Next Act Festival

COVID-19 Program Update

From the Canadian Improv Games Board of Directors:

It is with a heavy heart that the Board of the Canadian Improv Games (“CIG”) announces the cancellation of the CIG National Tournament as well as CIG’s summer programming Improv U, Next Act, Improvcamp. At this stage we believe the pace of infection and increasing impact of COVID-19 in our communities makes cancellation the safest and most responsible course of action.

These programs are the culmination of the hard work and commitment to improvised excellence by students, teachers, volunteers and theatre professionals from across the country, and the decision to cancel was not made lightly. However we are committed to being responsible members of our communities, and we believe this decision is a reflection of that.

The Staff and Board of the Canadian Improv Games wish our students and all of our communities – volunteers, teachers, families, audiences and alumni – the best of health. 



Next Act is an intensive 4-day training program and festival for improvisers ages 19 to 24. Registered participants take part in a series of in depth improv training sessions with master instructors from across Canada while honing their skills at night – as members of a Next Act ensemble – through a series of performance opportunities at established local theatres and venues.


About the Next Act Festival

The festival, held in a new city each year, is also meant to expose young improvisers to the different improv communities (and rich Canadian theatre histories) of specific cities across Canada. Accordingly, programming will include a selection of meaningful local experiences.

Registration includes:

  • 4 days of intensive workshops with master instructors
  • 3 nights of performances
  • 4 days and nights of team-building, social activities and local sight-seeing adventures
  • Unlimited special memories and high fives


Festival Producer, Shawn Norman

Shawn Norman is the Regional Producer for the Canadian Improv Games Lower Mainland Tournament and a founding member of Little Mountain Improv in Vancouver. Since stepping into the world of improv in 1999, he has had the pleasure of performing and leading workshops across Canada and in the US. He has been featured in festivals in Toronto, Regina, Winnipeg, Victoria, Portland, and Seattle, along with many appearances in his hometown Vancouver Improv Festival. He’s most proud of his work as one of the artistic forces behind the Canadian Improv Games, bringing the joy improv to young people across Canada.

Kelli Ogmundson

Kelli Ogmundson is an actor and comedian from Vancouver. She has performed in festivals across Canada with her group Benjamins and as a member of the weekly show Little Mountain Improv. She can also be seen performing on stage in shows such as Fun Home (Arts Club Theatre Company), Elephant and Piggie’s: We Are In A Play! and Peter Pan (Carousel Theatre For Young People). This past year she starred as Bryn on the CBC Original Comedy Cavendish and has been featured on Netflix’s Haters Back Off, CW’s Supernatural, multiple ponies on My Little Pony as well as local and national ad campaigns. She has been heard on the acclaimed podcasts Stop Podcasting Yourself and Retail Nightmares. Kelli is a graduate of Capilano University’s Musical Theatre Program and a Canadian Improv Games national competitor.

Tim Carlson

Tim Carlson is an actor, director, writer and comedian based out of Vancouver, BC. He is thrilled to be teaching at the Next Act Festival. He has taught and toured with both Little Mountain Improv and LORAX across Canada and the US. Improv highlights include performing at UCB Sunset, The Magnet Theatre in New York, The Detroit Improv Festival, Combustion Festival, Improvaganza and The Vancouver International Improv Festival. Recent Theatre credits include Miss Bennet Christmas at Pemberley (Arts Club), Our Town (Caravan Farm Theatre) and Hotel Bethlehem (Ruby Slippers). Film credits include Travelers (Netflix) The Magicians (SyFy) This Blows (CBC) Supernatural (CW) and Young Drunk Punk (CBC). You can see him perform in Vancouver with his group Little Mountain Improv every Tuesday.

Ronald Dario

Ronald Dario is an improviser, sketch comedian, and actor from Vancouver, BC. He’s trained at Blind Tiger Comedy, Instant Theatre, and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre in New York. Ronald is a teacher at Blind Tiger Comedy, a Program Coordinator for its Diversity Program, and is an alumnus of its sketch and improv house teams. Ronald performs weekly with his improv group Little Mountain Improv and has appeared at festivals like Just For Laughs NorthWest, Rapid Fire Theatre’s Improvaganza’s Festival Ensemble, UCB Theatre’s Del Close Marathon, and Vancouver Improv Fest. Ronald has also directed and starred in comedy shorts for the CBC and groups like Brunch Comedy, the Sunday Service, and himself.

Agenda (subject to change):

August 25th

Arrivals and Next Act Eve party!

8:30 pm: All participants will receive admission to Little Mountain Improv’s weekly Tuesday Night show.

10 pm: Welcoming party in the Little Mountain Gallery (10 pm onwards).

August 26th

10 am – 1 pm: Workshop 1 – Scenework with Ronald Dario

1 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch Break

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Workshop 2 – Ensemble Building with Ronald Dario

Evening: Karaoke night!

August 27th

10 am – 1 pm: Workshop 3 – Short Form Games with Tim Carlson

1 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch Break

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Workshop 4 – The Bat with Tim Carlson

8 pm: Performance 1 – Short Form & The Bat

The show will open with some fun short form developed in the day’s workshop, then finish off with a performance of The Bat, a long form show performed entirely in the dark!

August 28th

10 am – 1 pm: Workshop 5 – Character Work with Kelli Ogmundson

1 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch Break

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Workshop 6 -Blaugh with Kelli Ogmundson

8 pm: Performance 2 – Blaugh

Blaugh is a show, developed by Ghost Jail in Toronto, where we invite a guest writer to write the first 5 pages of a play which is kept secret from the improvisers and staged live. After the pages run out, the rest will be improvised!

August 29th

10 am – 1 pm: Workshop 7 – Remixing Scenes with Shawn Norman

1 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch Break

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Workshop 8 – The Remix, show building with Shawn Norman

8 pm: Performance 3 – The Remix

Our final performance will be all about finding meaning in a flurry of small story fragments. Beats will be quick and be brought back in new contexts, and scenes will overlap as we build something marvellous!

After the show: Closing night party!

August 30th

Any participants remaining in town will be invited to join us for a lovely Vancouver brunch. In the evening we will watch one of Vancouver’s best weekly improv shows, the Sunday Service at the Fox Cabaret.


Applicants who are accepted and pay their registration before March 1st will pay our early bird rate of $299. After that, registration will cost $350.


The Next Act Festival registration does not include accommodation. We will provide some suggestions for where to stay and attempt to arrange billets where possible. More details to come!

Registration by application!

You can apply now right here.

For more information, please contact Next Act Festival at