NEWS

     
 

Final Shows of 2013
Posted November 19, 2013

The cold weather hasn't stopped the comedy. Make your way down to the Depot on a Friday or Saturday before December 6th and laugh to the sound of industrial strength heaters. If for some crazy reason (alien abduction, locked in basement, labotomy) you can't make it before our "Wintermission", we'll be returning with 2014 themed laughs the weekend of January 10th.

 
     

2013 Boardwalk Calgary Improv Festival Recap
Posted October 22, 2013

The 2013 Boardwalk Calgary Improv Festival has come to a close and it's been an incredible journey! From packed local nights at the Impro Depot to sold out Hamlet at the Engineered Air Theatre, to the largest audience to ever watch a live improv show in Calgary at our closing gala, it was one for the record books. We welcomed amazing guests from Chicago, Orlando, Melbourne, Vancouver, Winnipeg & Toronto and each and every one left an indelible mark upon Calgary's improv scene.

A huge thank-you to all the artists, support staff, volunteers, sponsors and most of all to the warm and enthusiastic Calgarians who came by to laugh at us! We love you all.

 
     

2013-2014 Season: Part 1
Posted October 22, 2013

We've opened for the 2013-2014 season! Maybe you knew this and have already been down to our freshly flood-recovered Impro Depot. Maybe you thought about coming but then forgot. Well now is as good a time as any to check out Depot 2.0! We've repainted the floors, rewalled the walls, recarpeted the stage and got a new (though similarily crippled) foosball table!

We've got shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, running until our Wintermission™ December 6th. We've also got great drop-in classes every Sunday at noon until December 8th.

 
     

Improv Flood Fundraiser at Loose Moose Theatre
Posted July 26, 2013

UPDATE: You helped raise $2891.75 for Alberta Arts Flood Relief! Thank-you so much to all who attended this incredible outpouring of support.

The Calgary improv community comes together to raise money for artists and arts organizations affected by the 2013 Alberta Floods. Sunday, August 11 at 8:00pm will be a special one-time event: an evening of improvised comedy with performers from the Improv Guild, Loose Moose Theatre Company, The Kinkonauts and special musical guest Chase Padgett from Orlando. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online here, or in person at Loose Moose Theatre.

 
     

Get Naked with the Improv Guild Aug. 2-10
Posted July 16, 2013

UPDATE: Naked Improv has won Best of Venue for Lantern Church and will be performing a special bonus show at 11am! See Calgary Fringe for details!

The show that rocked the 2011 and 2012 Calgary Fringe Festivals is back to bare all. No rehearsals. No scripts. No holds barred. It’s nothing but Naked Improv in support of the Improv Guild’s Flood Relief Fund.

“Naked Improv is where we really get to let loose every year.” says Artistic Director Rick Hilton. “It’s the Fringe festival so it’s time for experimentation. We’ll bring out brand new games and scenes that Calgary has never witnessed as well as some of the old favourites. It’s going to be wild and definitely funny.”

What’s more, all the proceeds of Naked Improv will support the Improv Guild’s Flood Relief Fund. During the Calgary flood the Impro Depot was filled with river water for days leaving behind inches of thick, muddy sludge. The Improv Guild sustained more than $20,000 in damages and losses. Every ticket sold will support reclamation efforts. For more information on the Flood Relief Fund, please visit: http://igg.me/at/improvflood.

For show dates and times, visit the Calgary Fringe Festival's website at: http://see.calgaryfringe.ca/events/426-naked-improv-2013

 
     

Be a Flood Angel
Posted July 4, 2013

UPDATE: Thank-you so much for your donations! You raised $2,735 to help get us back on our feet. We promise to pour all this money into creating an awesome place for you to watch, laugh and learn!

The recent flood in Calgary directly affected the Improv Guild. Our home, the Impro Depot, was filled with river water for days leaving behind inches of thick, muddy sludge. Thanks to countless volunteers, we survived. But we sustained more than $20,000 in damages and losses. How can you help? We've started a flood releif fund.

