This August, Vancouver TheatreSports League are welcoming one of the world's greatest improvisers to their stage. Colin Mochrie, famous from the hit show Whose Line is it Anyway, is returning to where his career began -- at the Improv Centre on Granville Island.
Mochrie has a long history with Vancouver TheatreSports League, having become a member shortly after he graduated from Studio 58 theatre school alongside costar Ryan Stiles. He began his journey with the company in 1980 and ended his tenure in 1986.
The Vancouver TheatreSports League (VTSL) was founded in 1980, and executive director Jay Ono has been involved with the company since 1983. Denise Jones joined TheatreSports in the Rookie League and became a performer on the main stage in 2003, taking on the role of artistic director two years ago. Both will join Mochrie in performing onstage.
“We’ve done shows with Colin before and he just has such a fond appreciation of our theatre sports league. He has always loved supporting the outreach programs at our centre,” said Ono.
The two shows featuring Mochrie are An Intimate Evening with Colin (Thursday) and Colin & Friends (Friday and Saturday).
Tickets are limited to Mochrie's shows, but those attending are in for a treat.
“Thursday is an experience that not many people get to have," said Jones. "It includes a lovely catered reception and complimentary drinks. There's also a Q&A with Colin after the show. That one on one time with Colin will be absolutely amazing.”
Improv shows always involve a lot of audience participation, and the performers are all looking forward to the creativity the Vancouver audience will bring.
“I am most excited for the audience's reactions," said Ono. "Colin has become such an icon both on the international comedy scene, so seeing him on TV and then seeing it being delivered in person will be awesome”
Audiences can expect non-stop laughter and joy from the performances.
“I can definitely say that he is so much fun to do a show with,” said Jones.
Mochrie is renowned for his love of working with new talent especially at Vancouver TheatreSports and the key to creating an amazing chemistry is the use of ensemble over "stars."
These shows support both the Improv Institute and the Colin Mochrie Scholarship fund which helps students with partial or full financial help.
TheatreSports are looking forward to a busy season.
“We have a bunch of shows coming up called Throwback TheatreSports in October," said Ono. "It's going to feature the alumni from the Improv Institute. It's really cool to see people that were here from the beginning playing with brand new improvisers.”
Tickets for the shows range from $70-$125 and are available online.