champs, Touring Company members and Sketcherson peeps have extensive experience in the Toronto improv scene and want you to come see them bounce their strange characters and references off each other. As Shawn Hunter would say "I don't have a family!"
With multiple Canadian Comedy Awards and Nominations between the two of them, Rob Baker and Hannah Spear have joined forces as Cynthia to tell stories that are deeply committed, sincere and complex. While a new duo, they were part of the larger ensemble of Triplespeak, a Bad Dog Theatre show that boasted a sold out run. Entering into scenes together time and time again, Rob and Hannah found a mutual joy in the characters they inhabited together. Workshopping a form under the direction of Alex Tindal over the past few months, Cynthia promises to be an improv show that pushes just beyond what audiences may be used to. Cynthia thinks of improv as another form of theatre, and not just a vessel for comedy.
Daphney (Coko & Daphney, Second City Education Program) is from Montreal.
Florian (Les Improbables, Rencontre) is from France.
She loves poutines & he loves baguettes.
So, what do you get when these 2 'frenchies' get together. A FULLY BILINGUAL SHOW! That's' right people! DaFlo is the French class you wished you had back in school!
DaFlo have performed at the Pat & Tony Adams Freedom Fund of the Arts 2016 at Bad Dog theatre & various venues around the city. They've also performed in Montreal at the MProv Festival.
Darth Vader Ginsberg is a game-based longform grad team from The Assembly, Toronto. They play hard and fast. Anything is game. The sillier the better.
Dead Detectives formed through the Bad Dog Theatre narrative program in 2014 and have been performing narrative revues around Toronto ever since. We were part of both the Big City Improv Festival and Bad Dog Theatre’s Summer Blockbuster Week in both 2015 and 2016 and are currently producing a monthly show at SoCap.
Our adventures in narrative started with the Alfred Hitchcock homage “Good Evening,” which uses improvised film techniques and live violin accompaniment to create the mood of a Hitchcock film. In this hour-long comedic murder mystery, we play with the type of tension, high stakes and stylized characters Hitchcock was known for. We then created a second, shorter tribute to The Twilight Zone: “The Twilight Area.” Recreating the iconic opening on stage, and using the psyche of the 1960s to improvise social commentary, we end every episode with a Rod Serling moral. Our most recent homage is “Quadruple Mountain,” a six-by-one-hour-episode improvised serial inspired by Twin Peaks. Capturing the tone and characters of David Lynch’s weird 90s TV drama, we hope to solve a small town murder mystery over the course of a monthly show at SoCap.
Our shows are unique in tone and style, focusing on character and listening. Audiences feel invested in our stories as our shows go beyond what is on stage to creating an atmosphere of the cinematic world we are in. We are always a unique addition to BCIF due to our old-school homages and prior-era pace.
Death Ray Cabaret performed last year at the Big City Improv Festival as a country duo improvising their “classic” hits, and this year they hope to once again bring their characterprov personas to life with a mix of improvised music and good ol’ fashioned showmanship. No other troupe in Toronto combines musical improv and characterprov in this way!
An imaginative retelling of events that never actually transpired.
Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. And since this history is improvised, it can't be repeated!
An exploration of time and place and the people that inhabit those times. Humans are flawed with emotion, desire and ego: does it help them or hinder them in the pursuit of what they want? Find out from these non historians what the world could, probably have been like.
Robert Ariss Hills
Rob and Chris have been performing together as a duo in Toronto since 2010. They have performed at a number of different shows in the city, including The Hangout, True Stories Made Up Plays, and Naked Fridays, as well as the Detroit Improv Festival, Big City Improv Festival, East Coast Improv Festival, Ottawa Improv Festival, Boston Comedy Arts Festival, and DuoFest.
Dream Cheese is a long-form improv troupe from Buffalo, New York that has been cave-ripening since 2016. Our various improv journeys initially led us to ComedySportz Buffalo, where a mutual hunger for our own long-form group coagulated us together in harmony. We have molded our sets locally all year, and we would be honored to make our international debut in the great city of Toronto at the 2017 Big City Improv Festival!
We think our group could bring a bubbly and jubilant vibe to BCIF and give the festival a taste of why Buffalo is called the City of Good Neighbors. Our curious quintet endeavors to provide gregariousness, passion, and good old-fashioned silliness both on and off the stage with all festival participants and attendees. We have been to Toronto to see shows before (including BCIF!) and have felt the residual warm fuzzies oozing from the supportive and talented members of the improv community in the city. The age of Dream Cheese puts us in a place where we are comfortable and confident with one another, but still very much eager to improve and grow. We are over the honeymoon period, and we are now in that go-getter newlywed mentality where we are ready to put a down payment on that house and start really rearranging the place! As we continue to design and refresh our local long-form show, we are always looking for new formats, suggestions, styles, and inspirations of all kinds to take us to the next level. We would love to be part of BCIF 2017 so that we could bring some Buffalove to the stage and have an unforgettable experience that will benefit both the festival and our troupe!
