Legacy of Laughter: Manila Improv Festival 2017

Legacy of Laughter: Manila Improv Festival 2017

15 years of bringing the improvisational theatre to Manila

Taking a respite from the tedium of daily life is a challenge. Work, school, gym, friends and even family may sometimes become just another cog in the well-oiled machine of our everyday reality.

Improvisational theatre provides the excitement that allows us to escape our routines lives. The paucity of the unexpected is a rare commodity in the formulaic and familiar world of entertainment.

This summer Third World Improv returns to Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Theater Center in Quezon City with Manila Improv Festival 2017 from March 22 to 26. This is their fourth time to mount this gathering of improvisational theatre talents from around the world. The colourful array of performers will be coming from Singapore, Hongkong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Osaka, Mumbai and Brisbane along with our own local groups from Manila, Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro.

Improving through improvs

Silly People’s Improv Theatre (SPIT) began the school, Third World Improv in 2015. Gabe Mercado and the other founding members of SPIT have continued to perform as well as share their knowledge and expertise through the school.

SPIT celebrates its 15th year together with the Philippine PETA’s 50th year of bringing theatre to the Philippine audience. The overarching philosophy behind the school is summed up in the line “Developing People”. This strongly mirrors the same commitment PETA has to the development of people and society. This collaboration of passion and talents have social responsibility at its core.


On February !5, the organizers of Manila Improv Festival 2017 invited the press, mainstream and social media, to go and “play” with some of the performers. It was an evening of laughter and excitement with an abundance of food, friendly faces and fun. The press was engaged in a participatory performance with improvisational theatre veterans. It was a fitting and memorable event for everyone who went.


The Performances (as per the press kit)


“This Might Be Funny”

(Short Form)

Show Description: This show might be funny, sorry in advance.

The Pirates come all the way from Tokyo and Osaka for their third trip to Manila. They formed in Osaka in 2005 and expanded to Tokyo in 2010, where they perform regularly in English and Japanese, and conduct corporate training and improv workshops. This year alone, the Pirates will be performing in Germany, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur,
but are most excited to be returning to Manila.


Beijing Improv (Beijing)

“From China with Love: The Human Zoo”

(Long Form)

Show Description: This character-based long-form will be inspired by your suggestions.

Founded in 2007, Beijing Improv is one of China’s oldest and largest improvised theater organizations. They are also a community NGO; all proceeds from their shows are donated to the international theater-based NGO, Huadan. The mainstage English players produce popular monthly short-form and long-form comedy shows, while the group’s bilingual shows and workshops consistently draw large crowds.


Stage Heroes (Singapore)

“The Story Machine”

Show Description: A one-hour improvised play.

Stage Heroes is a Singapore-based troupe created in 2015 by two passionate actors and improvisers adept with the techniques of Konstantin Stanislavki, Viola Spolin, Keith Johnstone, and Del Close. Onstage they play “The Story Machine”, which treats the audience to a one-hour
improvised play.


Zmack (Shanghai)

Zmack presents “Snap!”

(Long Form)

Show Description: Snap! performs musical improvisation.

Snap! Is a Shanghai-based improv group, originating from the Zmack improv family. Comprised of 7 musical improvisers including a keyboardist, they perform
“The Riff”, an  improvised musical long-form based on a random suggestion from the audience.


The 4th Players (Manila)


(Long Form)

Show Description: Tapat (adj.) – truthful, honest, sincere.

T4P4T (improv show.) – The 4th Players for Truth.

An extended examination of truth with The 4th Players.

The 4th Players are a Manila-based improv group and are one of Third World Improv’s featured house teams. With Dingdong Rosales from SPIT as their mentor, they are trained in the deadly art of “Yes, And” and breaking the 4th wall, ready to create and destroy entire worlds at the sound of a buzzer. They are always, always at play.


852 Crew (Hong Kong)

“Welcome to the 852”

(Long Form)

Show Description: Long-form improv, heavily inspired by the popular ASSSSCAT format.

The 852 Crew are a bunch of Gweilos based in Hong Kong who have performed all over Asia.


