During the festival we have some amazing professional improvisers in town. If you’re an improviser, comedian or actor, here’s your chance to learn from the best!
Improv isn’t just about quick wit — sometimes the funniest thing you can say in a scene is simply speaking your truth. This workshop explores how honesty, playing the reality of the moment, and bringing in your emotional truth can be the most rewarding.
Coko Galore is a Toronto-based actor, comedian and curator. Coko wrote, performed and produced her first solo-show ‘Mixed Chick’ (dir. Leslie Seiler) at The Toronto Fringe Festival. She is one half of the acclaimed improv comedy duo Coko and Daphney. Together, they have performed in many festivals and shows including Just For Laughs’ alternative festival OFF-JFL/ZOOFEST and the Harbourfront Centre’s 2018 ‘Brave Festival’ opener sets, also curated by Coko. In 2016, Coko was Assistant Director to Julie Dumais Osborne’s acclaimed ‘La Grande Jatte’. Coko curates and produces various shows that highlight BIPOC & LGTBQ+ performers and stories including The Party Show, Kiss N Tell, and Black and Funny – Toronto. Coko Galore is currently Associate Artistic Director at The Bad Dog Theatre. Find her online: @cokogalore & cokogalore.com
Embracing Your Inner Idiot – Clown for Improvisers
Clown allows us to be silly, stupid and beautiful. This workshop is designed for improvisers to experience a new way of being on stage and connecting with an audience. We’ll also look at the idea of following the fun above everything else and playing moments that allow our inner idiots to shine.
Ken Hall is a Canadian Comedy Award Winner (Best Breakout Artist) and multiple CCA award nominee. You can see Ken as his extraterrestrial alter ego ‘Jeff the Grey’ on TBS’s hit show People of Earth. Ken is also an award winning director, actor, and writer and is one-half of the critically acclaimed comedic duo 2-MAN NO-SHOW with Isaac Kessler.
Ken has appeared in numerous film and television roles including an appearance on Conan and most recently alongside Mads Mikkelson in the new Netflix feature film Polar as well as the new Netflix series The Umbrella Academy as the body of Pogo.
He has had the pleasure to work for Cirque de Soleil and has studied Clown with master clown instructors, Philippe Gaulier, Francine Cote, Paola Coletto and Aitor Basauri. Ken has also studied improvisation at The Second City (Toronto), iO Theatre (Chicago), The Annoyance Theatre (Chicago) and The Upright Citizen’s Brigade (NYC).
Ken teaches improv, clown and public speaking at The Second City in Toronto.
This course will focus on stretching students’ abilities to play characters outside of their comfort zones and focus on bringing truth into even the most bizarre characters. Students will leave with various strategies on how to generate and maintain unique, interesting characters.
Nick Kanellis is an instructor, performer, and coach at the Magnet Theater. He was born and raised in Iowa City and began his theater and improv training at Northwestern University.
Nick spends a lot of his time working as a motion capture actor for 321Launch/Charlex, where he dons a spandex suit covered in reflective balls to do the movements for animated characters. He also works as an Improv/Theater/Creative Writing instructor with the Story Pirates and at the Calhoun School.
You can watch Nick do improv on Saturdays with his duo Trike (New York Times Critics Pick, Time Out New York Critics Pick, Splitsider Guide to Comedy-Best Weekly Shows) which the New York Times calls “reliably one of the best improv performances in the city.”
You can watch Nick on your computer or television in Commercials for Pur Water, Pace Salsa, Topps Juicy Drop Candies, Quirky, Toys R Us, Lexus, and more.
Fun Facts: Nick is a two time New Yorker Caption Contest winner, a National Champion in Humorous Interpretation for the National Forensic League, and was Homecoming King at Northwestern University.
Notice More, Invent Less
Much is established within the first moments of a scene, and yet so often we drop or ignore early choices we’ve made. This workshop will encourage improvisers to listen and notice more, both to themselves and their scene partners. You’ll explore and heighten what has already been established, rather than feel the need to invent.
Hannah Chase is the Megawatt Director, as well as an instructor and performer at the Magnet Theater. She first discovered improv in 2002, and has studied and worked with some truly fantastic teachers and performers across the country over the last 16 years.
You can see Hannah perform on Thursdays with her Block Party team, The Music Industry, and on Saturdays in the Armando Diaz Experience in New York. Hannah has also performed at dozens of improv festivals across the United States.
Hannah has created and directed a number of shows at the Magnet including The Cast, which plays on Saturday nights at the Magnet and which Elise Czajkowski (comedy journalist for the New York Times) called “One of the most exciting improv shows in New York City…. the perfect show for comedy and theater fans alike.” Hannah also created and directs The Blob, a Time Out NY Recommended Comedy Pick, as well as a number of other recurring shows.
Outside of The Magnet, you can hear Hannah’s voice in a number of Truth podcasts. In her free time, she loves alphabetizing lists, editing films, trying on other people’s glasses, learning about the brain, and reading and writing medical memoir comics. She’s still working on her website. It’s been five years.
We’ve all been there. That feeling of emptiness on stage; when a “yes and” feels more like a “please end this now”. Eff that. In this workshop, taught by Isaac Kessler (2-MAN NO-SHOW/S&P), we will focus on reigniting our love of improvisation through physicality and organic play. Fun is a technique, and Play is a muscle… so let’s get swole!
Isaac Kessler has been performing, writing, and producing comedy for over ten years. He is a multiple Canadian Comedy Award nominee nominated as Best Male Improviser in 2015. He is also one half of the award winning sketch/improv/clown duo 2-MAN NO-SHOW along with his comedic soulmate Ken Hall. Now based in Los Angeles, Isaac frequently showcases his solo work at The Lyric Hyperion Theatre, Second City, The Clubhouse, The Pack Theatre, and a smorgasbord of other Hollywood haunts. You can also catch him monthly in the improv/clown hybrid experiences, BRAIN KNIFE and DEEP SQUEEZE. Isaac has studied improv at The Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO Chicago, and UCB, and with a long list of many amazing teachers. For the last 8 years, Isaac has trained in Clown, Mask, and Physical Theatre with master instructors Philippe Gaulier, Paola Coletto, John Gilkey, Dr. Brown and Aitor Basauri.