The Improv Comedy Institute
The Vancouver TheatreSports™ League (VTSL) has been Vancouver’s leading improv comedy company since its inception in 1980. The company entertains more than 60,000 people every year, with 11 performances a week, 52 weeks of the year. The Improv Comedy Institute (ICI) is the education division of VTSL. At ICI, we are committed to teaching what we know and love about the incredible improv art form – whether it’s through professional-level classes or drop-ins for those who want to explore improv for the first time. We truly believe that ‘improv changes lives.’ Our instructors are drawn from Vancouver’s top improvisers – many of whom you will recognize as dramatic actors with film and TV credits. At ICI you will learn VTSL’s theatrically-infused style of improv that has launched the careers of improv stars Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, Ellie Harvie, Nancy Robertson, Dean Haglund and more.
VTSL’s Style of Improv
In the world of improv, there are many different styles and philosophies. At VTSL, our performers approach improv as theatre – with an emphasis on the skills used in acting and live theatre as opposed to stand-up or joke-based comedy; the result is theatrically-infused improv comedy. At the heart of what we do are certain core values that our players follow when they perform.
At ICI, we coach students to be funny by being grounded on stage and being in the moment during a scene. We teach the value of creating strong characters through focus on the creation of memorable stories.
We value team work – making the other people on stage look good through commitment to the scene. We give our students the skills to love risk, to be brave and to be fearless on stage. We apply these skills to both our work in long and short form improv mediums.
Whether you are a seasoned actor who wants to add a skill to your resume or someone who wants to become more outgoing; the ICI is the place to be. Here, you will learn great skills that you can apply to both your personal and professional life – and have a fun time doing it.
Improv classes can change your life. Have a look at these articles:
Calgary Herald: Coping with a challenging economy through the art of improv
Daily Hive: Get outside of your routine with Spontaneity
Washington Post: How an improv comedy class revolutionized my dating life
Backstage: How Improv Can Enhance Every Audition
When I cast a movie in Canada, the crew at Vancouver TheatreSports™ are always my go to for the best talent in the country. Not only do they nail the role as written, they up the ante and always take it to the next level. This is a group of Superstars. Join them, follow them, learn from them.
Eighteen years ago after making Air Bud I was frustrated by the lack of comedic actors presented to me in Vancouver. I heard about an improv company, Vancouver TheatreSports League. More than 20 movies later the talented actors that honed their skill at Vancouver TheatreSports™ League have become the comedic backbone for all my movies and even the stars. VTSL is a comedic gold mine of talent.
I love actors who work at Vancouver TheatreSports™ League. Smart, quick thinking, funny and true to the moment. My favourite actors to audition. I am a huge fan.