Throwdown Gets 2018 Off to a Laughing Good Start

January is often the time of year when the winter blues set in – the holidays are over, the weather is blech, and you’ve received your credit card bill from December. The best antidote? A good dose of hearty laughter.

From January 2 through 21 Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTSL) rocks the laughs with its annual improv celebration, Throwdown International TheatreSports Festival, at its home theatre, The Improv Centre, on Granville Island. Throwdown welcomes TheatreSports™ teams from around the world who bring their A-Game to head-to head matches with each other and local teams comprised of VTSL’s top improvisers.

“This year I concentrated on inviting the best teams from the US as next year the entire TheatreSports™ world will be gathering in Vancouver for the 2019 International TheatreSports Institute Conference that VTSL is privileged to host,” comments VTSL Artistic Director Denise Jones. “Throwdown 2018 features fabulous team companies from Philadelphia, Boston, Bellingham, Portland, and our returning champs, the awesome group from Orlando (they won in 2016 and 2017).”

January 2 through 13 sees four local teams comprised of VTSL ensemble members play in a classic TheatreSports™ round robin competition for bragging rights as to who is the best in Vancouver. The laughs start to flow based on suggestions from the audience and things can quickly become quite partisan as audience members root for their favourite performers. As in all classic TheatreSports™ matches, the final outcome is determined by audience judges scoring each of the ‘games’ within a match. The team with the most points wins.

January 16 through 21 welcomes the five US teams in a series of hilarious matches and showcases designed to banish even the gloomiest of times. This line-up features:

Sak Comedy Lab – Orlando, Florida (returning champions)
Curious Comedy Theater – Portland, Oregon
Improv Boston – Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Future – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Upfront Theatre – Bellingham, Washington

Performance schedules

The last evening, January 21, sees the winners of the international competitions play with the local victors from the previous week in a winner-takes-all laugh fest. “There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to bring out the best in improv comedy and the winner gets bragging rights for a year plus an invitation to return next year to defend their crown,” comments VTSL Executive Director, Jay Ono.

While no one can predict the outcome, one thing is for certain – you’ll leave in a happier mood from having laughed so much. It all adds up to more than enough fun to chase away the winter blues.

Perk up your psyche with a good dose of laughter at the funniest improv comedy event of the year, VTSL’s Throwdown –International TheatreSports Festival, January 2 – 21, 2018 at VTSL’s home theatre, The Improv Centre on Granville Island. Tickets, starting as low as $10.75 are on sale now at

About Vancouver TheatreSports™
Vancouver TheatreSports’ (VTSL) brand of improvisation is a highly theatrical fusion of the dramatic elements coupled with the enthusiasm and edge-of-your-seat excitement of professional sport. Voted Vancouver’s #1 Improv Comedy Company (2017 & 2016 ‘Best of Vancouver Awards’), Vancouver TheatreSports™ is a well-respected international leader in the improvisation art form – entertaining more than 60,000 people per year through 12 shows a week, 52 weeks a year at its own theatre, The Improv Centre, located on Granville Island. The Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge tucked in the back of The Improv Centre, offers specialty cocktails to complement the productions in addition to a full menu of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  The Improv Centre is a fully-licensed facility and patrons are welcome to take their beverages into the theatre to enjoy during the show. In addition, VTSL owns and operates The Improv Comedy Institute – an improv school offering classes from beginner through professional level and a corporate training division, Improv for Business. Vancouver TheatreSports™ appreciates the support of show sponsors: City of Vancouver, CMHC Granville Island, The Georgia Straight, and The Granville Island Hotel.

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