Print Edition: September 24, 2014
Ladies and gents, boys and girls, the Vancouver TheatreSports League (VTSL) visited the UFV theatre and entertained us with an outstanding show last Friday night. If you’ve ever watched the show Whose Line is it Anyway? with actors Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie (VTSL alumni), you’ll know what you missed out on.
The Vancouver TheatreSports League is a live improv show. The actors are highly trained to think on their feet and incorporate audience participation into their quick sketches. They draw you in, making you feel like a part of the play.
This year is about the 30th time Vancouver TheatreSports League has entertained UFV students and the Chilliwack community. Three actors, two stools, and a whole whack of wit had the audience cheering and busting their guts with laughter. UFV’s intimate theatre space, and the absence of an elevated stage, set an intimate mood.
The night had us sitting on the edge of our seats, anticipating what sort of absurdity would hit us next. There was the ghost of “fish-mas” past, men giving birth, Aussies, Russians, platypus served on a bed of turkey basters, and a musical about a Coquitlam bear epidemic with a twist — bears make excellent roommates! Anything is possible in improv.
Prior to the event, Michael Teigen of VTSL hosted a workshop open to UFV students. They ran through common improv games and sketches to get the students on their toes — the exact state of mind the actors were in when the clock hit 7:30 p.m.
In an attempt to loosen up the audience members, we were subject to impromptu gestures suggested by guest star Amy Cuddys (who recently held a TED talk), which required us to stand up and hold our arms above our heads to “change our chemistry.” Let’s just say it was a whole lot of nonsense to get us into a silly state, but the audience complied and we were all laughing within the first five seconds of the show.
There was spit, there was sweat, there were tears (of laughter), and even a little pee. To top it all off, the night was full of family-friendly comedy — improv doesn’t have to be pervy to be funny, and no one was left worried if their friend, parent, or date was offended.
Though the turnout was less than what it should have been, the night was well worth the drive out to the ‘Wack.
You may have missed out on an incredible event, but have no fear — the Vancouver TheatreSports League plays five nights a week at the Granville Island Theatre. They offer student rates for tickets, and it provides a great night on the town. Grab your date, hit up the Granville Island market for some dinner before the show, and get in quick to grab your seats. You’ll want to catch every second of this intensely entertaining night — and be prepared. Any eye contact, body gestures, or idea shout-outs, and you may just find yourself pulled up to participate with the actors on stage.