This summer brings the opening of the ImprovLab on campus as the new home for improvised performances and research through U of G’s International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI).
The one-of-a-kind facility will enable researchers at U of G and collaborators in Canada and abroad to conduct practice-based studies of improvisational performance and audience reception and to hold community workshops for improv research.
Directed by Dr. Ajay Heble, School of English and Theatre Studies, the institute looks at performance as a model of social practice in numerous fields.
“Improvisation feeds into every aspect of life,” said Sam Boer, administrative and communication specialist with IICSI and a performing musician. “Every day during COVID, we’ve had to wake up and improvise aspects of our lives.”
Part of wider renovations to the MacKinnon Building, the ImprovLab will feature a flexible, 140-seat research performance space for varied uses including music, theatre and multimedia.
Live performances in the new space are planned in late summer for the annual Improvisation Festival, a 24-hour online event involving international artists.