Proudly hailing from Toronto Canada, FAKE COPS is a troupe known for playing a balance between intelligent and absurd scenes. Performing an original form that involves drawing inspiration from the preceding scene to create a butterfly style of cause-and-effect that connects each scene together while establishing a common theme. Fake Cops has established a local following within Toronto thanks to their outlandish theatre-packing productions such as the alternative comedy showcase “The Disaster” and an improvised battle arena “The Thunderdome.”
In 2015, FAKE COPS won the “Emerging Ensemble” award under the Tony & Pat Adams Freedom Fund for the Arts presented by Bad Dog Theatre. This award supported the creation of their new improvised show entitled "Fake Cops Presents: A Fantastic Journey....at all costs" which was directed by Second City Mainstage alumni Kirsten Rasmussen.
Having performed at festivals in Toronto, Ottawa, New York, Chicago and Detroit, the well-traveled troupe prides itself on its multi-talented cast with backgrounds in writing, acting, music, stand-up, sketch, athletes, directing and poetry - all of which are brought to the stage. Also we're buds and we like hanging out and doing 'bits.'
Ben Sosa Wright
Fanny Pack has performed in the BCIF for four years in a row now, and it's always been our favourite show of the year! We'd love to go for a fifth! We have a pretty large following so we'd definitely fill seats and sell tickets, and I'd like to think we're pretty funny too. We're Toronto natives, and a diverse group, containing one gay latino, a quirky jew, and a ginger, so move over United Nations! We've performed at the SoCap, Comedy Bar, Candy Box, the Making Box Theatre in Guelph, and in Bruce McCulloch's Young Star Showcase and the East Coast Improv Festival in Halifax. More recently, some of our members have been hitting the Montreal scene and doing shows like the Aloha Comedy Show, and Squad Laughs. As young people who have come up through classes at The Bad Dog and such, it's always a thrill to return to our old stomping grounds and burn the house down! Thank you for considering our troupe year after year.
Jennifer Lloyd, Anne Goad, Adrian Beattie & Antony Hall are a Toronto based improv group who love hitting games hard, cleverly weaving in suggestions while calling back moments that made us and the audience laugh the hardest. We're all professional actors living the hard reality of that pursuit in Toronto. Fearlessly lead by Matt Folliot for the past year, our original troupe (#Hashtag) formed in 2014 through the Second City Training Centre. We’ve been fortunate to play in Toronto’s BCIF for the past two years and would love an opportunity to be apart of 2017!!
Carolyne Das and Michael Mongiardi were finalists in "The World's Biggest Improv Tournament" in 2016 and 2017 (3rd place of 128)! They are an actual romantic couple who improvise scenes out of their relationship .... BUT they play each other. This unique form results in exposing all the details of their relationship on stage, for the amusement of the audience. It's a very unique form and It's always a crowd pleaser!
Grim Diesel is a former Second City Graduate team and current House Team in Toronto's newly formed longform collective - The Assembly. Crowned the Improv League Toronto 2017 Champions, they can regularly be seen around the city at Comedy Bar, Bad Dog Theatre and the Social Capital Theatre. They have been featured in UCB's Del Close Marathon (2016), Vancouver International Improv Festival (2016), Chicago Improv Festival (2017) and can be seen this August at the Detroit Improv Festival.
Heidi Lynn Weeks
The Grinders are Theatre Sainte-Catherine's house company improvisers. Their unique style of "throw-it-all-against-the-wall" style of improvisation has landed them shows across the World and as the regulars for the weekly Sunday Night Improv at Theatre Sainte-Catherine. Veterans of Canadian improvisation, they are a troupe that brings the noise, a unique and emotional chaos that has defined them as a wonderful and authentic improvisation show unlike any other.
Alain Mercieca is a writer and performer whom has written some 50 plays as Artistic Director at Theatre Sainte-Catherine, winning various awards, as an improviser he has performed with Second City and in festivals in New York, Austria, Ontario and Montreal. Founder of the sold-out weekly show Les Lundis at Theatre Ste-Catherine. Sandi Armstrong is a Loose Moose veteran, and has become a staple and juggernaut of the Montreal Improvisation community, respected and regarded as one of the best in the country. Heidi Lynn Weeks is an actor and improviser well known for being in troupes that founded The Montreal Improv Theatre and various plays and films. Matt Enos, a classical trained actor, has bridged into improvisation recently via Theatre Sainte-Catheirne where he runs the weekly Sunday Night Improv show and has exploded onto the scene embracing the unique style of the Grinders.
