Rookie League is the performing arm of the Improv Comedy Institute. It is a performance only based program.
Auditions for Rookie League Season 14 will be held on March 30 & 31, 2019.
This is the experience we offer to Rookies who qualify and are chosen for our program. We believe the program is of enormous value to participants in their development as professional improvisers. There are very few programs (if any) like it in the world. We also understand that the program may not suit everyone. To that end, we wish people well on their improv journey whether it is with us or elsewhere. It is important to find the program that works best for you.
The Rookie League is the performance arm of our Improv Comedy Institute workshop program here at VTS. Members of the Rookie League perform regularly in their own show every Sunday night at the Improv Centre on Granville Island. The Rookie League is NOT an open call for performers. It is the final step in our training program here at VTS. Students must have successfully completed our Core Series in order to audition.
You have to audition. Don’t worry. We make it fun and as low stress as possible. We hold auditions approximately every six months. To find out the date of the next audition, check our website or email Chloe Numbers firstname.lastname@example.org.
The auditions are currently set for Saturday and Sunday, March 30 & 31, 2019.
Once we know how many people have applied to audition, we will set up audition times. You will be contacted with your audition time. Generally, the audition times run between 10am and 4pm on the audition date.
We try to make them as low stress as possible. We aim to make them friendly and fun. Think of it more like a workshop than an audition. You will be auditioning in a group of between 8 to 12 people. A few members of the VTS main stage will be there to watch the audition. But don’t stress. These people are very supportive by nature and have lots of experience. Even if a choice you made didn’t work out, they will have the skills to know what you were intending to do.
In terms of the audition itself, it will be run like a workshop. Usually we ask auditionees to play a few rounds of freeze tag, do a 2 person open scene etc. Don’t worry about being funny. Just show how well you know the basics of improv – listening, making your partner look good, showing fun characters, telling good stories etc.
Absolutely! It can be quite competitive to get into the League. Please keep trying. We offer ongoing classes in our Gym as well as in our ICI Performance Studio if you’d like to continue to train with us. Do not get discouraged if you are unsuccessful in getting in this time around. Keep training, and then re-apply. Auditions happen approximately every six months.
The number each Season can vary slightly. Generally, there are about 25 people in the League at any one time.
In order to audition for the Rookie League, you must have completed the Core Series. Each course in the Core series costs $139 and there are four classes to complete. However, there isn’t a cost to audition or a fee to be a part of the Rookie League. The only expectation is to complete 9 hours of volunteer work over the six months that a performer is part of the League (see further details below).
Yes. You must have taken our Core Series classes, with a successful completion of Spontaneity, Story, Character and Environment.
The Rookie League is the performance division of our training program known as the Improv Comedy Institute. It is not an open call. There are a lot of great places to study improv in Vancouver. At VTSL, we are teaching the building blocks for students to succeed in our company and in our theatrical style of improv. We have found that students who take our training before doing Rookie League seem to have the most success as they understand our core values, our language and our style of play. To that end, we do not grant exemptions. Sorry.
They are on Sundays from 7:30 p.m to 9:15 p.m. Members of the Rookie League are expected to be at the Improv Centre from 7 p.m to approximately 10 p.m to accommodate call times and post-mortems.
Rookies do a mixture of short and long form improv. Our goal is to challenge the players in the types of work they would find on the main stage at VTS.
Each half is 45 minutes in length. The first half is typically a Theatresports format; the second half can be Scared Scriptless, Maestro, genres and various other longer form formats.
We offer the following opportunities to participants accepted into our Rookie League Program:
- Stage time on a world class professional improv comedy stage
- Experience learning our improv formats, style and values
- Feedback on performance from experienced main-stage coaches
- Special monthly Rookie Only workshops taught by our main stagers
- Comps to watch all shows, with the exception of Saturday 7:30pm and 9:30pm, any Special Show or Event, and Sold-Out shows (Note: Comps are subject to availability. A comp means a free ticket!!)
- Experience in a professional theatre environment
- An opportunity to network with other peers and main-stage improvisers who are passionate about this art form
- Invitations to special events, galas, show openings and parties at VTSL
- Association with an established comedy institution in this city.
Rookie League Expectations
(This is the list that you would need to adhere to if you got into the program)
We see the Rookie League as training ground for work as a professional performer. To that end, we expect the following from our Rookies:
- Positive and respectful attitude to staff, performers and peers.
- Adherence to the VTS Code of Conduct/VTSL and ICI Harassment Policy
- Availability to play on Sunday nights – please do not apply to take a spot if you are regularly unavailable on Sundays.
- Willingness and excitement to learn our style of performing
- Compliance to VTSL protocols regarding call times, casting, post mortems
- Regular attendance at Rookie Nights even if not cast
- Performer attendance at all Rookie show post mortems
- A Respect for our audience by delivering your best show possible
- 18 hours of volunteer time at the theatre or the office
Volunteering allows VTS staff and players to get to know Rookies and vice versa. We want participants to gain an understanding of how our organization works from every angle. Volunteering is an important part of the culture of VTS. Everyone does their best to pitch in and help. We want people attached to our organization who have the same positive, helpful attitudes.
During your term with us, you will be expected to volunteer a minimum of 9 hours per Rookie season. This may mean helping in the office, at an event or at the theatre on a show night. This is a unique opportunity to get a behind the scenes peek inside our organization. It is a great learning opportunity. Failure to participate in volunteer hours may result in reduced stage time and/or Rookies may be asked to leave the program.
Rookie League is not necessarily a stepping stone to main stage, but, if a vacancy opens there, we will certainly consider members of our Rookie League who are ready for main stage. We would hope that your focus would be on developing as a performer during your time here rather than worrying about how to get on to main stage. The best way to get on to main stage is to be a really consistently strong and experienced performer. Spending your time in Rookie League learning as many skills as possible will help you fulfill that goal.
Casting can vary. Everyone will get stage time but it will not be equal. Our mandate is to put on a great show for our audiences. Thus, stronger and more experienced players will usually get more shows.
Yes. We believe that training is very important. To that end, we offer our Rookies their own monthly workshops taught by our main stage cast. This is a great place to bond and to learn new skills. We know that people attend a variety of other workshops in the city (which is great), but we want our participants to be schooled in our style and values while they are here. The sessions will run once a month (the date is TBA). They will be open to Rookies only. These workshops are offered for free, and not mandatory. Attendance is optional but the purpose of these classes will be to work on skills the team is missing in shows. It would be to your benefit to attend. If you would like to do additional training, we do offer advanced workshops in the Improv Gym, at the Improv Comedy Institute. The cost and length for these classes varies.