MARCH 1-11, 2018#TOsketchfest18


Learn from the Masters!

Love what you see on the TOsketchfest stages? Learn more about the art of sketch in our incredible series of workshops, panels and events, perfect for comedy enthusiasts!

The Professional Development Program Sponsors are:

PrintHumber School of Comedy

Click for more details on each Professional Development Session:




All Workshops will require pre-registration and charge a $15 participation fee.

For the best value, you can purchase an ALL WORKSHOP PASS for $40 and take as many workshops as you can fit in! PLEASE NOTE: Shortly after purchasing this, you will receive an email for your class selections. If you purchase this pass less than 24 hours before the first workshop you wish to attend, please email Nelu with your course selections.

The registration fee is payable by credit card online or can be paid by credit card, VISA debit or cash at any TOsketchfest box office.  If you must cancel your registration, or are not able to pay electronically, please do so at least 24 hours prior to your workshop by emailing Nelu Handa, Professional Development Coordinator. If you need to cancel, please give us at least 24 hours notice, and we will refund your fee and open your space in the workshop to someone on the waiting list.

Please note: If the registration fee is a barrier to participation, there are scholarships available. Please be in touch with Nelu Handa, Professional Development Coordinator for more information.


With Jacquie Baker and Matt Schmid of The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie (Philadelphia)

Saturday March 4
2:00pm- 4:00pm
The Theatre Centre: BMO Incubator for Live Arts

Blackout sketches are short sketches that develop a setup and end with a premise-revealing punchline. When writers invert the sketch formula to reveal the premise at the end instead of up top, they can defy audience expectations and inject realism and drama into otherwise comedic scenes. Using video examples and group exercises, we will demonstrate the potency of this rewarding format.

Jacquie Baker is a sketch comedy writer and performer from Philadelphia. She writes and performs with PHIT house team The Flat Earth (SF Sketchfest, Chicago Sketchfest, Toronto Sketch Fest) and the sketch comedy duo The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie (2013 & 2014 Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia winners, Philly Sketchfest). She is a former member of ManiPedi (NYC Sketch Fest, Best Sketch Group – 2014 & 2015 WitOut Awards) and Alley of Nightmares (UCB’s Spank, Philly Fringe Festival, Toronto Sketch Fest). Jacquie co-starred as Rudy in the webseries Helmets of Righteousness and appeared in the webseries Welcome To Anhedonia. She is the sketch director for Barbara Bush, produces shows bi-annually for Five Dollar Comedy Week, and co-produces Hey, We’re Cool, a monthly variety show.

Matthew Schmid is a sketch writer and performer for the Philly Improv Theater house team the Flat Earth (San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto sketch comedy festivals) and one half of the duo The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie (Toronto, New York sketch comedy festivals, 3 time Dirtiest Sketch In Philadelphia winner). Matthew has appeared on and won the Philadelphia edition of Nerdist’s Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction Podcast and his writing can be seen on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Matthew also teaches sketch comedy writing at The Philly Improv Theater.

Pre-Requisites: Participants must have sketch experience, either through a training program or at least one year of experience writing/performing with a troupe.





Saturday March 4
The Theatre Centre: BMO Incubator for Live Arts

Live from SketchFest! Your chance to be in the audience of two great podcast-  at 5pm- The Sketch Comedy Writer’s Podcast (Matt Schmid and special guest Jeremy Woodcock) and at 6pm- The Constant Struggle (Brie and Nick Watson interview Laura Cilevitz (The Beaverton) & Vance Banzo (A Tribe Called Sketch & TallBoyz II Men)).

FREE EVENT: All are welcomed to attend. No registration required.


Hip. Bang!

Audience Manipulation in Sketch Comedy

With Tom Hill and Devin Mackenzie of Hip. Bang! and Blind Tiger Comedy (Vancouver)

Sunday March 5
The Theatre Centre: BMO Incubator for Live Arts

When performers twist an audience’s mood or expectations, opportunities for sweet comedic release abound. In this workshop, we will dive into the non-traditional approaches sketch comedians can take to their audiences, and the ways disrupting, infiltrating, and impersonating them can create big wins on stage.

Hip.Bang! is a comedy duo from Vancouver whose playful, absurd comedy has delighted and disrupted audiences worldwide.

Tom and Devin of Hip.Bang! have been featured at many a comedy festival, including JFL NorthWest, San Francisco SketchFest, NXNE, Rapid Fire Theatre’s Improvaganza, New York’s Del Close Marathon, Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival, and more. In 2015, they debuted their web series, PITCH MEN, at NorthWest Comedy Fest. Their new web series, ODDLAND, is in production.

