Biography:

Ann is a Toronto-based actor, writer, and improviser on the comedy scene for over 14 years. She specializes in premise-driven improv scenes, point of view, and big and confident characters. She’s also big on inclusion, representation and making sure her shows reflect diverse voices. She firmly believes that truth and authenticity is the funniest and most dynamic thing you can bring to the stage, and cultivates an environment where players feel safe to explore, take big risks and be empowered. With festival co-founder and co-producer Ashley Comeau, Ann was part of the cast of Second City’s “She The People” – winning the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Ensemble in 2018. Ann describes herself as confident, loud, sassy, charming, loud, fearless, committed, playful, loud, silly, supportive and loud. Oh, and loud! 

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Photo: Edward Moore

Biography:

Katy Schutte is one of the UK's original long form improvisers. She performs and teaches all over the world, is head-teach for Hoopla and Co-Artistic Director for The Maydays in the UK. Katy has been one of The Maydays since 2004, she is half of legendary sci-fi improv duo Project2 and author of The Improviser's Way: A Longform Workbook, which is published by Nick Hern Books. A Funny Women finalist and both nominee and winner of the Brighton Festival Fringe Best Comedy Show award, Katy also starred in BAFTA winning online educational series History Bombs. Katy performs with Knightmare Live and makes her own work including Schutte the Unromantic and acclaimed semi-immersive folk horror play Let's Summon Demons. She is a contributing writer for Cards Against Humanity and is currently performing in One Woman Alien with Cast Iron Theatre. (Photo credit: Emma Bailey)

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Biography:

Chris is a UK-based performer and theatre-maker who teaches and coaches improvisation in London. Chris studied theatre at Royal Holloway College and improvisation at iO (Improv Olympic) and The Annoyance Theatre in Chicago. He is the co-artistic director of The Nursery Theatre, a space in London dedicated to improv as a theatrical art form. Also a a member of the internationally-renowned ensemble The Maydays, one half of sci-fi duo Project2 and recently co-founded Unmade Theatre Co. to pursue new projects as a director and performer. He’s also the host of YesBot, a podcast about the theory and craft of improv.

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Biography:

Brandon started his improvisational journey on his high school’s improv team and somehow managed to turn it into an actual full-blown adulthood career - as an improviser, actor and TV writer. Brandon has been a cast member and writer on the Second City Toronto Mainstage, and has written and performed with numerous popular Canadian Sketch TV shows (including Tall Boys, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes). Brandon’s improvisational focus is on scene creation through point-of-view, strong game-playing, and emotional commitment to the scene. He brings theatricality and intellect to the stage, and would like to encourage his students to always play at the height of their intelligence. He believes that theatre can and should be a force for social change, and improv can be one of the most effective and satisfying ways to achieve it. He loves to share his knowledge and hopes to inspire others to push themselves and their art form to the next level.

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Biography:

Ayaka is a Japanese musician based in Toronto who is actively involved in the comedy scene. Ayaka holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and a Diploma in Classical Music. She is a musical director at the Second City and has toured across the USA, as well as the high seas! In addition to her comedy life, she does pop songwriting, most recently for popular Youtube KahoSei Channel with over 7 million views! Ayaka has taught hundreds of Musical Improv workshops, and excels at putting students - musicians and improvisers alike - at ease. When Ayaka is not putting her musician hat on, she performs improv and sketch comedy on stage. Ayaka loves tomatoes. @ayaka.kinugawa

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