US teams bring some laughs in improv festival
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
The Throwdown International Theatresports Festival is happening now in the Improv Centre, and the festival—presented by the Vancouver Theatresports League—brings the best of the improv world to Vancouver.
In the past two weeks, the members of the league were put into teams to take part in a competition where the teams play a game of Theatresports until one of them ultimately wins. This week, five teams from five improv groups around the world will compete until one of them emerges victorious, and the team that wins will battle the top team locally in a final that will be held on Sunday, January 21. Also, the improv groups will showcase the unique aspects of their improv games that the rest of the improv groups do not do. The three weeks will create a lot of improvised and funny moments.
For the festival this year, the Vancouver League decided to invite five improv groups from the United States because the league will host the International Theatresports Institute Conference next year. Those groups include Bellingham’s Upfront Theatre, Portland’s Curious Comedy Theatre, Cambridge’s ImprovBoston, Philadelphia’s The Future, and Orlando’s SAK Comedy Lab, which won the international section of the festival in the past two years since 2016. SAK Comedy Lab was very good when I saw them in the festival last year, though the other groups that were invited last year also did a lot of great things. Each of the five improv groups has a style that represents the city that they are from, creating a lot of interesting material about the things that happen in their city.
The winners of each game will be determined the audience, so if you like something that you saw from one improv group, cheer on that group. Some of the performances will also include showcases of specific groups, and when you see a game between two of the teams, you might see a showcase from one of the other three groups. There will also be times when all of the groups in a day play a game of Theatresports, and they will likely have a very fun time.
The Throwdown International Theatresports Festival showcases what other improv groups are doing and presents a lot of moments that will cause you to laugh a lot. The Festival is taking place now in the Improv Centre on Granville Island until January 21.