Vancouver TheatreSports® League is a unique professional theatre organization dedicated to the growth and exploration of exceptional improv-based work for the purpose of challenging and inspiring the community.
Who We Are & What We Do
Founded in 1980 Vancouver TheatreSports™ League is Vancouver’s #1 improv comedy company and a well-respected international leader in the art form – recognized for producing some of the most daring and innovative improv comedy anywhere with a style that is a highly theatrical fusion of the dramatic elements of comedy and tragedy coupled with the enthusiasm and edge-of-your-seat excitement of professional sport. Boasting six International Improv Comedy Awards and starring in several television specials, Vancouver TheatreSports™ League first opened its doors at the Back Alley Theatre, where it consistently drew cult-like, capacity crowds. VTSL continues to wow audiences at its own theatre,The Improv Centre on Granville Island, entertaining more than 60,000 people per year through 11 shows a week, 52 weeks a year .Over the years, the company has grown and now operates its own professional theatre school, The Improv Comedy Institute (ICI) – offering entry-level through professional-level improv classes. It has also expanded its product categories by adding Improv for Business and Improv for Events. Improv for Business, VTSL’s corporate training division, offers training sessions designed to enhance teamwork, communication, creativity and innovation in the workplace. Improv for Events, VTSL’s events division, presents more than 150 corporate events yearly – producing custom-tailored shows for corporations, associations and not-for-profit organizations.
Never seen an improv comedy show? Check out this article on how to maximize the experience.
VTSL’s improv tournament at Expo ’86 provided the impetus for the present worldwide interest in TheatreSports™. The improv techniques pioneered by Vancouver TheatreSports™ League are now used for everything from corporate training to TV parodies. The names of VTSL players and alumni are a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of the North American entertainment and improv scenes. Award-winning performers, TV celebrities, and international personalities have filled out the ranks of VTSL’s fast-thinking players including: Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway), Ellie Harvie (The New Addams Family), Dean Haglund (The X-Files, The Lone Gunmen), and Nancy Robertson (Hiccups, Corner Gas). From 2000-2015, VTSL produced the annual Jessie Awards – the ‘Oscars’ for Vancouver’s theatre community.
Vancouver TheatreSports League hosts hilarious improvisational shows that are similar to what you see on "Whose Line Is It Anyway." It has a theatre, bar, and patio - you can bring your drinks into the theatre. You can purchase tickets in advance or at the box office. I recommend taking your friends and family out to VTSL for a nice night of laughter :) Sign up on their site to get a complimentary ticket to a show on your birthday!
One of the only places in Vancouver that supports a year round schedule of improv shows and classes. If you are a fan of improv comedy this is the spot.
There are many well known performers that have passed through the ranks of Vancouver TheatreSports® League over the years.
Ballard, Florence E.
Beley, Lisa Ann
Jones, David C.
Kennedy, Ellen (Active)
McDonald, Ian Ross
Van Deurse, Lynn
Van Keekan, Fran
Van Riesen, Wendy
Van Ritzen, Kirsten
Lynne Weiss, Kate
Yorke, Wayne Thomas