Inspiring The Improvisor

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Office Administrator

Alana 2020Alana Marchetto
Office Administration
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Alana joins the ITI from the crazy world of Entertainment Journalism for Canadian Film and Television. With a passion for all things arts, she is also an award winning fiber artist, designer and instructor for knitting and crochet enthusiasts and beginners. Once upon a time she wrote an honours thesis in Social Anthropology exploring world youth, music and global/local dynamics. While she herself isn’t very funny she is a die hard fan of classic British comedy. As the Office Administrator, she would like it known that being organized is no laughing matter.

Board Members

karenKaren Brown Fournell
Board President
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Karen Brown Fournell is a 20-year veteran of arts administration, serving with Rapid Fire Theatre, the third-oldest Theatresports Company in the World. RFTevolution has ranged from a 10-fold increase in number of shows and corporate bookings to increased profile as one of the busiest, most diverse and energetic theatre producers in Edmonton, with tendrils across the globe. As President of the ITI for the past seven years, she has worked to strengthen the service model, increase education opportunities and boost the network that is the global improv community. She fully embraces the improv tenet to make the other guy look good.

rebeccaRebecca Northan Board Member

Rebecca Northan has been improvising for 28 years. She has been a member of the Loose Moose Theatre company since 1988, and although she no longer lives in Calgary, she shows up at the Moose several times a year. In recent history, Rebecca created the hit-show, Blind Date, which marries improvisation, theatre and clown training in a performance that features an audience member in a lead role. The success of Blind Date has spun off into what Rebecca has dubbed “spontaneous theatre”, and she now has several other projects in development, including “An Undiscovered Shakespeare” at the Stratford Festival of Canada. She has a BFA in Theatre, has been a Sessional Instructor at the University of Calgary, and is a mentor for the Master Acting Class at the Canadian Film Centre. Rebecca also works in mainstream theatre, film, and television.

JohnGilchristJohn Gilchrist Board Member
John Gilchrist is best known for his thirty-eight years as a restaurant critic for CBC Radio Calgary and as a prolific writer on food and restaurants. He also taught Food & Culture programs at the University of Calgary for many years. A native Albertan, he attended the U of C with most of the original members of Loose Moose, graduating in 1977.
Gilchrist was also the first manager of Loose Moose (1979 – 84) and created the role of Commentator for TheatreSports. He performed in many Loose Moose productions including Waiting for Godot and The TheatreSports Hamlet, both directed by Keith Johnstone; Blithe Spirit, directed by Mel Tonken; and the original Moose production of Ben-Hur. He acted as producer on many of the productions and organized the first TheatreSports tournaments between Calgary and Vancouver as well as Moose tours to Quebec and New York.
Gilchrist returns to the Moose for special occasions – the Calgary Winter Olympics, the 25th and 35th Anniversaries – and is now happily enjoying retirement in Calgary with his lovely wife Catherine Caldwell.

Veena 567CastingWorkbook Veena Sood Board Member 

Veena Sood is one of the co-founders and developers of Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre Company. By age 20, she had completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at The University of Calgary, where she studied drama with Keith Johnstone, and helped originate Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre company. 
She is the Vancouver artistic director of Keith Johnstone’s impro format The Life Game, which she co-produced 10 LifeGame podcast episodes for CBC Canada.  Veena primarily works acting in film & television, as well as teaches impro to film students at Vancouver’s Capilano University. 
She’s also been awarded numerous honors for her body of work & contributions to the artistic community in Canada. 
Veena’s an outdoor enthusiast; kayaking & hiking the British Columbia coastline and heli-hiking & horseback riding the Canadian Rockies. www.veenasood.com
  

