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Audience Info

Whose fault is this?

The Australian Improv Festival is brought to you by Laugh-Masters Academy, Australia’s first and only long-form “Chicago style” improv and sketch comedy school operating in Sydney and Melbourne.

What even is improv comedy and theatre?

If you’re new to improv comedy theatre, the main thing to know is trained performers will spontaneously create characters, dialogue, and an entire show using your suggestions or stories as inspiration.

Every show is unique, never to be seen or repeated again. Ever.

It will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next, how the performers do it (hint, they took improv classes), and laughing along as unscripted scenes evolve before your very eyes.

And while you may be familiar with Whose Line is it Anyway, Thank God You’re Here or even TheatreSports, there’s so much more to improvisational theatre. (See: What is Improv?)

In fact, most of the funny people you love to watch on TV and in films got their start in improv, from Tina Fey to Steve Carrell to Amy Poehler to Will Ferrell.

So come see what it’s all about, have a laugh, take a workshop, and make some mates.

When do tickets and festival passes go on sale?

Usually around April. Use these links to register for workshops and buy tickets. Subscribe using the form at the bottom of this page so you don’t miss out updates, last minutes changes, Early Bird specials and other Festival news.

Note: Early Bird ends mid May, 2020

Where do I get tickets?

Buy show tickets in advance online or at the door on the night.

Registration for workshops is online only.

How much are tickets?

Shows tickets are $25 inc. venue ticketing fee. There is no processing fee if you buy tickets directly from The Factory Theratre Box Office prior to the event or on the night.

Workshop registration is $99 per workshop. Please see the Workshops page for more info.

Where will the festival be held?

We are thrilled and honored to be hosting the 2nd annual Australian Improv Comedy Festival Shows at the acclaimed Factory Theatre in Sydney.

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

Performer / Teacher Info

Where do I register as a performer and/or teacher?

For 2020 we are managing applications ourselves on this site. It’s a bit clunky as you have to pay with Paypal, but people seem to be figuring it out.

How much stage time will performers receive?

All teams will get a minimum of 25 minutes. If you need more, let us know. Some teams may get to perform more than once schedule permitting.

What is the range of shows and styles the festival is seeking?

We lean long-form, but all styles of improv are welcome. We are open to new formats and unusual ideas. Show us what you got.

What is the local improv scene like?

Growing – and awesome. Short-form has been around since the ’80s, but long-form is relatively new – and a wonderful community is blossoming as a result.

What are the festival’s goals?

The Australian Improv Festival is a place for local and international improvisers to come together as a community for a long weekend of shows, workshops and endless discussions on where you can find the best flat white.

AIF was created to offer a space where improvisers can meet other improvisers from around the world. It’s an opportunity for people to showcase the many ways improv has grown, evolved and made an impact in our lives and communities. 

It’s a place to fail gloriously, play generously, and succeed hilariously. 

Through this, we hope to expand the audience for improv theatre in Australia and get more people to join the cult.

Err… community.

What unique improv experiences will performers gain?

They get to say they survived Australia.

How is this different than Improvention?

We recently learned from Nick Byrne that there won’t be an Improvention this year (2019) and it’s unlikely to happen in 2020.

He plans to pivot Improvention to become a global event which, at some unknown time in the future, might be held in different cities around the world – and definitely not Canberra.

Stylistically, Improvention has historically leaned short-form, coming directly out of the Impro ACT scene, whereas The Australian Improv festival leans “Chicago style” long-form.

That said we here at AIF welcome and celebrate all forms of improv, from all across Australia and the globe, and our program fully represents the comedic diversity of this art form whether it be long-form, short-form, or anything else.

Travel Info

What lodging options are available?

Staying with friends is great. AirBNB is good. Hotels are expensive but there are lots of cheap n cheerful. hostels/backpackers around. The festival will also be helping organise home-stays for overseas performers. Note that the VIVID Festival is on around this time in Sydney, so make sure to book ahead.

What transportation options are available?

Uber is awesome here. Buses are less awesome, and the trains are better than the buses. Taxis take cash or card and sometimes can cost just as much as an Uber. There’s a cheap train from the airport to Central Station and we recommend that for getting into the CBD. For any and all public transport you intend to use, make sure you pick up an Opal card at the airport. If you want to hire a car, we recommend the GoGet car share service, our newest sponsor.

What dining options are available?

Sydney is known as a “food city” and there is no shortage of great places to eat. Also, Little Caesars Pizza is an AIF sponsor, so there are discounts available if you’re into that sort of thing. Use code LMA2019.

What local events or attractions are available?

So many. Bondi, the Opera House, the Bridge, Manly, Taronga Zoo, the Drop Bears… Also the VIVID Festival is on so you might want to check that out.

What else?

Got another question?

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    The Australian Improv Festival is brought to you by Laugh-Masters Academy, Australia’s first and only long-form “Chicago style” improv and sketch comedy school operating in Sydney and Melbourne.