Halal Rainbow brings together some of the best LGBT and Muslim improvisers active in Toronto for a collaboration like no other. It captures Toronto's diversity while keeping it all light and fun
Hot Barley is a Toronto based improv group which graduated from the Second City Longform conservatory in April of 2017. They often feature very funny, high energy scenes without shying away from the truthful and dramatic. They host/produce a monthly show at Comedy Bar called Cream of the Crop and they just love to get in front of crowds and perform.
Improv The Board Game is a fun and easy to follow Short Form show created by two people that love short form and felt like there was not a lot of it being represented in the Improv Scene. ITBG would be a great fit because it has a high production value that is eye grabbing for audiences and requires eight cast members to play, which would allow for a melding of out of town performers and Toronto based ones. It's the perfect show for bringing people together.
We are the festival team of the Improv Embassy, Ottawa's only space dedicated to improv and sketch comedy. We are the group of performers, producers and teachers that founded it. We have performed at Mprov (Montreal Improv Festival), the Del Close Marathon in New York City and Toronto Haroldfest. We produce the annual Ottawa Improv Festival.
Host: Joel Buxton
For one night only, Stand-Up in Character is back! See some of Toronto's best improvisors perform stand-up as famous historical or fictional characters! With your host, Joel Buxton
Jane Don't is a ridiculously funny team of ladies from New York City. We start with a suggestion and we end in a world. Enemies will be made, heads will roll, blood will spill, enemies will become frenemies who hate-like your Instagram pictures. Come see Jane Don't. You'll have a great time, or you won't, either way, we all die.
Kevin Di Lucente
Jibber Jabbar was created through the Second City Longform Program. Now, three years later, the troupe is a House team with the new improv collective, The Assembly. We've been a part of BCIF in the past, but this will be the first year we'll be representing The Assembly. We want to (along with our sister teams) show the world the first class comedy being developed in Toronto, and bring audiences into the amazing comedy community we have here!
Kinsey Fail is Toronto's only LGBTQ imporov troupe. Playing together for over a year this troupe features some of Toronto's best and up and coming improvisors!
K$M(pronounced K and M) splices the quick-witted comedic minds of Kirsten Rasmussen & Matt Folliott and delivers a completely improvised show rich in wildly funny characters and relationships. K$M has showcased their work at The Vancouver International Improv Festival, MProv (The Montreal Improv Festival) & in 2015 were nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Improv Troupe. Individually, Kirsten Rasmussen is an alumni of The Second City and in 2015 won a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female Improviser. TV credits include Schitt’s Creek, Odd Squad and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Matt Folliott was nominated for Now Magazine’s Readers Choice award for Best Male Improviser two years in a row, TV credits include Make it Pop, The Wide World of Wandering Wenda and The Next Step. Both Kirsten and Matt are instructors at Second City and BadDog Theatre and direct numerous comedy groups in Toronto. You can also see them sell you useless junk in a wide variety of TV and web commercials.
Ladies & Gentlemen/Daniel Carin & Chris Sandiford are Montreal/Toronto based comedians/writers/actors who have performed at various sketch festivals including San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, as well as Seattle, where they won the Best Visiting Troupe award and Montreal, where they’ve won both the Best Local Troupe and the Just For Laughs awards. They’ve also performed at MprovFest, Edmonton's Improvaganza, LadyFest, Zoofest, and the Montreal Just For Laughs festival, where they performed both sketch and their long-running stand-up show, The Ladies & Gentlemen Comedy Show, which was voted #1 comedy show by newspaper CultMontreal two years in a row.
Lauren Pritchard (MadTv) and Kelly Vrooman (The Chica Show) are "LAURELLY", one of the fastest, genuinely hilarious duos performing today. They are the current sketch/improv CAGE MATCH champions at the iOWest Theatre (69 weeks) Their two-gal sketch show is inspired by a real life "Relationship Red Flag" provided by an audience member. LAURELLY then launches the audience through a whirlwind roller coaster of story lines and characters. Kelly and Lauren jump seamlessly into each other's characters - rotating the cast of many between the two of them. In the end, LAURELLY brings redemption to the audience member's relationship red flag and saves the day!
Have you ever thought of mixing two passions? That's what Robert Gravel and Yvon Leduc did in Quebec in the 70s by mixing improv and hockey! Every game, two teams of five players wearing hockey jerseys compete to win the audience's vote. The ref gives the card for each scene, the teams get 20 seconds to consult among themselves and then magic happens! Les Improbables are Toronto's French theater sports league. Playing in Toronto since 2011 the league found a home at Bad Dog Theater every other Wednesday. This year, for BCIF, we invited two line ups of Toronto's finest improvisers to play our game, in English this time! The competetion is on! Will they defeat the Frenchies at their own game?
