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International Impro Star Visits

Nick Byrne - 13/11/2007

Derek Flores, international improviser extraordinaire will perform with Impro Theatre ACT, at their final show for the year, the musically themed "Impropera", on Sunday November 25th at The Street Theatre.

Derek is best known from his days at The Second City Theatre, birthplace of such comedians like Mike Myers, John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Ryan Stiles, where he rose to perform alongside Colin Mochrie and Robin Williams as a member of the main stage company under the direction of Improvise author Mick Napier.

Berynn Schwerdt headshot

Derek cut his teeth at the world renown Loose Moose Theatre, home to TheatreSports creator Keith Johnstone, and currently works with improvisers in Wellington.

"Impropera" Director, Megs Skillicorn says she is in awe at the prospect of overseeing a performance with one of the greats of world improvisation. An Impro Theatre ACT veteran, Skillicorn is excited to be presenting the company's first musically themed production.

Tickets for the show are available from The Street Theatre box office, by phoning (02) 62471223, and in an act of pre-Christmas generosity, producers are keeping the show at regular prices, in spite of the international guest. Adults $18. Concession $15. Performance starts at 7:30pm.

See the Impropera flyer

Impro Goes Too Far

Nick Byrne - 3/9/2007

For last month's "Dramatic Experiments", Impro Theatre ACT tried to pass-off a visiting professional improviser as an international Professor of Improbability, but for the company's September 30th show, they have really overstepped the boundaries of decency, slurring the good name of one of Canberra's most successful events, and titling the performance, "Defloriade".

"I really can't see the problem", asserts show Director, Nick Byrne. "I had no idea that there was another event with a vaguely similar title. I really hope the other guys aren't just hoping to ride on the back of our publicity".

Berynn Schwerdt headshot

As it turns out, "Defloriade" has nothing much to do with flowers. The show is apparently a reaction against the plethora of lifestyle and reality programs that currently dominate television. All scenes in the performance will be improvised around titles such as "Lesser Homes and Gardens" or "Australian Scapegoat".

Once again, Impro Theatre ACT is promising a special guest. This month, one of Australia's funniest improvisers, Berynn Schwerdt, (NIDA, Bell Shakespeare, Sydney Theatre Company), will grace the stage with his own special brand of spontaneous performance.

"It's going to be more fun than you can get away with, without a good lawyer", claims Byrne.

"Defloriade" is at The Street Theatre and starts at 7:30pm. Adults $18. Concession $15. To book, phone the box office on 02 62471223. Further information about the show is available by calling Impro Theatre ACT Artistic Director, Nick Byrne on 0417 217442.

Shock Prof Improvises for Free

Nick Byrne - 19/8/2007

On the back of another sellout Canberra Impro Theatre Challenge, won by the world champion, and featuring a successful world-first live video-conferenced theatre improvisation, Impro Theatre ACT has attracted to its National Science Week show the controversial international Professor of Improbability, Cale Bain.

To be held at The Street Theatre this Sunday, August 26th, Dramatic Experiments has a hand-picked cast of improvisers creating theatrical demonstrations of various scientific theories for the amusement of the general public.

Professor Bain will enlighten the audience with a brief keynote address, highlighting some of his least probable assertions, and take questions from a public which is sure to have its fair share of unimpressed mainstream scientists. Bain is applauded in some circles for advancing the sciences into creative realms, but ridiculed by more conservative academics.

Thanks to full sponsorship by National Science Week, and inclusion in the Australian Science Festival, this hilarious performance will be absolutely free of charge.

Dramatic Experiments begins at 7:30pm, with seats allocated on a first-in-first served basis, so patrons are advised to come early.

Further information about the show is available by calling Impro Theatre ACT Artistic Director, Nick Byrne on 0417 217442.

