Some days I stare at my book shelf and wonder which book to pick up to read through next. I have the tendency to hop from one book to another before finishing one because there are so many subjects to potentially weave into team, client and classroom teaching moments. Lately I’ve been wanting to finish reading Sheryl’s Sandberg Lean In book, while continously seeking more female leaders to join us in the boardroom.

It was a time for a break when Cassandra, of Good Life Vancouver, invited me to the latest installment of Firecracker at the VTSL.

Firecracker (n): 1) frequently used to describe women who are not afraid to speak their mind, and will often do so. 2) one who is exciting, unpredictable, tough, hard-nosed, and free living; a very intense or lively person.

BANG!
Watch out Vancouver as Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTSL) lights a fuse to Vancouver’s improv comedy scene shattering that it is presently (and has been historically), a male-dominated art form. Starting Thursday, July 21 and running every Thursday evening at 9:15 p.m., VTSL presents Firecracker – Dynamite ladies. Explosive comedy.

Firecracker! is inspired by the success of an earlier VTSL experimental production, called Girl Jam. Created by VTSL ensemble member and ICI Director Margret Nyfors, Girl Jam ran for eight shows in the fall of 2015. “We had such an incredible response to this innovative format that I wanted to expand upon it by creating a feature show. It’s a different type of improv when only women are present on stage,” says VTSL Artistic Director Denise Jones. “Women improvisers take more risks and really play on the edge when they play with only other women. The resulting comedy is inventive, unpredictable and uproarious. These ladies bring great energy to their performances and deliver a truly unique improv experience.”

Through the medium of improv comedy, Firecracker! will explore what it means to be a woman in Vancouver. Themes such as dating and romance, career and work/life balance, female friendships and body image will all be examined through the audience suggestions motivating the improvisers’ wicked wit.

Inaugural shows will honour a special female guest whose stories of their life, work and achievements will inspire the performance. We are delighted to have the following guests join us for these performances:

July 21: Rebecca BollwittMiss 604, Blogger/Social Media Maven
July 28: Cassandra AndertonGood Life Vancouver, Wine/Food Writer, Life-style Commentator
August 4: Briana BuckmasterActress, Sheriff Donna on Supernatural
August 11Sadie Campbell – Singer, songwriter
August 18Burgundy Brixx – Burlesque entertainer
August 25Beverley Elliott – Actress, ‘Granny on ABC’s hit series Once Upon a Time
Sept.1Morgan Brayton – Comedienne, CBC’s The Debaters , Girls Like Me
Sept. 8: Nicole Oliver – Actor, Producer, Director, the voice of Princess Celestia on My Little Pony.

Subsequent performances may not always include a special guest. However, all will celebrate the fun and foibles of female life in early 21st Century Vancouver.

As in all VTSL productions, audience suggestions about the show’s theme will play an integral role in determining and driving the improvised action.

Firecracker! with Cassandra Anderton
The audience roared loudly with cheers as Cassandra joined the all-women improv cast onstage. We LOL’ed and LMFAO’ed our way through the night filled with improv games like One Word, Objects, Sound Effects, 99 Blanks, Blind Lines, and A Day in the Life. Indeed the story of Cassandra’s life was told by the many funny moments by the comediennes onstage. Aspects of her life through improvisation covered birthdays, weddings, spa days, restaurants, and work life.

That night, the audience was also pretty sharp, with shouting of suggestions and great come-backs during the 99 Blanks game. I was amazed to be part of such a punny crowd.

As Cassandra beamed with her high, adaptable energy, she reminded me of how much I really appreciate the fearlessness of many female leaders. Like in the classrooms and boardrooms, when the onstage performers and audience work together, the evening experience becomes very memorable.

Encore with the dancing!IMG_20160728_222321669-ANIMATION.gif

Firecracker! Dynamite ladies. Explosive comedy. opens July 21 and runs every Thursday evening at 9:15 p.m. at The Improv Centre on Granville Island. Tickets, priced at only $10 at the Box Office (slightly higher online) are on sale now at tickets.vtsl.com. For more information on Firecracker!, updates on special guests, or other VTSL productions, visit vtsl.com.

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