We've been performing together since 2013. We play honest and grounded with a dose of silly and love to play a variety of different characters. We have fun and it shows when we're on stage together. We performing regularly at the various theaters in Metro Detroit. We've had a fun year traveling and performing at various festivals across the US (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Columbus, Atlanta, Omaha) and would love to bring our Detroit duo to the great Canadian city of Toronto.
Lost and Found is made up of Aaron Ranger and Jess Lindal. They met as company members with the Kinkonauts in Calgary, Alberta, and united based on their love of big characters, bold choices and larger-than-life premises.
Fresh off his time as a member of the international ensemble at Rapid Fire Theatre’s 2017 Improvaganza festival, Aaron is a member of Obviously Improv, and co-creator of Notorious - a hip hop improv troupe. Aaron has performed with the Improv Guild and the Loose Moose.
Performing in the 2017 Vancouver International Improv Festival as a member of Squadball, Jess has also performed with the Improv Guild. She is the creator of an Improvised Clue.
Living Bloodsticks were born out of last year's TKO competition in the 2016 Big City Improv festival. Since then we have been thrilling audiences across the GTA with our infectious energy! We are Cassie Barradas (Second City House Co), Jessica Perkins (Second City House Co alumni) and Spencer Litzinger (Humber Comedy) and WE. LOVE. IMPROV (in the bloodiest fashion!)! We would make a tremendous addition to this year’s festival as we are high energy, supportive as ya can get (got your back!) and most importantly FUN GIRLS! You probably won't be able to find another troupe as wild and wacky as these scamps!
Also- we are so sorry but had difficulty with our video upload and had to put up the video from an entire show we were on instead. Please fast-forward to 28 minutes in to see our set. Apologies for any inconvenience caused!
Formed in 2015, the League of Pointless Improvisers perform at the Pointless Brewery & Theatre in Ann Arbor, MI. The rotating cast of 22 is made up of the finest improvisers in SE Michigan and is directed by owner Jason Tomalia and Gary Lehman along with co-director Bob Wieck. They perform character and relationship driven Long Form improv and experiment each month with a different form as part of the Friday late show "A Pointless Display of Improvised Feats". The League of Pointless Improvisers has been invited to perform at the Baltimore Improv Festival, Detroit Improv Festival, Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, IFCincy, Grand Rapids Improv Festival and Kalamazoo Improv Festival.
MANTOWN: The Improvised Frat Party. With The Dean of MANTOWN himself, ROB BAKER.
The Making-Box Brigade is Guelph's own professional improv ensemble. Made up of 16 fiercely funny friends, this troupe is has a solid foundation in comedy and friendship. The Brigade prides itself on a performance style that's a blend of emotional grounded work and ridiculous chaos. Having trained with Canadian Comedy Award and Dora Award winning coaches, this team specializes in long form improv with a focus on The Armando and The Harold. We bring out signature brand of comedy to the stage across out community, injecting joy in to local festivals, carnivals, elementary schools, outreach groups and are the feature team of the Guelph Comedy Festival. We believe we can build community through comedy.
I m p r o v i s e r s -
Lisa Merchant (American Gods; Degrassi XV; Train 48)
Kathy Greenwood - (Who's Line Is It Anyway; Man Seeking Woman; The Rick Mercer Report)
Jan Caruana (Mean Girls; Sunnyside; Odd Squad)
Gary Pearson (Sunnyside; This Hour Has 22 Minutes; MadTV)
Rob Norman (Sunnyside; Guidance)
Sharjil Rasool (The Second City Touring Company)
& The LOTTERY SPOT (Put your name into the improviser bucket for a chance to play with us)
A c t o r s -
Tony Nappo (Bad Blood; Kim's Convenience; Shoot The Messenger)
Daniel DeSanto (Are You Afraid of the Dark; Mean Girls; Man Seeking Woman)
Paul Braunstein (The Thing; Baroness Von Sketch Show; Undercover Grandpa)
Dini Pedi (The Dini Pedi Show; City TV)
M. John Kennedy (Solar Stage; The Strain; Reign; Beauty and the Beast)
David Tomlinson (Baroness Von Sketch Show; Orphan Black; Howie Do It)
& The LOTTERY SPOT (Put your name into the actor bucket for a chance to play with us)
Mixed Company pairs 6 notable Canadian actors with 6 notable Canadian improvisers for a truly mixed company. All of the actors have been given direction and are fully scripted with costume and minimal set. The Improviser is their unscripted scene partner. You never know who you might see at this cult hit show running 4 years strong! Past cast members have included Colin Mochrie, Sean Cullen, Scott Thompson, RObin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Linda Kash, Kathy Greenwood and more. You never know who you might see at the show. Want to play with the cast?! Sign up for the 'actor/improviser lottery'! Visit www.klifferentertainment.com
We're six guys who have been improvising together since 2009. BCIF has become one of our favourite events of the year, and we'd love to be back in 2017!