Jill J 2020Jill Johnson Treasurer

Jill is a writer and producer of web series, screenplays, poetry, and stage plays. Herwriting has been performed on a variety of stages including the Vancouver Fringe Festival, The Vancouver Comedy Festival, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and Glasgow Comedy Festival. She produced 2 web series, as well as collaborating with CBC Radio Canada on the pilot episode of Keith Johnstone’s The Life Game to bring Keith's format to a podcast platform.  Jill is a past board member of Women in Film and Television Vancouver, and has volunteered on various Film and Theatre selection committees.  When not at her desk, Jill is an outdoor enthusiast; heli-hiking in the Rockies, paddle boarding with mosquitos, and cooking with fire.  She looks forward to working with ITI.  Currently, Jill manages Centennial Theatre, in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

IMG 6773Helén Vikstvedt Board Member 

Helén Vikstvedt is and actor, dancer and comedian. She is a graduate of both the Norwegian National Ballet School and the Norwegian National Theatre School. She has been working for many years as actor, dancer and choreographer at, amongst others, the National Theatre of Norway and the Oslo New Theatre. Helén has specialized in improvised theatre and has several times been Nordic champion in Theatresports. In 2005 Helén had great success in the role of Selma in the Norwegian film comedy “37 ½”. She played the roll of Raspa in the childrens film comedy “Dr. Proctor and the Time-travelling Bathtub” and in 2018 Helén featured in the Finnish heavy metal comedy “Hevi Reissu” She is currently in production on a new Norwegian sitcom to be released in 2021. As a curiosity Helén is also the Norwegian champion (veteran class) in Kettlebell sport.

Dave Ware Board Member 0.Dave1 Copy
 
Dave Ware has been improvising for over 30 years. Dave has been a member of the Loose Moose Theatre Company since 1986, and continues to be one to this day. Dave has trained with Keith Johnstone, Dennis Cahill and Graeme Davies, and has performed and taught improvisation in a number of countries, and has appeared on stage, and in television and film projects. He has spent years visiting and performing with many improv companies around the world, and loves every minute of it. Dave is a visual artist who works in Lego exclusively, and has garnered many awards in both Canada and the United States.

Martina P 2021Martina Pavone Board Member 

Martina Pavone has been on a stage since she was 5 years old, she studied Theatre, Musical Theatre, and Music. Later she became a professional Improvisor touring all around Europe thanks to her special project #improvvocal, the marriage of vocal improvisation and improvisational theatre. She is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey and she also works as a Corporate Trainer, Consultant and Coach collaborating with Universities and NGOs using Applied Improvisation techniques and playful approaches on topics such as communication, leadership, change management, group behaviour, diversity and inclusion. She co-founded the WonderFULL Academy - an online platform for digital learning and she is the creator of WonderFULL Women, an initiative that promotes and empowers women.

                               Hashm Nasser Board Member 

Hashm began improvising at the Loose Moose Theatre Company in 1985 and has been involved in the improvisation and comedy community in Canada in a variety of roles including performing, writing, directing and administration. He also spent ten years with Rapid Fire Theatre, working with outstanding individuals at Edmonton’s most well-known and oldest improvisational theatre. He has worked in the private sector and owned his own businesses. Recently retired after a thirty year career with the Government of Canada, Hashm received his Bachelor’s of Commerce from the University of Calgary in 1988 and his MBA from Queen’s University in 2007. He is also very involved in his community, coaching hockey for nearly 20 years, and as the current vice president of Hockey Operations for his local hockey association. Hashm currently lives in Ottawa, Canada with his three wonderful daughters and is honoured to be working with the ITI.

Regional Reps

mariana

Mariana Lima Muniz
Central and South America Representative This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Mariana Lima Muniz is a Brazilian improviser and Professor at the Department of Theatre, Cinema and Photography at UFMG, one of the most important University of Latin America. She’ve been working with improvisations groups in Spain and Brazil since 1999. She’s the author of the Improvisação como Espetáculo, the first book in Portuguese about improvisation ever published. She’s also a author of many papers about improvisation published in Brazil, Spain, Mexico and Argentina and the producer of an important Brazilian International Impro Festival called FIMPRO.