Cale Bain, BS, MSFA, PhD (Imp)

Canberra Impro Theatre Challenge 2007 Heat Posponed

Nick Byrne - 23/6/2007


Due to an unreported double booking at The Street Theatre, we have had no option but to postpone Sunday night's heat of the 2007 Canberra Impro Theatre Challenge. If you have already purchased tickets, the theatre will contact you to arrange to have them re-scheduled or, of necessary refunded.

My sincere apologies for the late notice, but this situation is out of our hands, and all correspondence should be directed to the theatre box office on 02 62471223.

On the up side, we will now put the show on SATURDAY, July 7th. Yes, Saturday. This means we'll have Sean Kinley, special guest from the home of the worldwide impro movement, Loose Moose in Clagary Canada, at the show, and it should all be bigger and better, apart from the inconvenience of letting your friends know. It will also be in the smaller studio space, where we did the sell-out show with Jai La'gaia, so it will probably sell out again and you will probably need to book.

Thankyou for already making so many bookings for the show.

Once again, our apologies.

Canberra Impro Theatre Challenge 2007

Matt Sheppard - 3/6/2007

The Canberra Impro Theatre Challenge is back again for 2007! Make sure to book early, as we sold out last year. See the shows page and the flyer for more details.

Jay Laga'aia Live At Impro

Nick Byrne - 6/3/2007

In another coup for Impro Theatre ACT, one of Australasia's most successful actors, Jay Laga'aia, will appear in the company's March 25th production show.

Jay Laga'aia headshot

Whether you know him from Star Wars, The Lion King, Water Rats, Play School, or happen to have seen him as one of the most talented improvisers on the planet, winning Sydney's prestigious Cranston Cup of Theatresports, and hailed for his unrivalled ability to spontaneously create instant songs, Jay Laga'aia is one of the most recognizable faces on both stage and screen in this country.

Long before "Thank God You're here" brought improvisation back into our living rooms, Jay was one of a surprisingly large band of household names cut their teeth in the arena of Theatresports.

Canberra will have an unusual chance to see Jay perform improvised comedy theatre alongside the best the Capital can offer, when the Street Theatre hosts "Daylight Craving". As the rest of the Eastern Seaboard bids farewell to extended daylight hours, Impro Theatre ACT hangs on for just one more night and turns on the sun again for anyone who loves spontaneous performance.

"Improvised theatre is fast, funny, and uniquely intimate", says Director, Nick Byrne. "Not only do audiences get the opportunity to participate, should they so desire, they also share the performers' highs and lows, as they take the ultimate risk of creating drama without a script".

See Jay Laga'aia in Impro Theatre ACT's "Daylight Craving" at The Street Theatre on Sunday, March 25th. Show starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 concession. Bookings at the box office or by calling 62471223.

Front Foils Fearless Friday

Matt Sheppard - 2/3/2007

(With the cafe etc reopening, Fearless Friday will be back at full force this week - 7/3/2007)

Unfortunately the Street Theatre suffered some damage in the recent storm, meaning that we're afraid Fearless Friday will have to be cancelled today. We're hoping to see everyone back next Friday (March 9th).

2007 update

Matt Sheppard - 10/1/2007

Quick notes on what's comming up in early 2007.

Starting on February the 9th, we will be performing a free, weekly show called "Fearless Friday" at The Street Theatre - 5:30 to 7pm.
[more info...]

New classes start in early February (stage one on the 13th, advanced on the 8th). To register, contact Nick Byrne via or 0417 217442.
[more info...]

The first main stage show for 2007 has been announced. It's called 'Sugar High', and will be performed at The Street Theatre on Sunday the 25th of February.
[more info...]

Lost Dog Inspires Show

Nick Byrne - 6/11/2006

Impro Theatre ACT addict, Greg Thomas, recently lost his beloved Shitzu 'Shanti', but tears turned to joy as an animal welfare agency found the dog and deposited her at the Canberra Veterinary Hospital. Shanti was treated at no charge, then returned to Greg. His faith restored in human nature, Thomas decided to direct a show with no humans in it!

Wild Director Greg Thomas tries to stop Shitzu Shanti from leaving home.