Moonstruck takes a dream from an audience member and interprets it.
From there we explore the worlds of characters with elements of the dream not far behind. How does a dream effect a person's life? Does it influence their outlook on life and in relationships? Will their dreams come true or their true meaning become revealed? Finally, the answers to dreams and their true purpose can be witnessed by the audience and created by a cast of veteran comedians.
There will be a blend of the organic and the absurd mixed with slices of life from dynamic and interesting characters.
Musical Director: Nicole Byblow
Host: David Shore
Each show we interview two different celebrity guests. After an interview segment, our hilarious host, David Shore, throws the focus to the Monkey Toast players who then use the interview as the inspiration for their improvised scenes.
Murder Bail is a two person Torontonian troupe made up of comedy powerhouses Marty Adams and Sheri Godda. Zeitgeist, Characters, Physical comedy and Music fuel their improv tangents. They would be a great fit for the BCIF because combined they bring in over 20 years of improv experience, and inject a high energy diversified skill set to every stage they play on. They also share the same mandate as the BCIF in that they continually seek to collaborate, perform, discuss, and create content that keeps audiences coming back again and again to see live comedy.
Never Have I Ever, an entirely improvised comedy show based on the popular drinking game!
Get ready to find out more than you ever thought wanted to know about your favorite improvisers . . . and yourself at this tell all Improv show!
Come be part of the Party!!”
Kristin Fung or Jordan Armstrong as musical director.
Nicky Nasrallah is a musical improviser in Toronto who puts on shows as a solo performer with a musical director (usually Kristin Fung, sometimes Jordan Armstrong). Show length time can range from 20 minutes to one hour.
Jennifer Ashleigh Lloyd
Eight people who met in the Second City's Conservatory program, and couldn't get enough of each other, so we made an improv troupe.
We formed Not Oasis because we wanted to be a part of the 2015 BCIF TKO. Well, not only did we compete in TKO, but we reached the Finals. TKO gave us the boost we had been looking for, to start producing and performing our own shows around Toronto - and we've been doing it ever since. Our monthly show "Not Oasis Presents" features a variety of comedic talent from the city, and has become one of the most well-loved shows in the community.Returning to BCIF in 2016 was one of the highlights of our time together, and we would love to be a part of BCIF 2017 to show everyone what a TKO troupe can do.
Notorious creates an explosive, high-quality performance that is both unique and exciting. Notorious has been a part of BCIF since 2014.
Oakville Improv has been performing and honing local talent for eight years, inviting special guests and mentors from around the GTA and beyond. Comprised of SC veterans and Oakville residents, Gary Pearson and David Raitt, as well as other talented home-grown improvisers, our "away" team delights our home audiences and shares the magic with audiences we meet when we step out on tour. Our hope is to meet more Canadian/International troupes, inspire and be inspired, and extend invitations to come play with us on our own stage.
Orson Whales is longform-based team which started as a House Team at The Second City Training Centre. For two years they have toured across North America (Del Close Marathon, Detroit Improv Festival, Montreal Improv), with Members of the Troupe joining Second City's House Company, Bad Dog's Featured Players, and MANTOWN.
PANTSUIT is a Toronto based Improv troupe featuring alumni of the Bad Dog Comedy Theatre’s Narrative Studio program. Inspired by captivating story-telling, PANTSUIT creates comedic performances that mirror current film and television. Credits include: Family Portrait (Bad Dog Theatre), PANTSUIT! (Bad Dog Blockbuster Week, BCIF and Detroit Improv Festival) and Magic-er School Bus (Bad Dog Spring Binge). With past direction and training by Etan Muskat (Interim Artistic Director of Bad Dog Theatre), and training with Jess Bryson (Bad Dog Academy Director), Colin Munch (Second City Toronto), and Sex T-Rex.
RN & Cawls
An improv parade of some of Toronto's best improvisers, crafting seven minute scenes of improv magic. If you love truth and beauty in your hardcore comedy, then you'll want to see improvisation with no tricks, no distractions, and no escape. Featuring Canadian Comedy Award winners Adam Cawley/Rob Norman (RN & Cawls) & Ken Hall (2-MAN NO-SHOW).
Isaac Kessler also performs.
A litter of comedy kittens nurtured in The Second City Training Centre Longform Conservatory who grew up into a pepperoni improv pizza party! We have been performing together all over the city of Toronto since we graduated from the LF Conservatory Program in October 2016. Most recently, we've been performing as a grad team for The Assembly Improv. We love bringing high energy to group scenes and creating unusual characters! We have a monthly show at the Social Capital Theatre that showcases long form troupes of all levels of experience and our members are very active in the local improv and comedy scenes. This year, our troupe has performed at the NYC Improvfest and the Del Close Marathon and we will be performing at the Detroit Improv Festival in August. We would love the opportunity to showcase our troupe in our hometown, as part of the city's largest improv event.