If you can spare even $10, you can help us recover the costs of cleaning and building supplies, damaged furniture and appliances as well as lost props, costumes and technical equipment. Be a flood angel. Help us help you laugh again Calgary. We could all use it right now.

 
     

Impro Depot Closed due to Flooding
Posted June 27, 2013

Due to extreme flooding in and around the theatre, all shows and workshops for the season have been cancelled until further notice. The clean-up process is ongoing at the theatre and we welcome any and all volunteers willing to get down and dirty to clean this place up. Follow us on twitter or facebook for updates on the project.

 
     

Season Finales
Posted June 16, 2013

The Improv Guild is wrapping up for the season and you're invited to join the party. Over the next two weekends we have the season finales of three great shows! Saturday Night Improv will wrap up on June 22, Throne of Games will crown the final improv monarch on Thursday, July 27 and Friday Night Improv will finish off the season on June 28. All these shows are only $10. Make sure you arrive early to get your seats because these last few shows tend to be packed. Doors at 7pm. Shows at 8pm.

 
     

Special Hamlet Weekend
Posted May 23, 2013

UPDATE: Thanks to all who came out and enjoyed the production! Check back at the 2013 Boardwalk Calgary Improv Festival for its return!

An Improv Hamlet: Making Tragedy Fun officially opens tonight @ 8pm. It will run nightly May 23-25 at the Impro Depot. This is not your great, great, great, great grandfather's Hamlet. It's a fun, fast-paced, made-up interpretation of Shakespeare's finest play. Your suggestions shape the show! It will run in lieu of the Improv Guild’s regularly scheduled programming this weekend.

Tickets are just $5 for students and $10 General. Only available at the door.

There will be a special double feature on Friday. After the 8pm show stick around for a special late night edition of Friday Night Improv at 10:30pm! The price for both shows is only $15 or $10 for students! That’s value you can laugh about.

To attend or not to attend? That’s not even a question. Come!

 
     

Improvised Hamlet: Making Tragedy Fun
Posted May 11, 2013

The Improv Guild is turning the greatest play ever written on its head. An Improv Hamlet: Making Tragedy Fun will be the first semi-scripted production in the history of the Improv Guild. Using the styles and techniques of improvisation as well as the words and themes of Shakespeare, actors from the Improv Guild will improvise their way through the timeless tale of murder, deception and revenge.

The result will be a part scripted, part improvised, part musical romp that is wholly entertaining and understandable to modern audiences. No two performances will be the same as each night audience suggestions will help determine the outcome.

“Shakespeare originally wrote plays that everyone could understand. His main customers were the groundlings, most of whom were illiterate. The idea that Shakespeare is only for high class, educated people is false. So we decided to play with this idea and create a Hamlet that everyone could enjoy through the use of improvisation. ” says Rick Hilton, director of the show. “It is a great story. So we wanted to get back to those roots. This is the people's Hamlet. You'll have to see it to believe it.”

 
     

2013 Calgary High School Theatresports™ Champions
Posted March 17, 2013

After a whirlwind tournament featuring some of the best young talent in the city, Dr. EP Scarlett took home the Stanleigh Cup (graciously sponsored by Dr. Larry Stanleigh Dental) as the 2013 Champions! This year the Championship expanded from 8 to 12 teams, with the competition also dramatically increasing leading to some difficult decisions for the judges. Runners up West Island College told some incredible stories, while the bronze medal crew from Crescent Heights wowed the crowd with their amazing teamwork. And the battles were CLOSE! The bronze medal match required a tiebreaker, and the Stanleigh Cup was won by a SINGLE POINT! You really can't ask for much more than that!

In addition to Dr. Larry Stanleigh, The Improv Guild would like to extend a huge thank-you to sponsors Chinook Landscaping as well as Frank and Tina Washington for providing $1000 scholarships for the top two teams! Also, Calgary 2012, the Cultural Capital of Canada and InvestYYC have been integral in getting this event off the ground. Thank-you to all those who invested in the CHTC. The support for the Championship has been overwhelming and, quite frankly, one can't help but be floored by all the amazing people who have jumped on board with this event. Through attendance, volunteering, performing, teaching and organizing, Calgary shown they love watching these talented youth entertain, learn and have fun. A whole new crop of students will compete in 2014! Congratulations to all the schools and see you all next year!