Wild Director Greg Thomas tries to stop Shitzu Shanti from leaving home.

Wild will feature teams of trained comedy theatre improvisers, representing the different families of animal life, and performing dozens of hilarious short sketches, created entirely on the spot.

Animals behave entirely on instinct, whilst humans try to make decisions, usually rejecting numerous wild ideas before finally taking action, said Thomas. In improvisation, we try to go with our first thought, making for a performance that is both unpredictable and liberating.

As in all Impro Theatre ACT shows, the audience will play a role, helping to decide what each spontaneous scene will be about. This time, those who wish to, will complete pet profile forms at intermission, with scenes performed using their own pet's character.

There will also be opportunities for audiences to show their appreciation for the organisations that help keep our animals safe, with on-stage promotion of their activities and RSPCA collection boxes available for those who wish to make a donation.

Animals help bring out the humanity in all of us, said Thomas.

Wild will be at The Street Theatre on November 26th. Show starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 concession. Bookings at the box office or by calling 62471223.

Cranston cup update

David Myers - 13/10/2006

The Cranston cup has been described as the holy grail of Australian Impro Comedy. For the last 24 years some of the most talented comedians and Improvisers in Australia have competed at the Enmore to win it on behalf of their team. Former champions include such distinguished peronages as Andrew Denton and some of the cast of Thank God You're here. This year Impro Theatre ACT managed to secure an entry as one of 14 teams to compete against the best that Sydney has to offer in the Cranston Cup heats.

'The Church of Miscellaneous Belief' (Nick Byrne, Greg Thomas, Brittany White and David Myers) competed in the first of three heats on Sunday 8th of Oct at the Newtown Theatre in Sydney. The Church watched with a degree of dismay as each of the other teams selected from the hat all of their preferred games. However, Nick led the team in a solid performance in a series of less familiar games. The Church opened with a 'Speaking in one voice' scene about an Italian Opera singer with three heads that suddenly found a fourth, A Mirror faces scene (responding to a character challenge) in a scene about road safety, and finally a 'Sing about it' where a terrorist purchased all of the chlorine in the world for his pet pig.

The Church scored a solid fourth position (of six teams) with only a few points between between themselves and the leaders. But at the end of the night victory went to both Randomonian (Artistic Director of Impro Australia John Knowles, former Cranston Champion Marko Mustac, and former 7 time Cranston Champion Murray Fahey) and Il Devos (Dave Callan, Steve Lynch and Jon Williams). The Church of Miscellaneous Belief will be in Sydney for another two heats on Sunday 15/10 & 22/10. Will they be able to do Canberra proud and make it through to the Semi's? Only time will tell. Check the Cranston cup website to see how we are doing...

A bycycle with a limp

Phil Davis - 2/10/2006
An eyeball experiences the delights of the silver screen.

An eyeball experiences the delights of the silver screen.

A bicycle with a limp? An extendable ladder? An eyeball rolling around a table trying to watch a movie? Or maybe just someone standing at a bus stop? At impro, we never know what characters we are going to have to play. And while scripted actors can spend months researching and fine-tuning a character, we have to do it at the drop of a hat.

Would you buy a used workshop from these guys?

Would you buy a used workshop from these guys?

Impro Theatre ACT's latest workshop focussed on all aspects of characterisation. The workshop was held at the Street Theatre in the afternoon of September 24th. In charge were two experienced Sydney improvisers, Murray Fahey and John Knowles, famous for clearing out $1000 from the Canberra economy by winning our July 2006 Impro Challenge.

Sixteen of our local improvisers fronted up and learnt a clutch of tricks including character status, leading with different parts of the body when walking, and behaving like particular animals. Then the real learning took place when Murray and John stayed on to play as "Cops on Heat" in our September show and wow the audience with unforgettable scenes like "Childbirth" replayed with different emotions.

Impro Theatre ACT runs frequent workshops of this nature, which are open to all participants of its improvisation classes.


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