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Five-day Fes­ti­val Fea­tures World-Class Slate of Improvisers!

The 11th Win­nipeg If… Improv Fes­ti­val hits the city Novem­ber 9 – 14. Pre­sent­ed by the Gas Sta­tion Arts Cen­tre, the fes­ti­val brings to Win­nipeg spe­cial guests from New York City, Los Ange­les, Edmon­ton, and Toron­to for five nights of sen­sa­tion­al and impro­vi­sa­tion­al the­atre. Tick­ets for the Win­nipeg If… Improv Fes­ti­val are avail­able through the Gas Sta­tion Arts Cen­tre web­site at www​.gassta​tionthe​atre​.com or by call­ing (204) 2849477.

This year, the fes­ti­val fea­tures five nights of the­atre shows and two days of work­shops.

The fes­ti­val kicks off on Tues­day, Novem­ber 9th with a free Fes­ti­val Sam­pler” show at The King’s Head Pub. Hosts Stephen Sim and Lee White of CRUMBS will do scenes with out-of-town guests and local play­ers in this Improv Fes­ti­val tra­di­tion. The Fes­ti­val Sam­pler show is a part of the ongo­ing Free Laughs Com­e­dy Series that puts on free live com­e­dy shows at the King’s Head every Tues­day night.

The fes­ti­val con­tin­ues on Wednes­day night with a Win­nipeg Com­e­dy show­case at the Gas Sta­tion Arts Cen­tre. A new addi­tion to the Win­nipeg Improv Fes­ti­val, the event promis­es to show­case the immense local tal­ent of under­ground and alter­na­tive com­e­dy that is emerg­ing out of Win­nipeg, in its stand-up and sketch forms.

Thurs­day night, Winnipeg’s pop­u­lar Dun­geons & Drag­ons Improv Show takes to the Gas Sta­tion stage. This impro­vised show based on the role play­ing game D&D, has result­ed in two hit shows at the Win­nipeg Inter­na­tion­al Fringe Fes­ti­val. This ful­ly inter­ac­tive show has giant dice, amaz­ing cos­tumes, hilar­i­ty and plen­ty of fake blood.

Friday’s main­stage show tru­ly exem­pli­fies the col­lab­o­ra­tive nature of the fes­ti­val, pair­ing Edmonton’s Rapid Fire The­atre with Winnipeg’s Out­side Joke. The sec­ond set fea­tures the fes­ti­val ensem­ble play­ing Toronto’s Ghost Jail Theatre’s brand of improv, a fusion of impro­vised writ­ing with impro­vised per­for­mance.

Anoth­er sta­ple of the Improv Fes­ti­val is the Fri­day Night Late Show. This late-night jam fea­tures play­ers from across North Amer­i­ca and our own back­yard, play­ing togeth­er the way only spon­ta­neous improv mas­ters can. The Fri­day Night Late Show is always a fast and loose improv mess of beau­ty.

The fes­ti­val con­cludes with the Sat­ur­day Night Main­stage Show. Fea­tur­ing a new long-form cre­ation as per­formed by the fes­ti­val ensem­ble, the show will be made up of hand-picked local per­form­ers and spe­cial out-of-town guests. The show will also fea­ture anoth­er mash-up, this time fus­ing the inter­na­tion­al tour­ing com­pa­ny Crumbs with mem­bers of New York City’s finest group, 4Track.

This year the fes­ti­val will also offer work­shops con­duct­ed by 4Track’s very own George Basil (NYC/LA) and Chris­t­ian Capoz­zoli (NYC). The work­shops will take place at the Prairie The­atre Exchange and will be suit­able for both begin­ner and advanced impro­vis­ers.

The Win­nipeg if… Improv Fes­ti­val was found­ed in 2000 by Stephen Sim after he had trav­eled to Van­cou­ver, Edmon­ton, Seat­tle and Chica­go. On his trav­els, he took part in a cou­ple of improv fes­ti­vals and was inspired to bring these fresh ideas back to Win­nipeg. A part­ner­ship devel­oped between the improv scene and the Gas Sta­tion Arts Cen­tre – one that still lives on today.

The focus of the fes­ti­val has always been to bring new improv ideas from around the world to both Win­nipeg improv play­ers and audi­ences alike. In its decade of exis­tence, the fes­ti­val is proud to have show­cased dozens of local, nation­al, and inter­na­tion­al improv troupes. The fes­ti­val also prides itself in devel­op­ing new impro­vi­sa­tion­al for­mats – many hav­ing their world pre­mière right here in Win­nipeg. The Win­nipeg if… Improv Fes­ti­val is also a pro­po­nent of exper­i­men­tal and inno­v­a­tive improv, hav­ing host­ed live improv video per­for­mances, and even improv ani­ma­tion!

Each year, the Win­nipeg If… Improv Fes­ti­val con­tin­ues to thrill audi­ences with new play­ers, new games and excit­ing new work.