Oakville Improv was founded by three professional writer/actors who first met through improv in the mid-1980s. Oakville produces some excellent improvisers (our local high schools send some of the top improv teams in Canada to the Canadian Improv Games), but young performers who want to take their study further generally have to go to Toronto. We wanted to change that, so we formed a theatre company which would give people from Oakville and surrounding communities the same opportunities to improvise as people who live in Toronto.
In 2009, we partnered with Toronto’s famous Bad Dog Theatre Company to form Bad Dog Oakville. By 2012, more than 150 students had taken our Oakville workshops, and we had grown to the point where we were ready to establish an independent not-for-profit organization. That’s when we formed a new organization – Oakville Improv Theatre Company.
Oakville Improv offers an atmosphere that is friendly and welcoming to people. Our focus is local, and we welcome performers of all levels, from curious newcomers with no previous experience to professional actors.
The level of our instruction is very high. Our instructors include some of the best improvisers and comedians in the country.
Duncan McKenzie has been working in improv since 1987. He served two years as Artistic Director of Toronto Theatresports (the forerunner of Bad Dog Theatre). He was a writer and story editor for the TV comedy series History Bites, and was creator and showrunner of the TV series Train 48, which, with 318 episodes, was the world’s longest running improvised drama. He was a writer and consulting producer on the kids comedy series That’s So Weird. He has worked with Bad Dog Theatre to produce a unique improvised play format, showcased in the series “Off Off Broadview”. He is currently working on developing a number of improv-based films and TV series.
Amy McKenzie is the Artistic Director of Oakville Improv. Coming from a background as a theatre producer, she joined Theatresports Toronto in 1988. She has performed in hundreds of improv shows, and taught classes for adults and kids. She was a writer and performer on five seasons of TV’s History Bites, and a writer and associate producer of Train 48. She has a special interest in children’s education, and was, for two years, chair of Halton School Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).
Gary Pearson has been involved in improv since the mid-80s, and is considered one of the finest improvisers in Canada. He was founder of the famous comedy troupes Dangerous Poultry and The Chumps, and was a writer for such TV comedy series as MADD-TV, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Corner Gas, and, most recently, was showrunner of award-winning YTV series That’s So Weird. He has taught at Humber College’s Comedy: Writing and Performance program. Currently, Gary works as a showrunner on the first season of Sunnyside, a sketch comedy show he put together with Dan Redican (Frantics), which airs on CITY-TV.