yuriYuri Kinugawa
Asia Region Representative This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yuri has been a professional improviser, teacher, writer, researcher and actor for 30 years. She learnt improvisation from Keith Johnston at Loose Moose Theatre Company summer school in 1995. As an improviser, she has performed in the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, China, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. She is the member of Orcas Island Project (International Impro Company). As a teacher, she has taught improvisation for many schools and organisations in Japan including the four main University Theatre Department in Tokyo. She has also taught in Canada, France, Holland, Colombia, Italy, China and NZ. 
  She is art director of Impro Works Ltd. (the longest-running Impro Theatre company in Japan) http://www.impro-works.info./ She directed “Theatresports” for Tokyo Federation of Theatre Universities in 2016 (1000 audience). As a writer, she has published 3 books about improvisation. As a researcher, she has studied improvisation and creativity as a PhD student at University of Tokyo. She is the member of Applied Improvisation Network. Het talk is below https://youtu.be/mcruN5uifMk
Awards: Best Actress in the International Stockholm Film Festival in 1998, Best Foreign Performer in New Zealand in 1998, Best Presentation in Japanese Cognitive Science Society 2019 (Title: Changes in theatre acting caused by repetition). 

emilEmil Husby
Nordic Region Representative This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Emil is based in Trondheim, Norway, where he currently serves as Artistic Director for the voluntary impro company The Impro Operators. When not improvising, he spends his time diligently tapping away on his Master’s thesis in Antarctic history and travelling the world looking for mountains to climb, both metaphorically and literally. Aside from history and climbing, he also enjoys good books, chocolate, and dancing, even though he isn’t very good at that last one.
Emil accidentally stumbled across the work of Keith Johnstone in a high school drama class, and he has since sought out Johnstone’s work wherever he could find it, both in print and in workshops with the man himself. All of this gave him a taste for further exploring improvised theater, and he has spent much of his time since then both seeking out new teachers, and organizing, acting in, and directing improvised shows – among them all of Keith’s formats. He is thrilled to get the chance to help the ITI in its mission to build a sharing and caring global impro community.”

elahElena Lah
Europe West Region Representative This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Elena is a graduate in international law. She then became a visual designer, combining these skills with journalism writing, directing and acting, with particular attention to the technique of improvisation.
The mission she likes most is the one of Muse, the cultural association she cofounded, promotes the cultural, historical and artistic Italian richness using new technology. She is a webmaster, a web designer and deals with the content management. These skills help her to create full multimedia products, such as websites, books, videos, promotional campaigns and applications.
She started improvising in 2006 with Teatribù. In 2010 she founded, together with other stage fellows of Brianza, the Cultural Association Improvincia, which is a school and a theater company. She’s now the President of the association.
In 2011 she wrote, directed, starred in and produced MOBY 451, a play dedicated to the tragedy of the fairy Moby Prince, with shows in Milan, Genoa, Taranto and Livorno. In 2013 she founded FRIDA, a sustainable economic reality based on the communication of culture. In July 2015 she organized MITICO – Milano International Theatresports Institute Conference. Since 2015 she is working with I Bugiardini on “Shhhh! An improvised silent movie”, with whom she was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016.

Arjun 2019  Arjun Mehra  Africa & Middle East Region Representative and Artistic Director

Arjun accidentally stumbled upon improv through a meetup group for ‘Improv in the Park’ in Barcelona, and he hasn’t turned back since. He volunteered and performed as part of the ensemble cast at The Courtyard Playhouse in Dubai, where he worked on numerous formats, including Maestro, Gorilla, and TheatreSports. While at the Courtyard, Arjun also produced and directed a comedy duo act named ‘Hummus and Raju’, and a group format named ‘i-Object’. He moved to Bangalore in 2018 and joined Improv Comedy Bangalore (ICB), which hosted India’s first Improv Festival in 2018. He began teaching intensive improv courses for beginners, advanced practitioners, and corporates.

