Last week we had the extreme pleasure of attending Toronto’s first Impulse Festival.
For organizers Matt Baram and Naomi Snieckus, it was a chance to bring improv to a wider audience and showcase some of the best talent on the planet.
Whether it was Shakespearean improv by England’s School of Night, Bollywood Musicals by Improv Comedy Mumbai, or Gypsy Prov from Secret Impro Melbourne, the breadth of creativity on display was astounding.
But perhaps our favourite event of the festival was the soap-a-thon.
For the price of a donation to Gilda’s Club, patrons could see the funniest of the funny give it their all in a production that spanned more than two straight days. Folks like Colin Mochrie, Carolyn Taylor, Carmine Lucarelli, Mark Meer, Jacob Banigan, Sean McCann, Alan Cox, Chris Gibbs, Sandy Jobin-Bevans, Bob Banks, Kayla Lorette, Aurora Browne, Gary Rideout Jr, Ashley Comeau, Dale Boyer, Mark Andrada, James Gangl, Michael Grajewski, Marcel St Pierre, Lisa Merchant, Wayne Jones, Linda Kash, Dhruv Lohumi, and dozens more.
Neither sleep deprivation, nor blizzards, nor even a Toronto Hydro blackout could keep the cast from completing their goal, which they did, with a record-setting 55 hours at 10 pm Sunday night.
It was truly a great opportunity to reflect on the generous spirit of the improv community, not just in Toronto, but worldwide.
We can’t wait for next year.