The Modern Schemers (Singapore)

“Lazer Shark”

(Short Form)

Show Description: Lazer Shark is a love letter to bizarre game shows and a challenge to improvisers: what if, instead of a set list, the performers have no idea what games they’re going to play?

The Modern Schemers is Singapore’s longest-running improv team. They put up wild shows with topics that range from gender trouble to genre parody.


One and a Half Men Improv (Manila)

“Family Three”

(Long Form)

Show Description: Follow the stories of three different families as they try to keep their dysfunctional but lovable home lives intact, all while dealing with a life-changing problem that may reveal how their stories are not as different
as it seems.

One and a Half Men has been practicing the art of improv for three years and began as the first
Manila-based improv group composed of students. Currently, the group is made up of students and professionals, theater majors and practitioners, performing together and spreading joy, one show at a time.


Crammers’ Collective (Manila)

“A Pusoy Kind of Life”

(Experimental Improv)

Show Description: Ever feel that you have been dealt a bad hand? Watch how the powers that be control the lives of our players!

Crammers’ Collective is one of the youngest improv groups in Manila. The group is composed of students and have been performing for a year. They do a wide array of short forms, but will be doing an experimental mid-form for this year’s festival.


Karate Tuesday (Hong Kong)

“The Armando”

(Long Form)

Show Description: The Armando starts with a storytelling-style monologue based on an audience suggestion. Players play improvised scenes inspired by the monologue.

Karate Tuesday is a Hong Kong-based improv group. They were formed in October 2016 by 4 women from different parts of the world.


SPIT (Manila)


(Long Form)

Show description: An improvised beauty contest that is neither about beauty or the contest. Behind the glamour onstage is the more exciting backstage drama.

SPIT is the grand old ma’am/sir of Philippine improv groups. 2017 marks their 15th year of doing improvisational theater not just in the Philippines but also at improv festivals in Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Amsterdam. They also started Third World Improv in 2015, the country’s only improvisational theater school with over
100  students.


ImproviJason (Manila)

“Of Pavements and Waterfalls”

Type of Show: Short Form

Show Description: Five Jasons walk onto an improv stage. Hilarity ensues.

ImproviJason is a five-man group of fans and enthusiasts who discovered improv together under Third World Improv. Though we each come from our own respective troupes, we revel in having fun onstage, letting unbridled geekery shine through our short-to-mid-form games.


Where’s Mariana? (Manila)

“Lost and Found”

(Short Form)

Show Description: See if Where’s Mariana? find what they are searching for through improv comedy.

Where’s Mariana is united by their quirky sense of humor and the desire to find Mariana, a member of their team who is always late. This student group met each other under Third World Improv, where they discovered the hysterical dynamic between high-energy youth and the wisdom of the mature.


Singkit Improv (Binondo)

“Chink Outside The Box”

(Short Form)

Show Description: Oriental offspring of business-minded parents attempt improvisational comedy as they struggle through the normal things in life, like trying not to get kidnapped and resisting the urge to not simply stab their siomai with chopsticks.

Being Filipinos with Chinese ethnicity, Singkit highlights the peculiarities of their subculture in the Philippines. Though most from our community are family entrepreneurs, they want to bring the lightheartedness of improv comedy to this largely untapped (and sheltered) market. If they fail, they will bring shame
to their families.


ImproMafia (Brisbane)


(Long Form)

Show Description: Sometimes you just need to
have the conversation.

ImproMafia is Queensland’s premier improvised theatre company. They’ve spent over ten years entertaining international audiences in Sydney, Adelaide, New York, Manila, Beijing, and Brisbane. Find them performing their exciting short-form comedy, and full-blown off-the-cuff theatrical productions.


6PM (Manila)

“After Hours”

(Short Form)

Show Description: A collection of good and bad life choices put onstage.

6PM is a group of average individuals who strive to remain constantly vulnerable to achieve the extraordinary. At the core of their scenes is a mix of stories and truths from their own lives and experiences. Expect good laughs (and maybe an inappropriate giggle) from these awkward potatoes who take comfort in brutally dropping each other’s deepest, darkest secrets.


MAIS (Manila)


(Short Form)

Show Description: Welcome to the Cornycopia, a place where the children of the corn come to play and create an abundance of aMAISing laughs!

