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Vancouver TheatreSports at Granville Island’s Improv Centre

Vancouver Theatresports League

The Improv Centre is a comedy club that runs shows and classes on Granville Island. The organization used to be called Vancouver TheatreSports.

As of October, 2022, the venue currently runs shows on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

 


To learn about what’s showing see the Improv Centre‘s website or our article about What’s Showing at the Improv Centre. To learn about the venue in general, including its shows, continue reading.


 

Vancouver’s Improv Centre Comedy Club

The Improv Centre is a highly-acclaimed Vancouver-based improv comedy company. Throughout the year they run a variety of shows and classes, from family-friendly comedy to adults-only to seasonal classics.

Founded in 1980, Vancouver TheatreSports first resided in the Back Alley Theatre. Throughout the years it has consistently drawn large crowds and now has its own theatre, The Improv Centre on Granville Island.

Vancouver TheatreSports has won multiple International Improv Comedy Awards as well as starred in several television specials. During pre-pandemic times they ran 11 or so shows a week, 52 weeks a year. In good years they entertain more than 60,000 people annually.

 

Improv Centre Location

Located at 1502 Duranleau Street, the Improv Centre is on Granville Island by False Creek in downtown Vancouver. The theatre is near the entrance to Granville Island not far from the Kids’ Market and Granville Island Brewing.

Note: Pay parking is in effect throughout Granville Island between 11 am and 6 pm. That’s okay though as most shows at the Improv Centre take place in the evening, so when parking is free.

 


For tickets and full details about the venue, see the Improv Centre‘s website.


 

What’s Showing at Vancouver Theatresports?

The Improv Centre usually offers live theatre most evenings of the week and features holiday-themed shows at Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Christmas and other special seasonal occasions.

 

Improv Centre Plays

 

2022 TheatreSports Lineup

The Improv Centre was closed for quite some time during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it officially reopened in 2022. The following are shows scheduled as of August that year:

  • Date Night – a new 90-minute show celebrating dating, relationships and more every Wednesday at 7:30 pm. Early-bird tickets are as low as $15 each.
  • Drag at The Improv – taking place on one Sunday each month for up to 2 hours, the show is hosted by Xana and features talented dancers, singers and more. Tickets start at about $23 each.
  • Stand Up at The Improv – stand-up comedy by both Canadian and international headliners on one Sunday each month at 7:30 pm. The cheapest tickets cost about $23.
  • House Teams Showcase – a 90-minute show featuring various fast-paced styles of live improv. It takes place on Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm. Admission starts at about $8 per person.
  • TheatreSports – two teams of improv specialists compete in entertaining matches on Fridays and Saturdays. Shows begin at 7:30 and 9:30 pm and run for 90 minutes each. Tickets start at about $23.

 

Improv Centre Theatresports

 

TheatreSports Past Lineup

The following Vancouver TheatreSports shows played at the Improv Centre on Granville Island in the spring of 2020. This can give you an idea of what you might be able to expect once the company starts offering a full schedule of shows once again.

  • Classic TheatreSports: Laugh Til Your Face Hurts – two teams of actors competed in a series of improv theatre matches on most Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Tickets started at $10.75.
  • OK Tinder: Swipe Right Comedy – a one-hour show with a Vancouver dating-scene theme. It took place on Thursday evenings. Tickets started at $10.75.
  • The Late Show – edgy and uncensored improv comedy theatre for adults-only (ages 19+) on Saturdays at 11:15 pm. Tickets cost about $10.
  • Rookie Night – Sunday evenings featured rookie actors who completed improv training through the Improv Comedy Institute. Tickets started at $8.75 (which was less expensive than other shows).
  • Frisky Friday – comedy theatre where the actors “explore the funny side of naughty.” These performances were for adults only (ages 19+) and took place most Fridays at 11:15 pm. Tickets started at $10.00.