 
     

That's What SHE Said
Posted January 27, 2013

The Improv Guild and Urban Curves Theatre proudly partner to present a brand new show at the Impro Depot. That's What SHE Said, a celebration of funny females from across the city, is completely improvised and completely hilarious. Directed by Laura Tennisco, the show will feature an entire cast and crew of women!

“It is such a thrill to be onstage with just women, something that rarely happens in comedy.” says Tennisco, Assistant Artistic Director of the Improv Guild. “There’s just something different, something special about how we respond to one another without the guys up there. Really, it’s just great. Come and see it!”

Lindsey Zess-Funk, Artistic Associate with Urban Curvz Theatre, added: “The mandate of Urban Curvz includes a drive to invest in women’s stories. We are thrilled to partner with The Improv Guild in order to celebrate the wit and vivacity of their female improvisers. We can’t help but love a show that exposes all that is honest, absurd and hilarious about the female experience.”

That’s What SHE Said is a monthly show for both sexes, featuring the best women in improv. Performances will occur on Thursdays: February 7, March 14, April 4 and May 2. The performers are female but everyone in the audience is going to be laughing!

 
     

Improv Guild Travels to Edmonton
Posted November 29, 2012

Rapid Fire Theatre is putting on the dust up of the century at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton as they present the first annual Prairie Bowl Theatresports Tournament from November 30th to December 2nd! They’re bringing five of the fiercest improv teams from across Western Canada including the Improv Guild to battle it out for the title of best in the badlands.

The only question is who will emerge as the champion. Can the jiu-jitsu jokes of Against the Wall (Red Deer) take out the Taekwondo-comedy of The Improv Guild (Calgary)? How will the Greco-Roman chuckling of Outside Joke (Winnipeg) stack up against the kung-fu-nny skills of Loose Moose (Calgary)? And can anyone survive the brute strength of Rapid Fire Theatre’s home team (Edmonton)?

 
     

Hurricane Sandy Relief Show
Posted November 8, 2012

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for donations to support relief operations for communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy across the Caribbean and in the United States. Currently, the Red Cross is providing food, water, safe shelter, and community services in seven countries impacted by the storm.

To help this cause, the Improv Guild will be performing a special Hurricane Sandy relief show on Saturday, November 24th at 8pm where 100% of ticket sales will go directly the Canadian Red Cross. This is also the last show before our "Wintermission" break, so please come down and have a few laughs to help out those who need it most.

 
     

Planning a Holiday Event?
Posted October 5, 2012

Now that frost has touched the ground in Calgary we know that the holiday season is fast approaching. Which means that is is time to celebrate with friends, family and co-workers. For almost ten years, the improv guild has been providing fast-paced, funny, higly custom entertainement for events of all shapes and sizes.  If you'd like to enhance your holiday event with some unforgettable comedy, book us today. Email info@improvguild.com as soon as possible to ensure availability.

 
     

2012 Calgary Improv Festival
Posted September 10, 2012

Whose Line is it anyway star Colin Mochrie is back to help celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Calgary Improv Festival.  Sunday, September 23, Colin will perform the brand of improv that has earned him an reputation as one of the best improvisers on the planet. Fresh off winning the prestigious Dave Broadfoot award at the 2012 Canadian Comedy Awards, Colin perform in a show with an international cast of festival all-stars.

The rest of the week is also filled with amazing improv performances from the ever-talented L.A. Impro, Vancouver's M&M Improv, the incomparable Patti Stiles, and many great local improv troupes and performers.

The 10-show festival runs from Monday, September 17 to Sunday, September 23 at Lunchbox Theatre, The Impro Depot (Improv Guild) and The Engineered Air Theatre (Epcor Centre). Visit our dedicated festival site for all the details!

 
     

An Improvised History of Calgary. Presented by Anne McMaster
Posted August 21, 2012

Check out this new limited run Calgary 2012 show at 10pm after the Improv Guild's season premiere! $10 for a ticket or $15 for tickets to both this show and the 8pm Friday Night Improv show.

Calgary’s history will be centre stage, with a twist: it will be completely improvised. Top improvisers from every major Calgarian improv company will be coming together to recreate moments of the city’s history. Final two shows: Aug 24 @ 10pm, Aug 25 @ 8pm

 
     

Teen Improv Intensive Aug 13-24
Posted June 22, 2012

Are you a teen aged 13-17 who loves to make people laugh? Do want to learn how to think on your feet and create stories off the top off your head? Then this might just be the program for you.

Join Mat Mailandt and Ann McMaster, professional Improvisers with the Improv Guild, for a two week intensive camp just for teens. Improvisation is a fun, dynamic form of theatre where everything is invented on the spot. No scripts allowed! Explore the philosophy of saying YES, making your partner look good, and living completely in the moment with instructors who have performed and taught improv all over the world. At the end of the class there will be a show in the professional studio of the Improv Guild, where you will get to show off your new found skills on stage!

Registration Info:

Full Day, 2 week camp
Date: August 13-24, 2012
Ages: 13-17
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Location: Impro Depot: 2405 Macleod Trail South
Fee: $405.00
Capacity: 16 students

Head to www.cypt.ca to register today.

 
     

Mayday Cabaret! Presented by Theatre Transit
Posted April 25, 2012

Special Show: Friday May 4th @ 10:00pm

This titillatingly unique cabaret show featuring some of Calgary's best theatre, dance, improv, and music will be presented at the Impro Depot following the Improv Guild's always funny Friday Night Improv Show at 8pm. Come see special peformances from Peer Support, (Parenthesis), The Janes, and more! Visit www.theatretransit.ca for details.

 
     

2012 Calgary High School Theatresports™ Championship Begins Tonight
Posted February 24, 2012

UPDATE: Congratualations to St. Francis, the winning school of this year's championship!

What do you get when you take the best young improv talent in Calgary, mix in a few seasoned pros as coaches, add Keith Johnstone's wildly popular Theatresports™ to the pot and blend it all together in the Engineered Air Theatre? You get a wild, edge of your seat, laugh out loud funny experience that has never happened before and will never happen again. With shows at 8pm Friday, and 1pm/3pm/8pm Saturday, you'll have plenty of time to take in the awesomeness. Check the official CHSTC page for full schedule and pricing details.

 
   

Call for Volunteers
Posted January 16, 2012

Do you like improv? Do you like free shows? Do you like raising your hand before fully understanding what you're getting into? If so, you may enjoy volunteering with the Improv Guild! These past couple years have seen some very exciting upgrades to our admission system. Anyone remember the donations hard hat? Well, with great tickets comes great responsability and that's where you come in! The Improv Guild needs someone to cover the box office / drink counter from about 7:30pm to 8:15pm on show nights. In return you will get a) free admission for you and a friend to that show b) some free snacks and drinks c) our undying gratitude. If you're interested in padding your resume with artistic volunteer work, contact us at info@improvguild.com

 
   

Improv Guild Headlines Orlando Improv Festival
Posted Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just like birds migrating south for the winter, Improv Guild members Anne, Ryan and Stephen have flown to sunny Florida, USA to headline the world renowned Orlando Improv Festival! They will be shaking their funny bones onstage at 9pm tonight (Sunday, Sept. 25) so if you're in the area, check 'em out! Oh, and while you're here, check out this teaser from the Miami Herald!

 
   

Getting Naked For Calgary Fringe
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Generally the Improv Guild enjoys quiet summers lounging on the beach, cold beverages in hand; this year, however, we're doing something that is anything but quiet! We're getting naked! If you want to see raw improv, stripped down to the fundamentals of the art while pushing the ever-expanding boundries of spontaneous theatre, check out one of the Improv Guild's six Naked Improv shows at the Calgary Fringe Festival!

If you're the late night type, the Improv Guild has created a special Late Night Show featuring all of your favourite Fringe artists. This late night extravaganza will be filled with good food, great drinks and more laughs than you can shake a stick at. With different Fringe artists guesting each night, the Late Night Show is sort of like the sample platter of the Fringe Festival. Bring a napkin.

