IMPROV VENUES/INSTRUCTION (in our area)
Bad Dog Theatre
Bad Dog Theatre is one of the most important hubs for improv comedy in Canada, and has been putting on shows, and offering improv and comedy classes since 1982 (in those days it was known as Toronto Theatresports). Over the years, it has featured such performers as Mike Myers, Colin Mochrie, and The Kids in the Hall, but remains remarkably open and welcoming to newcomers. The theatre hosts an extraordinary array of improv-based comedy. Although Bad Dog closed it’s Bloor location during the pandemic, it has pivoted work to it’s new labour of love Bad Dog Comedy TV (and just in time!). Check it out.
The Making Box
The Making Box is a new labour of love from performer/teachers Hayley Kellett and Jay Reid. They focus on play and community – really a great gathering of people helping people put on all kinds of comedy shows in Guelph. From kids to adults, The Making Box has something for everybody. Just go see a show and find out!
Oakville Improv Theatre Company
Oakville Improv has been been hosting both classes and shows for the past twelve years, endeavouring to bring the best improv there is to be had in the GTA to the Oakville community. They hold classes for adults and children at QE Park and play Theatresports™ and other formats at the Black Box Theatre the second Friday of each month, a comedy jam at the Moonshine Cafe and a weekly drop-in at QEP on Mondays. DURING THE PANDEMIC, OAKVILLE IMPROV IS HOLDING ONLINE CLASSES AND SHOWS. ASK THEM FOR MORE INFO. WE’D LOVE TO SEE YOU!
Second City Toronto
The newest news about Second City, which you may have heard of over the years, is that Jon Carr (from Dad’s Garage) is their new Executive Director (Chicago/Toronto). Julie Dumais runs the Education centre in Toronto and The Second City has now signed on to
The Social Capital is run by Ralph MacLeod, Carmine Lucarelli and Kerri Griffin. As well as hosting some of the hottest independent improv shows in Toronto (like Monkey Toast), Social Capital runs workshops with many of the best improv teachers in the Canada. It’s a great space for watching up and comers as well as learning from the best in the business in a smaller venue at a really great location (right at Broadview and Danforth on the subway line).
The Assembly is an “artist-run” improv company that promotes long form style work with improv classes in Toronto, Mexico and Amsterdam (so far?). Some of the faculty in our local outlet are many of the best improvisers in the city of Toronto.
The International Theatresports Institute
The licensing body for the work of Keith Johnstone, in effort to keep the work going and spreading around the Globe. At the moment, ITI has 110 member companies around the world and Johnstone’s formats are performed in 22 languages. Members can be individuals or companies.
(the people under …) The Staircase Waiting for news on this Hamilton gem! (“Under this new ownership, The Staircase will lean hard into the food side of things until live performance is once again safe at the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, at which point the venue’s intimate black box theatre will also reopen for everything from plays to movie screenings to concerts to burlesque shows to comedy and beyond.”)
Other cool sources for info:
There are podcasts and books and websites fully dedicated to improv. You will sometimes find that you’ll connect more to people with the same references but it’s fun to play with people around the world who have diverse perspectives and interesting angles on “the work”, so do some research, but we like these people (in person) or have found them during the pandemic and are admiring their work fully:
If you’re not on the list we’re not sorry – we’re busy and there are thousands of improvisers and podcasts. But we’d love to hear from you and send us your info! We’d be happy to include you, once we know you.