MAIS is the premier improvisational theater group of the Ateneo de Manila University, founded under the guidance of Ateneo professor and SPIT member Missy Maramara.


The Latecomers (Singapore)

“Improv with the Latecomers”

(Short Form)

Show Description: Fast and inappropriate, multi-racial
and colorful.

The Latecomers is a culturally-diverse improv comedy troupe whose members come from all over the world. They are based in Singapore and also regularly perform their fast, colorful, and sometimes inappropriate
shows in Malaysia.


Is It Wednesday Yet? (Manila)

“True the Fire, True the Limit, True the Wall”

(Long Form)

Show Description: Is It Wednesday Yet? is performing The Harold, a long-form improv format of 3 different stories moving forward together in 3 separate acts.

Is It Wednesday Yet? is the pioneering house team of Third World Improv as the school’s first batch of graduates. With the guidance of SPIT member and TWI instructor Aryn Cristobal, they use their personal truths to create scenes and characters as varied and relatable as their personal backgrounds. Contrary to popular belief, they also perform on days that are not Wednesday.


BO$$ (Singapore)

“Show ‘Em Who’s BO$$”

(Long Form)

Show Description: With the audience’s suggestions, BO$$ tells true stories about their lives to inspire fictional stories onstage in a format called the Armando.

BO$$ is Singapore’s first all-female improv team made up of improvisers from the country’s leading improv troupes. They tell stories that are sharp, tragic, warm, hilarious and unexpected through characters who will make you laugh, cry, and ponder life.


One of Us is Drunk (Singapore)

“One of Us is Drunk”

(Long Form)

Show Description: One of the players is impaired.
Figure out which one.

One of Us is Drunk is just that. Before the show, we draw straws and decide who will be intoxicated. We engage in a concoction of Prescott’s design. Once one of us is good and snockered, we hit the stage. Our incredibly supportive and fast-paced montage style make for a really fun show. At the end, the audience gets to guess as to who they
believe is drunk.


Dulaang Atenista (Cagayan de Oro)

“No Prob, It’s Improv”

(Short Form)

Show Description: No Prob, It’s Improv is Dulaang Atenista’s improvisational act, the only one in Cagayan de Oro, that showcases on-the-spot performances.

Dulaang Atenista is the resident theater company of the Xavier University. It produces theater productions as well as improvisational performances in Cagayan de Oro.


Lipstick Therapy (Manila

“Medyo Parang Keri Lang”

(Long Form)

Show Description: Ang grupong maraming issues.

Lipstick Therapy is a Manila-based improv group and one of Third World Improv’s featured house teams. Mentored by theater actress and SPIT player, Thea Yrastorza, Lipstick Therapy tells many estrogen-fueled stories. And yes, they like lipstick a lot.


Switch (Manila)

“Turn On the Fun!”

(Short Form)

Show Description: Switch will perform scenes, games and a song or two based from the suggestions coming from the audience.

Switch began in 2012 after attending a rookie program by SPIT. With the desire to continue improv, Switch continues to learn and connect with their audience through their shows.


Improv Comedy Mumbai (Mumbai)

Show Description: Improviser will take suggestions from the audience and create scenes. These scenes will resemble the entertainment and drama of a Bollywood movie.

Improv Comedy Mumbai (ICM) is an improvisational comedy group from India formed in 2009. Boasting performances from international improv festivals such as Amsterdam, Berlin, London and Toronto, ICM regularly does a range of different shows from short-form games to long-form genre-specific formats such as Improvised Bollywood and Improvised Romantic-Comedy.


ISAW (Manila)

“Icame Isaw Iconquered”

(Short Form)

Show Description: A mixed band of misfits show you street-style improv.

ISAW is a small improvisational troupe of varying ages, sizes and backgrounds. With their penchant for street food, enthusiasm for improv, and commitment to have each other’s backs, ISAW gives you a street-style improv entertainment like no other.


ASAP (Singapore)

“Chicken Soap for the Soul”

(Long Form)

Show Description: An improvised soap opera.

ASAP is a Singapore-based improv team consisting of Isaac Long, Pamy Tan, Joel Chua and Timothy Yeo. ASAP does long-form improvisation and incorporates singing elements into their show.


3 Dudes (Hong Kong)

(Short Form)

Show Description:  Short-form silliness with a Hong Kong twist.

3 Dudes Improv was founded in 2011 in Hong Kong. They focus on long-form/free-form scenes and musical improv based on audience suggestions, so each show is entirely new and unique. Miss it and you’ll miss it forever. 3 dudes, 1 show – we have more characters than you can shake a stick at!


Bacolod Improv Group (Bacolod)

(Short Form)

The Bacolod Improv Group is a non-profit,
community-based improvisational theater organization from Bacolod City, Philippines. Although the group was established in 2014, most of its members come from the Kinengkoy Comedy Express, the first improv group in the Philippines established back in 2000. Gaining its independence on January 29, 2015, the group has performed throughout the Visayas aside from having regular Thursday shows that are free of charge.


People’s Liberation Improv (Hong Kong)

(Short Form)

Show Description: Short-form silliness with a Hong Kong twist.

People’s Liberation Improv (PLI) is a Hong Kong-based English language comedy improvisation troupe founded in 2007. PLI focuses on short-form games, putting their own spin on classics and creating new ones of their own.


Katipunan Improv (Manila)

(Long Form)

Show Description: We’re practicing the development of patient, immersive, long scenes usually initiated by two players.

Katipunan Improv is a Manila-based improv community, dedicated to fostering the art of improvisation and utilizing its principles in developing transformative minds. Katipunan Improv prides itself in accepting anyone and everyone to their community by hosting open improv jams and workshops, collaborating with different artists and staging free shows around Manila.




PACKAGES                                     NUMBER of TICKETS                                           DISCOUNT


OPTION 1                                              30-50 tickets                                        10% discount of student rate


OPTION 2                                              51-100 tickets                                      20% discount of student rate


OPTION 3                                               101 or more                                         30% discount of student rate


*Regular Rate: Php 500.00 and Student Rate: Php 350.00




PACKAGES                                    NUMBER of ENROLLEES                                INCLUSIONS


OPTION 1                                                   3 students                                     1. 10% discount of student rate

2. One (1) workshop of your choice

3. One (1) MIF show of your choice



OPTION 2                                           5 or more enrollees                           1. 20% discount of student rate

2. One (1) workshop of your choice

3. One (1) MIF show of your choice


*Regular Workshop Rate: Php 1,500.00, Workshop Student Rate: Php 1,250.00




PACKAGES                                                  AMOUNT                                     INCLUSIONS


FESTIVAL PASS 1                                    Php 1,000.00                     1. Three (3) MIF shows of your choice


FESTIVAL PASS 2                                    Php 2,000.00                    1. One (1) MIF workshop

2. Three (3) MIF shows of your choice




PACKAGES                                     NUMBER of TICKETS               DISCOUNT


OPTION 1                                              20-40 tickets                             10%


OPTION 2                                              41-80 tickets                             20%


OPTION 3                                                81 or more                               30%


*Regular Rate: Php 500.00 and Student Rate: Php 350.00




PACKAGES                                      NUMBER of ENROLLEES                              INCLUSIONS


OPTION 1                                                   3 students                          1. 10% discount of student rate

2. One (1) workshop of your choice

3. One (1) MIF show of your choice



OPTION 2                                           5 or more enrollees                 1. 20% discount of student rate

2. One (1) workshop of your choice

3. One (1) MIF show of your choice


*Regular Workshop Rate: Php 1,500.00, Workshop Student Rate: Php 1,250.00




PACKAGES                                                  AMOUNT                                     INCLUSIONS


FESTIVAL PASS 1                                    Php 1,000.00                      1. Three (3) MIF shows of your choice


FESTIVAL PASS 2                                    Php 2,000.00                     1. One (1) MIF workshop

2. Three (3) MIF shows

#manilaimprovfestival #pressplay #manilaimprovfestival2017

If you enjoy reading our stories,
please help keep Mindanation up and running by donating any amount.
Your support will go a long way in keeping us going.

Facebook Comments

You may also like

Fête de la Musique returns to the Philippines for 24th time

Fête de la Musique is coming back to