When Arjun is not working on improv, he works as a food critic, restaurant reviewer, and a writer of everything related to gastronomy. His philosophy of life basically revolves around ‘Yes, and’, and ‘Could I have some more, please?’.

Kivanc2020Kamil Kivanç Özdemir  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Europe East Regional Representative
Kıvanç Özdemir has been working on Improvisation for the past 10 years as a member of AZOT IMPRO. He has been teaching Improv for 5 years, inTurkish and English. He was in the organizational team of the first two Istanbul International Improv Festival. He is a member of SABIR Mediterranean group, who work on socio-political Improv with Italy, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia. With his group he won the first national Improv League in 2016. He is collaborating with the International Theatresports Institute, translating the Theatresports guide in turkish and, together with Martina, bringing different Improvisational Cultures and guests to Turkey (Improvworkshopsinistanbul). He is currently collaborating with Assetto Teatro as a trainer for the master program “La Cantina”. In his free time he is a lawyer, specialized in criminal law and has master of art on forensic medicine working for his own law practice in Istanbul.
Since 2013, he is a board member of ONAR Istanbul working to fight Gender Based Violence and empower women as the Head of the Law Department and Trainer in Universities and Schools about GBV, Divorce, Foreigners, child protection, Integration & Inclusion.

 Cam Percy 2020Cam Percy

Oceania Region Representative This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cam is a school teacher turned improvisation teacher, director, performer and forever-student based in Brisbane, Australia. She started improvising in 2010 with ImproMafia and went on to hold the positions of President and Training Director with the company. Cam has been around Australia and the world teaching, directing and performing improvisation, including her original formats Fears by FirelightSwipe Right and The New Tales of Quinn. Cam has also produced, directed and performed in Maestro™, Theatresports™  and Gorilla Theatre™ shows. In Brisbane, she teaches impro for personal development, performance and corporate teams. She believes that nothing connects you to the present moment and to other people like improvising theatre.

jeffJeff Gladstone
North America West Region Representative This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jeff was first introduced to improv at the University of Calgary by his acting teacher, Keith Johnstone. Jeff joined the Loose Moose Theatre Company that same year and has never looked back. The following year, Jeff began teaching specialty courses in Status and Mask at the U of C. Jeff relocated to Vancouver in 2000 where he joined the local improv scene, performing in sold out shows for multiple companies. In 2009 along with Veena Sood, Jeff founded Truth Be Told Theatre, a Vancouver company dedicated to performing Keith’s format, The Life Game.

Jeff works constantly in theatre and film, while investing all the rest of his time to improvisation, both as the director of education for the new Tightrope Impro Theatre in Vancouver, and as a regional representative and Artistic Director for the International Theatresports Institute.



neal Amy McKenzie
North America East Region Representative and Secretary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Amy McKenzie is a founding director and General Manager of Oakville Improv Theatre Company in Ontario, Canada, which is in its tenth year. She participated as writer/associate producer of Train 48 (a televised improv serial) and wrote and performed in all five seasons of History Bites as well as voicing and writing sketches for CBC Radio with the Six Flying Hamsters. She works with ArtHouse, teaching improv to youth in the region of Halton. The work of Keith Johnstone has influenced many of her life choices, including her husband of almost thirty years (Duncan McKenzie), who she met at Toronto Theatresports in 1987. She’s honoured to participate in an organization that promotes and disseminates Keith’s work to as many artists and audiences around the world as possible. 

Thank you to our past board members!
Daniel Orrantia, Dennis Cahill, Erik Van der Liet, Felipe Ortiz, Frank Totino, Geoffrey Dolan, Helene Abrahamsen, Jukka Lindstrom, Michael Durkin, Nadine Antler, Nathalie van Renterghem, Patti Stiles, Shawn Kinley, Terra Hazelton, Vera Achatkin, Jay Ono, Vid Sodnik, Jun Imai, Chris Wells, Doug Wong, Kylie Schultz, Steve Jarand, Neal Leaheey, Marko Mustac, Dan O'Connor