 

Improv Centre Comedy Shows

 

Other Typical Shows

Vancouver TheatreSports used to run one or two different shows on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and two or three different shows on Fridays (including a feature show, Classic TheatreSports and Frisky Friday). On Saturdays there were again two or three different shows (but this time a feature show, Classic TheatreSports and The Late Show). Sundays has usually been Rookie Night.

There are usually no shows on Mondays, and shows on Tuesdays only during peak seasons. Feature shows usually run for a limited time and have a seasonal theme (like for Christmas or Valentine’s Day). When there is no feature show then there is usually an extra performance of Classic TheatreSports instead (or at least that was the case pre-pandemic).

 


For more information about the venue, see the Vancouver TheatreSports website.


 

Vancouver Theatresports Improv Centre
The Improv Centre on Granville Island

 

Ticket Prices

Shows with Vancouver TheatreSports are usually very affordable. Pre-pandemic, Sundays were when shows were least expensive (when seats are just $8.75 for everyone), followed by the 11:15 pm late shows on Fridays and Saturdays (when tickets cost $10).

In 2020, tickets for regular performances that lasted for about an hour or ninety minutes cost between $8.75 and $18.75 for adults, or either $8.75 or $10 for students and seniors (with valid ID) depending on the day.

In 2021, the tickets were a little more expensive, as is the case in 2022 again. Tickets for the TheatreSports shows in January started at around $18 or $23 depending on the show.

 


For more information about the venue visit the Vancouver TheatreSports website.


 

What Is Improv?

Improv, or improvisational theatre, is a form of live theatre that is unscripted and unplanned. Most often improv is done in the comedy genre.

In a typical improv show a team (or teams) of actors do short skits. They are given scenes to play out (sometimes with input provided randomly by the crowd) and the actors have to perform on the spot. It’s typically very funny and not infrequently involves singing and audience participation.

On different days and times of the year the shows have different themes. There are Christmas-themed shows in December, nights with dating and romance themes around Valentine’s Day, and skits about mothers and mothers-in-law around Mother’s Day.

 

Improv Centre

 

Things to Know About the Shows

Below is some useful information to help you make the most out of your theatresports experience on Granville Island.

  • Tickets can be purchased for performances either online or at the venue.
  • When arriving for a show, The Improv Centre recommends going early, around 30 minutes before show time. Don’t arrive late or you won’t be allowed in (at least not until the intermission).
  • Shows that are 90 minutes in length have an intermission. During that time latecomers can generally get in. Performances with a duration of an hour or less, however, do not have intermissions.
  • The same as with cinemas and other live theatre venues, attendees must turn off their phones during performances. Also, neither photos nor video recordings are permitted. You can, however, take photos before and after each show as well as during the intermission.
  • Food and beverages are available for purchase and can be consumed in the theatre during the show. Outside food and drinks, however, are not permitted.
  • As some of the content is more for mature audiences, viewer discretion is recommended. Children under the age of 8 are not usually permitted to attend. Anyone between the ages of 8 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult aged 19 or older. The late comedy shows are just for adults ages 19+.
  • The Improv Centre is wheelchair accessible. As accessible seating is limited, however, guests are advised to contact the Box Office at least a full day before a show and the booking of tickets.

 


To learn more about the venue click Vancouver TheatreSports.


 

The Improv Comedy Institute

In addition to their theatre shows, The Improv Centre also runs improv classes through their Improv Comedy Institute. There are classes for every acting skill level from beginner to advanced.

In 2022 there are Drop-In Workshops every Saturday from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. The workshops are for anyone wanting to learn the basics of improvisation. There are also Community Jam sessions on the last Saturday of every month, which is when anyone can get on stage for free.

Vancouver TheatreSports runs improv classes and workshops for businesses as well. They also do improv for events and produce over 150 custom shows for corporations and other organizations every year.

 

Other Information

For more details about the venue and its shows see the official Improv Centre website.

For an idea of what to expect at special holiday season-themed performances, see our article about Vancouver TheatreSports Valentine’s Shows.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: