Candid creations at The Citadel
The 17th annual Improvaganza is back with its unplanned, unscripted and completely spontaneous comedic antics. Presented by Rapid Fire Theatre (RFT), Improvaganza is Edmonton’s international improv and sketch comedy festival, featuring top improvisors from around the world.
RFT has recruited 18 of the finest acts in comedy for 10 days of hilarity from June 14 to 24 at the Citadel Theatre. For Canada’s sesquicentennial, Improvaganza’s roster features incredible acts from both Canada and around the world.
This year’s hometown headliner, CBC’s The Irrelevant Show, got their big break in Edmonton nearly a decade ago.
“Our pilot was back in 2008, but it had kind of existed in other forms before that,” says Mark Meer, an Edmonton-based writer, actor and performer on all previous incarnations of The Irrelevant Show.
“I have been with RFT for 25 years. Actually, this is my 25th anniversary, because I joined in 1992 … It is great to be doing a sketch show at Improvaganza,” says Meer.
Year after year, improvisational artists come to perform in Edmonton because RFT nurtures exploration and collaboration.
Matt Schuurman, RFT’s artistic director, said “Having The Irrelevant Show headline is a nice local connection. All of the folks that are in the cast of the show all got their start at RFT.”
Improvaganza features a big headliner show, The Best of CBC’s The Irrelevant Show Live, on the first Thursday of the festival in the MacLab Theatre in the Citadel. They will be performing their best skits and sketches from over a decade of Canadian content.
One of the international acts, the IGLU Theatre troupe from LJubljana, Slovenia, was founded by three friends, Juš Milčinski, Vid Sodnik and Peter Frankl, in 2013. It will be their first time performing at Improvaganza as a collective.
“The appeal of Improvaganza is big in Europe. It’s one of the biggest improv festivals in Canada,” says Milčinski. “It always has an excellent festival cast and shows that represent modern improv trends. We wanted to apply to the festival for some time now and we’re really happy that we’ll be there this year.”
Do not be surprised if the acts take suggestions from the audience that have a Canadian flavour to them.
“Due to the nature of the beast, every single show is completely different from the next; never to be repeated again,” says Schuurman.
If you check out this boisterous and spontaneous comedy party you may become part of the act.
Until Sat., June 24
Citadel Theatre, $15 single ticket or $175 for a festival pass
Improvaganza 2017 acts include:
The Sunday Service (Vancouver)
Broke Gravy (Portland)
Ladies & Gentlemen (Montreal)
IGLU (LJubljana, Slovenia)
Reckless Theater (New York)