Comprised of the Bad Dog Theatre Season 2 Featured Players, the Raccoons turn your trash into joy with lively tales weaved together on the spot.
Just because the shows have ended, it doesn't mean your night has to! Come hang out at Red Eye Cabaret, 11pm nightly every weekday of the festival for a FREE late night show highlighting the many acts of BCIF.
Two fierce ladies ready to step in and step-it-up whenever and wherever they get the call.
Jennifer Ashleigh Lloyd
Riverdale Improvised recreates all the sexy drama of Riverdale and fills in all the sepia toned mysteries the show left out! Sex, Lies, Hot Tubs & improv!
We are a diverse group of people from all over the Niagara Region with a vast assortment of backgrounds (Improv, Stand-up, Theatre, Musical Theatre, Film, etc) Some of us ahve been working together for over 6 years, but as a troupe we've been formed since March 2017. All of our shows have been very well received and our last show in St Catherines was completely sold out (over 100 seats filmed on Game of Thrones night isn't too shabby...)
Cameron Algie, Kevin Whalen, Isaac Kessler & Matt Folliott are S&P. Individually you can see them in your favourite commercials and TV shows. They've brought their turbo charged style of play to Improvaganza, The Del Close Marathon, VIIF, Mprov, The Ottawa Improv Festival & Out of Bounds Comedy Festival.
Second City Mainstage cast
Second City's Mainstage cast performs an improv set each night after their show. During the Big City Improv Festival, they'll be joined by festival guests each night (Monday excluded). It's the best improvisers in the city joined by the best improvisers in North America. There's bound to be some laughs!
Improv sets are free and every night except for Monday. The sets start at after the show, at about 9:30pm Tuesday to Thursday, and 11:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
We exist in the moment”. Dramatic Improv uses all the tenets of comedic improvisation – listening, saying ‘yes’, making choices – with a goal of exploring character and relationship without the pressure of being funny. We are interested in exploring the honesty in moments. We strive to be believable and connect with ourselves, our scene partners, and our audience.Dramatic improv is often funny to watch. In fact, it can be much funnier than comedic improv. What makes it ‘dramatic’ is the approach brought by the improvisers.
Seven Ages is the brainchild of Ralph McLeod
Ana Marija Stojic
Sex Machina is Ana-Marija Stojic and Simon McCamus. Two buds with a love for the grounded and the ridiculous. We're a couple of enthusiastic weirdos who have a blast on stage playing the emotional moments with sincerity, and exploring the absurd moments with total commitment and intensity. We'd be a great fit for the BCIF by offering a duo with uniquely sweet energy that focuses on relationship with characters that affect each other.
Sex T-Rex (né Sexual Tyrannosaurus) is a Toronto-based Comedy troupe whose cinematic style, wild physicality and spot-on parody has delighted audiences across Canada and the USA.
Jayson San Miguel
We are Shots and High Fives, a Toronto-based improv group, coached by Matt Folliott, and comprised of Second City Conservatory and Bad Dog Series alumni. Having performed in Chicago, New York, and Vancouver, we are excited to perform for our hometown audience and once again be a part of BCIF!
Adele Marie Dicks
The Sketchersons are switching it up from scripted to unscripted, with this new improv party show, The Sketchersons Experiment.
The Sketchersons are a multiple Canadian Comedy Award-nominated and winning troupe, who write and perform the weekly show Sunday Night Live at Toronto's Comedy Bar. Over its twelve year history, the Sketchersons has featured some of the best upcoming comedic talent in the city.
The 14 members of Smashing Peaches were brought together by the Second City, but are held together by love. We come from across Canada and the world (seriously! Israel, Hong Kong, Pakistan, England, and Japan!). Having so many members could be a hindrance, but we have always considered our diversity to be a strength. As a troupe we bring our vast and varying talents together to complement one another, and have a lot of fun!
SODA School Of Dramatic Acting was created in January 2016 for Bad Dog Theatre's Globehead Tournament as an outlet for former students of David Razowsky to experiment with Viewpoints as they are applied to improvised comedy & theatre. We've been featured at iO West in Los Angeles, the Detroit Improv Festival, and a multitude of shows around Toronto including Big City Improv Festival, our monthly show Hat Trick Comedy, our full-length play project SODA Theatre, and our experimental project SODA Underground.
Jõsh Friggen Murray
Musical Director: Tom King
Every night is opening night when you make up a musical!