You can also find both Naked Improv and Late Night Show on our Shows page.

 
   

Shaw TV Taping Special Show June 11
Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011

UPDATE: The Improv Guild played to a packed house and Shaw TV captured all the action with cameras, microphones and interviews. The Guild would like to send a huge thanks out to Shaw as well as to all the volunteers and audience members who helped make this night such a huge success! The full edited version of the show will be available this summer on Shaw TV. Follow @improvguild on twitter and check back on this website for the latest.

Come preview the Calgary Improv Festival in a special show that will be recorded live in the Engineered Air Theatre at 8pm on June 11 by Shaw TV. This hour and a half long improv set will feature members of the Improv Guild playing your favourite games, exploiting your suggestions and maybe even dragging one or two of you up on stage! Tickets for the event are $10 each and are are available at the door. You can also reserve tickets by emailing Rick at info@improvguild.com.

 
   

Audition to Join the Improv Guild
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2011

UPDATE: Auditions postponed. Check back later for dates and times.

The Improv Guild will be holding open auditions for experienced actors/improvisers on Monday, May 2 from 7:00-9:00pm at the Impro Depot. Please bring a resume of your acting/improvisation experience and training along with a headshot (if you have one). If you have any questions, feel free to email the Improv Guild artistic director Rick Hilton at info@improvguild.com

 
   

New Website Launched!
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2011

After months of toiling in a dark room in the bowels of the Impro Depot theatre, the website which had previously only been a whisper of a dream has now come to life. As the company grew tremendously over the past few years, no longer were the modest confines of a blog-style site enough to get all that Improv Guild informationy goodness to the public.

The new website is now organized into simple sections allowing vistors to either quickly find what they need, or leasurely linger and browse all of the cool features and photos that pepper the site.

 
   
Valentine's in Vancouver
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Improv Guild was stoked to be part of the Vancouver Theatre Sports League’s 23rd Annual Valentine’s Day Massacre this year! Laura, Stephen, Rick & Heather represented the humble little city of Calgary amidst teams from Vancouver, Atlanta, Bellingham, Orlando and Seattle. The days were jam packed with improv, rain & pizza slices! All in all, an amazingly fun tournament that the Improv Guild was proud to have participated in. Huge thanks to VTSL for hosting such a world-class event!

UPDATE: Heather has shared a poem she wrote that perfectly encapsulates the experience!

 
   
Tickets! Tickets! Get your Tickets!
Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2011

While they will still gladly accept your donations, the Improv Guild is pleased to announce that beginning immediately they will be selling show tickets at the door. So before you buy a drink, take a load off on the front row couches and start discussing the merits of velcro vs laces, please stop by the ticket table and get your shinny (matte) ticket!

 
   
Two Shows are Better than One!
Posted Friday, January 7, 2011

First, there was one show. Then, when audiences thought it couldn't get any better, there were TWO SHOWS! Now you can follow up a wildly entertaining Friday Night Improv show with an equally wildly entertaining Last Scene Standing Saturday show! The Friday night show audiences have come to know and generally approve of will continue to focus on short scenes, games, and random wonderfulness, while the Saturday show will cater to longer scenes, directed improv and whatever can be found under the rainbow of awesome.

Come check out both shows! Friday and Saturday at 8pm

 
   
Fringe-prov
Posted Monday, November 22, 2010

The Improv Guild was selected to participate in the annual Calgary Fringe Festival July 29th to August 6th, 2011, taking place in historic Inglewood. The Guild will be using this opportunity to introduce our fast-paced, engergetic, wildly imaginative short-form style improv to the wider Calgary threatre community.

Those who have attended Friday Night Improv shows will be very familiar with the style that has graced stages across the world and entertained Calgarians for years. Expect singing (now only slightly off-key), shoving (47 days without injury), dancing, gibberish, bells, horns, costumes and everything else that makes funny funny. There may also be some serious stuff. But only a little. ;

Check out http://be.calgaryfringe.ca/ for more info on the festival!