The Learning + Fun program is back with professional development opportunities for comedians of all levels. We have gathered comedy tastemakers and industry leaders for skill building workshops and community building panels March 6-17, 2024. Learning and Fun is packed with stimulating, comfortable and informative panels and workshops – plus exclusive parties and community get togethers.
Whether you are a Festival performer, an emerging comedian, or you are just starting to write and perform sketch comedy on stage or online – there is something for you in the Learning and Fun Program.
Write Your First Comedy Song
Saturday, March 9 at 11am – BMO Incubator – Theatre Centre
Instructor: Fatuma Adar
Ever wanted to write a funny song but don’t know where to start? Award-winning writer and musical comedian Fatuma Ardar shows you the ropes in this immersive workshop. After learning the fundamentals, participants will be split into groups to write and perform their first comedy song.
Comedy Road Trip Panel #1
Saturday, March 9 at 1:30 pm – BMO Incubator – Theatre Centre
Host: Cam Wyllie
Panelists: Margarita Brighton (LA/Toronto), Allison Moira Kelly(Newfoundland), Justin Allan Kimball (Chicago), Jeffery Kitt (NYC), Woody Fu (LA/NYC), Cam Wyllie (Toronto)
“Comedy Road Trip” panel features festival performers hailing from different comedy communities across North America. This panel aims to provide insights into the sketch comedy scenes in different cities. Attendees will get an opportunity to network, make friends and ask questions about seeing and performing comedy in different locales.
BRUNCH!: A Clown and Creative Play Workshop
Saturday, March 9 at 2 pm – Sweet Action Theatre
Instructors: Ken Hall, Issac Kessler, Gordon Neill
Do you find your sketch and improv comedy a bit stale? Craving for more physicality in your live comedy performances? You know your material is great but it’s not quite hitting your audience in the way you hoped? Wish you had more fun doing funny things on stage? Then you need to come to BRUNCH!
Brought to you by Sweet Action Theatre, Toronto’s Home for the Ridiculous, BRUNCH! is a spiritually mathematical science based approach© to creative play© of course. Lol jkjk©, just our own school haha©. It’s kinda like school, but just the recess part. We’re going to explore audience connection, group mind, Devising, the Neutral body, energy, musicality, rhythm and more – and all with creative play© in mind (…and body). As you can see, we have lofty goals for this class. We may fail at reaching them all, but we’re going to have fun trying together.
We’ve sold out 8 straight sessions, so join us for this special preview class, and come get a nibble at what all the fun is about!
Directing Live Sketch Comedy 101
Sunday, March 10 at 12pm – Franco Boni – Theatre Centre
Instructor: Kirsten Rasmussen
Directing 101- A workshop outlining Director’s role for sketch comedy from premise generating to script to stage. A workshop for folks with an interest in directing, and a workshop for folks who want to have more knowledge when hiring a director for their sketch show needs. We’ll do some premise generation, we’ll walk through script work, how to stage scenes and how to approach a running order. Taught by award-winning comedian and director Kirsten Rasmussen.
Comedy Road Trip Panel #2
Saturday, March 16 at 12 pm – Gallery – Theatre Centre
Host: Chili Davidson
Panelists: Robyn Slack (Edmonton), Seth K. Thomas (LA), Amanda Xeller (NYC), Donna Lewis (Virginia), Sara Meleika (Montreal),
Comedy Road Trip brings together comedians and producers from across North America to discuss the current landscape of sketch comedy, with a glimpse into their local scenes. Through this fun shop talk between comedy colleagues, attendees will get a sense of what is going on in various comedy communities including opportunities and challenges, audience attitudes, the pros and cons of traveling for performance opportunities.
Creating Characters Workshop
Saturday, March 16 at 1:00 PM – BMO Incubator – Theatre Centre
Instructor: Seth K. Thomas
Creating interesting characters is hard. Playing them well is even harder. In this immersive workshop, comedian Seth K. Thomas shows you how to create endless characters ready to play. In the words of Viola Spolin, “the techniques of the theatre are the techniques of communicating.” Rooted in the concept, this workshop approaches character building through discovering the nonverbal communication of the character. At its core it is an awareness workshop. Every performer is using the technique in life and stage already, they just don’t know it.