"I'd watch them perform anywhere, any time." - Glenn Sumi, Now Magazine
Fast paced, ridiculous and always entertaining, the cast creates an hour long musical from suggestions provided by the audience. Not only do they create the music and words from thin air, but they also create a world full of engaging characters and captivating stories you won’t soon forget (even though you will never be able to see them again). With numerous musical credits to the casts’ name and 40+ years of comedy experience between them, the cast of Songbuster have a strong history of entertaining audiences with music and comedy.
Soul Decision is made up of Kevin Vidal and Christian Smith. They've performed in BCIF the two previous years as well as most recently, the Black and Funny Improv festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both of them are also apart of Improv troupe "Your Kids" alongside Nadine Djoury and Liz Johnston. Christian is a Second City alumni of their House Company and understudies for their Touring Company. Kevin is an alumni of the Second City Mainstage in Toronto. Both are actors and writers but most of all they're nice boys.
We're the Bad Dog Season 3 Featured Players Alumni! We're a smattering of improvisers from across the city that were cast together as an ensemble and trained for 6 months. We represent many different styles and strengths from within the Toronto Improv Community and showcase diverse playing styles all in one show!
Established at last years Big City Improv Festival SQUAD GOALS is a group of powerhouse improvisers doing exactly what they do best. Their show was so successful at the fest that it's now a monthly show at Bad Dog Theatre. Every month in this no-apologies improv show.
Natasha Boomer with Special Guest
Delightful. Dramatic. Damn Funny. Through audience selection we explore character and relationship under the duress of being STUCK!
Jared Mark Smith
The Studio System is the longest running Wednesday house team at the PIT (People's Improv Theater) in NYC. They are a longstanding, epic, improv love affair made manifest as a weekly monoscene.
"Like a Frank Capra movie if it was co-written by Sam Shepard and Hunter S. Thompson one tequila-fueled night in Joshua Tree in 1978. Smooth and funky monoscenes from a tribe of dreamers, schemers, and rock and rollers. Get on the back of their Harley and ride off into the sunset with The Studio System." - Stephen Stout, Artistic Director, The PIT
The Sufferettes are an improv duo from Toronto.
The Sufferettes are maybe theatre and maybe comedy.
Life is suffering.
Jan Caruana and Rob Baker have been improvising together for 15 years; But it feels like 15 minutes. Their increasingly busy lives (Rob has a beautiful wife and son and Jan is thinking about maybe possibly getting a dog at some point) don't allow them to see each other as much as they'd like, so That Moment When gives them opportunity to spend a solid 45 minutes to 1 hour together...just the two of them (and anywhere from 20 to 100 other people, but c'mon... we're all adults here). Audiences enjoy That Moment When for it's laid back 'tude and numerous Bruce Springsteen references.
Also, if you don't accept us into your festival, we may do something desperate. Go into advertising.
Sam Hirst (music)
The County's Artisanal Comedy Troupe: Taste That! has been performing improv in Prince Edward County for nearly 3 years and this summer is the host troupe for the Comedy Country festival, performing in monthly shows with amazing improv, sketch, and stand-up acts, Flo and Joan, The Templeton Philharmonic, Songbuster: An Improvised Musical, Soul Decision, and Steve Patterson.
Fresh off a six show run entertaining audiences at Kingston's Storefront Fringe Festival, with their original performances of "In Our Small Town: An Improvised Comedy", Taste That! wants to bring their small-town antics to an even bigger city- at Big City Improv!
An age-diverse cast performing professional quality improv in rural Ontario has been a recipe for local success, and Taste That! has built a loyal following in the County. Now Taste That! is ready to strap on our road boots and blow this one horse, forty winery town and make the trip down Highway 401 to Big ol' Bloor St.
Hope to play with y'all at BCIF 2017!
Tallboyz II Men is a diverse group of comedians being diverse diversely. The members met each other performing in the Toronto stand-up comedy scene and agreed to combine forces for the greater good. 2017 has been good to these sweet boyz as they've nabbed both the Toronto Sketchfest Producers' Pick Award and the Montreal Sketchfest Best Newcomer Award. Tallboyz II Men is made up of Tim Blair (NBC Break Out Comedy Festival, JFL42), Vance Banzo (Indian Horse, The Beaverton), Franco Nguyen (Bob Curry Fellowship, NBC Break Out Comedy Festival, Second City House Co.) and Guled Abdi (Tallest member of Tallboyz II Men). Come see these boyz in action!
Bad Dog's flagship show, Theatresports, has been making Toronto audiences laugh for over 35 years. Theatresports mixes the thrill of improv with the energy of a sporting event, putting you in the middle of the side-splitting scenes. Fast paced, completely unscripted and full of energy, this the show to see for comedy lovers of all types.
Plus festival guests and more!
Hosted by Adrianne Gagnon
The hilarious cast of Thirsty brings the party to the stage and will quench Toronto's thirst for JOKES and BEERS!! BCIF's top improvisers drink, joke and laugh along with the audience in this City's #1 party show!!! Guaranteed good times!!
Patricia hails from Argentina and Rabiya from Calgary (via Pakistan). We met at Second City and have been performing as a duo, Tribiya, since. We'd be a great fit for BCIF because our form is about getting deep into two characters and using truth to find the comedy.
Cales Le Grand
Inspired by an ever changing world, Truman Chipotle explores improvised universes crafted by repressed memories, regrets, and reality television. Initially formed as Second City Longform Conservatory grad team, Truman Chipotle have since been purveyors of Big Fancy Parties, Slopfests and everything in between. Currently a house team part of The Assembly improv collective, Truman Chipotle can regularly be seen at The Second City Training Center, Comedy Bar, The Social Capital and Bad Dog Theatre. Truman Chipotle have been featured in the Detroit Improv Festival, competed in competitions such as TOOTHACHE and Toronto's Improv League, been featured in Bad Dog Theatre’s Blockbuster Week, and produced a variety of shows at Comedy Bar such as SLOPFEST, Nasty Women, Ugly Sweater Weather, Magical Spice Bus, Key Party, and Truman Chipotle Loves You.
TwoSon are tiny Canadians trained in sketch and improv through Toronto's Second City Training Centre and Bad Theatre Company. Devon Henderson and Jackie Twomey met in the Second City Writing Program where they bonded over their love of emotional distance and Shonda Rhimes television programs. They've been performing together ever since.
TwoSon has performed improv at the Detroit Improv Festival (2016), District Improv Festival (2016), and the Vancouver International Improv Festival (2016). Devon and Jackie also were part of the 2016 International Ensemble at VIIF.
TwoSon has headlined SketchFest Seattle and performed at Vancouver Sketch Comedy Festival, Montreal Sketchfest, SheDot Festival, and Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, where this past year they won The Understudies' Memorial Award for Sketchiest Sketch Troupe.
Fred GeitzLucas Loizou
The Varsity Blues Clues are U of T Improv's performance team. Our love for Improv is matched only by our love for this city. We perform monthly shows both on and off campus, as well as compete in bimonthly competitions against Universities across Canada and Quebec. We have festival performance experience, having performed at the Del Close Marathon in New York City each of the last two years. We feel our experience, and youthful passion would be a great fit for BCIF
A Very Specific Place is Toronto’s only site-specific improv show. Each show, Second City alums Jan Caruana and Rob Baker inhabit a new and exciting space, whether a coffee shop or a vintage clothing store. And for that hour, the audience experiences an improv show like no other: a story inspired by the space they’re in, characters existing for that environment alone, an everyday setting transformed. All the endless possibilities of improv, with the audience on the wrong side of the fourth wall.
Well Known Strangers is one of Pittsburgh's longest running, independent improv troupes. We are an eclectic group of performers that have been at other festivals such as: Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, Hell Yes Fest, Chicago Improv Festival, and Detriot Improv Festival. We all have different comedy styles, and backgrounds, but bring that together in a unique and lively way when we are on stage together.
Yitzi Gal and Cameron Algie are close. Like too close. Both Yitzi and Cameron are faculty members of the Second City Training Centre. Cameron performs around the city with his improv troupe "S&P" and Yitzi performs around the city often times in a duo called "Yitzi and a friend"
In WHAT IF?, a storyteller or audience member will see their alternate universe, right before their eyes and completely improvised in this exciting Longform show.
What If? Improvising Your Alternate Universe has been performed in New York, Toronto, & Niagara Falls. The troupe was selected to perform in the 2017 Del Close Marathon (NYC), SheDot Festival (Toronto) & 420 Comedy Festival (Toronto) and the 2016 Big City Improv Festival (Toronto). The show has been running monthly since January 2016 with a rotating cast of some of Toronto’s best and brightest improvisers.
The concept for this show is great for BCIF. This year, at the festival, instead of having a storyteller, we will take an audience member, as them about their "What If moment" and use that as inspiration for the set. This will make for a more interactive and personal experience for the audience, a more unique experience for everyone in attendance and higher stakes for the players. Very. Exciting. Stuff!
Musical Director: Ayaka Kinugawa
Neil Crone, Kevin Frank and Patrick McKenna are The Yes Men! Second City Mainstage veterans, the Men collectively bring over a thousand years of Improv Comedy experience to the table…in dog years. Our format is known as Pretty Flower. One main opening scene and then a series of scenes that stem from what happened in the opening scene with everything coming back to the original.
This quartet of women will crack open a suggestion and weave into free-range organic longform improv. They're not afraid to take space. And they're full of cholesterol. The good kind.