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2020 Teacher & Performer registration is open!

We are thrilled to welcome improvisers from all across Australia and the world to apply.

It’s only January and things are already heating up down under.

Too soon?

Yeah, probably too soon.

Anyway, the point is, ain’t no forest fires gonna stop the fun and laughter when we need it most.

So get your application in now for June 2020 in Sydney.

Rego closes 1 April.

2020 Venue Partner Announced

We are thrilled and honoured to be hosting all Australian Improv Comedy Festival Shows at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney.

We’re not the only ones who have a comedy festival here 🙂

Note: All festival workshops will be held at the NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre in Surry Hills – near Central Station.

The Factory is uniquely dedicated to comedy and is arguably the home of comedy in Sydney.

Happy Feraren, Artistic Director AIF & Laugh-Masters Academy

Note: All workshops will be held at The NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre.

All Three 2019 Shows SOLD OUT!!!

Woo-Hoo!

Thank you to all the amazing audiences, performers, sponsors, and support team who made this inaugural event such a success.

Three completely sold out shows at the Seymour Centre!!!

^That’s an exclamation point for each show.

For everyone who wanted to come, but couldn’t get a ticket, we can only say:

Sorry.

Also: Don’t wait so long next time!

Make sure to subscribe now using that annoying little pop-up window so you can stay up to date on all future festival news.

See you next time. We love you.

Here we go

by Eran Thomson, Festival Founder and Executive Producer

The Australian Improv Festival kicks off tomorrow!

As we head out of the pre-production maelstrom and into the actual fun stuff, I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who has helped make this inaugural event possible.

Starting with all the amazing performers and teachers who have travelled around the globe and come from all across Australia to be here. We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you.

To all the people who bought tickets to shows or registered for workshops. Even those of you who haven’t bought yours yet (there’s still time). Thank you.

To all the creative, talented, and funny students, no matter which school or training centre you hail from. This festival is for you and we’re glad you’re here. Thank you.

To the AIF support team: Susan Zheng for your help selling on social, Betty Stephanie-Ng for helping out on Tech, Ashlee Brown for the ochre accent on our PA announcements, PJ Hyland for being our Stage Manager, Sebastian Antoniou our videographer for capturing all the fun on camera, and Ramona Datu our amazing intern for essentially saving our lives. Thank you.

To all our wonderful volunteers for their flexibility, adaptability and willingness to jump in and help get things done: Thank you.

To our venue partners the Seymour Centre, and The News South Wales Teachers Federation Conference Center. Thank you.

To her majesty the Queen for having a holiday on her (non) birthday so we can play, learn, and party for three whole days with new and old friends. Thank you.

And lastly, to the determined dynamo that is Happy Feraren, our Festival Director. Your persistence, planning, and vision transformed what started as a small idea into a big, beautiful event that will forever change the landscape and perception of improv in Australia.

Thank you.

Party. Party. Party.

Three days of fun. Three nights of after the fun, fun.

Whether you’re performing, teaching, learning, or just watching, we want to celebrate you.

Three times.

Since the festival runs over a long weekend, we decided to have after parties on all three nights. Yewww!

Friday – 9:30pm
Two Wolves Cantina

202 Broadway, Sydney NSW 2008
(Walking distance from Seymour)
thetwowolves.com.au
$5 Sangria, Shots, and Tecate


Saturday – 10:30pm
Landsdowne Hotel

2 – 6 City Rd, Chippendale NSW 2008
(Walking distance from Seymour)
thelansdownepub.com.au


Sunday – 5pm
Golden Age at The Paramount

Downstairs Bar
80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(Walking distance from NSWTF)
ourgoldenage.com.au

The Improv Festival Experience

by Happy Feraren, Festival Director

Less than a week to go.

The Australian Improv Festival is nearly here and some of our international performers have arrived in Sydney, so for us, it’s already begun! I’m a mixed bag of emotions – worried, stressed, cold, hungry, excited and sleepy.

Improv comes to life in a different way during festivals – it’s a non-stop celebration from bump in to the after party. And even if you’ve never met these people before, it will feel like a reunion of friends you never knew you had.

Festivals like this are done for the community to celebrate the joy of improv and an invitation to discover new ways of playing and collaborating.

Find Your Tribe

Festivals are a fantastic opportunity to find your tribe and make your world just a little bigger than it used to be. It’s a great community and the attitude of openness is infectious. It’s common to find improvisers posting on online groups saying “Hey I’m headed to <whatever city>” and within minutes people will start tagging each other saying they should meet up and all. And that’s what a festival feels like – people are just ready to jump in and play. There will be no ice to be broken, only connections as exciting as a Mind Meld to be made.

Improv Showcase

With eleven different groups coming to the Australian Improv Festival, the variety of performance styles in each show will ensure that we always see something new – it could be the smallest detail like how a group gets a suggestion from the audience or something bigger like a format or style we’ve never seen before. Getting exposed to a range of improvised performances helps inspire the improv scene to keep on pushing and evolving the artform.

Learn New Things

Improv as you know it is not improv in its entirety. It’s constantly evolving and festivals are a great way to see what’s out there. Workshops are particularly helpful in learning new techniques, ideas, methods, that your regular classes wouldn’t usually cover. It’s not often that you have guest teachers coming to your city so festivals are a perfect time to learn something new and discover more things about improv.

The After Party

I cannot speak for Sydney since it hasn’t happened yet! But, in the spirit of improv festivals around the world, each one has its own after party “brand.” In my experience, I’ve seen parties with international dance offs, silent karaoke, DJs in a costume, people jumping through hoops like human-dolphins, rap battles in front of a 7-eleven and I have even witnessed my own senior citizen stage parents partying on a roof deck til 3am because they could not be stopped leading line dances and singing Beatles songs on a karaoke machine. True story.

Ultimately, we are doing this for you, the community. We want you all to have a great time and experience improv in a whole different level. If budget is your issue, don’t let it stop you, send us a message and we can work something out so that you can take that workshop you really want to and join in all the fun.

This is it and here we go!

We Play for Cake

It’s the Queen’s Birthday* long weekend after all.

If there’s one thing we know it’s you can’t have a birthday without cake.

So, in the spirit of tradition, we’ve created the “Cake Prize” which will be awarded at the end of the festival to the performers who receive the highest praise from the commoners in the crowd.

This will be unscientifically and arbitrarily based on applause. And her majesty’s decision is final.

It even tastes funny.

And while the cake will most likely be purchased at the last minute from some dodgy supermarket, it will serve as a deliciously impermanent trophy of the highest order.

Because just like an improv show, when it’s gone, it’s gone. Never to be seen (or eaten again).

But the glory? That lasts forever.


*The Australian Improv Festival is held on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, which is celebrated on the second Monday in June in all states and territories except Queensland and Western Australia, because they don’t like her very much.

If you thought the Queen’s birthday was on 21 April, then well done you trivia master. She actually has two birthdays each year. Which, in theory explains why she’s so old. This is because, in the past, official celebrations to mark a King or Queen’s birthday in the UK were held on a day that isn’t their actual birthday. The double birthday tradition was started more than 250 years ago by King George II in 1748, who was a greedy bastard and never happy with the amount of presents he got.