Tom and Devin are also co-founders of Blind Tiger Comedy, Vancouver’s home for alternative comedy, where they teach sketch comedy and long form improv.

Pre-Requisites: Participants must have sketch experience, either through a training program or at least one year of experience writing/performing with a troupe. Participants will be asked to submit a script they are working on in advance of the workshop (or, if not available, that they have seen and can describe) that involves performers interacting directly with audience members.





Sunday March 5
5:00pm – 6:00pm
The Theatre Centre: BMO Incubator for Live Arts

A packed house to see your troupe is the dream, sooo how do you build it so they will come?! Featuring some of the city’s top comedy producers, hear their experiences and learn the ingredients you need to successfully produce your own show. You’ll have a chance to ask your burning questions as well during our Q&A. Featuring: Ian Atlas (Empire Comedy Live), Dave Barclay (O Dat Dum), Jeff Clarke (O Dat Dum), Damien Nelson (FLIP Publicity & Promotions), Sam Reece (OFSUG), Julianne Snepsts (Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival), Cameron Wyllie (O Dat Dum), Sam Reece (OFSUG). Moderated by Nelu Handa (Yas Kween).

FREE EVENT: All are welcomed to attend. No registration required.



With Paul “PK” Kingston of The Second City Training Centre

Tuesday March 7 
3:00pm- 6:00pm*
The Second City Training Centre, 99 Blue Jays Way, 3rd Floor (Elevator Accessibility)

Ever wonder why your great idea for a sketch landed flatter than Saskatchewan?
Maybe it was a great idea but a lousy premise.

Teacher Paul “PK” Kingston will lead this powerful writing workshop focused on premises and what good ones can do for your writing. Learn how to include information that just begs to be heightened. Get past the writer’s block and fail beautifully in your early drafts. We’ll show you what so many successful Second City writers do to create their fun and memorable sketches.

Paul PK Kingston graduated from Bishop’s University with a degree in Dramatic Arts. He is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory, Writing Program and Improv Master Class. TV/Film Credits include the immortal superhero Master Brood on Bite TV’s Team Epic, a boxer on US Network’s show Suits, and self-absorbed writer Michael Bennett in the feature film “Four Aces.” PK feels super lucky to have been blessed with an over-active imagination and a passion for teaching as it only perpetuates his dream to continue in this field (as well as encourage others to do the same) for the rest of his life.

*Session will end earlier to allow for those who are attending the DIY Video workshop at The Theatre Centre




With Cameron Wyllie (O Dat Dum)

Tuesday March 7 
6:00pm- 9:00pm
The Theatre Centre MAINSTAGE

Filming Sketch Comedy can be a million dollar process – Or it can be a hundred dollar process if you’re willing to pick up a camera and learn how to do it yourself. In this introductory course you will learn the foundations of video production, including camera basics, audio, lighting, and post production. Equip yourself with the confidence and knowledge to start picking up equipment and start creating your own video sketch content today!

Cameron Wyllie is a farm to table content producer whose credits include The Jon Dore Televsion Show (The Comedy Network, IFC) The D.J. Demers Show (AMI TV), and The Urbane Explorer (Bell Fibe, His work has racked up millions of views online, and have won 2 Cannes Lions. He can be seen at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festiv

al at this Workshop, or with his Sketch Troupe O Dat Dum.
Pre-Requisites: An interest in video production and sketch comedy.



Gossamer Obsessions


With Amy Shostak and Paul Blinov (Gossamer Obsession)

Sunday March 12
The Theatre Centre: BMO Incubator for Live Arts

How do you find the strongest material in your first drafts? After you get a sketch in front of an audience, where do you begin to unpack its successes and missteps? This workshop is dedicated to honing the best possible versions out of the material at hand. Participants are asked to bring some sketch scripts in progress, or ones they’d like to revise. The focus of this workshop will be honing in on the good stuff: the exciting, fun ideas that sometimes get lost en route to the stage.

Amy Shostak is a comedian from Vancouver. She’s been improvising for 15 years, and served as Artistic Director of Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton for six. She is thrilled to perform sketch in her duo Gossamer Obsessions, with certified weirdo Paul Blinov. Off stage, Amy’s passions include civic engagement and nachos. Twitter: @shostakattack

Paul Blinov is an Edmonton-based comedian. He performs improv weekly with Rapid Fire Theatre, has contributed writing to The Irrelevant Show, and tours around North America with Gossamer Obsessions, his sketch duo with fellow comedian and nacho enthusiast Amy Shostak. @pauljblin

Pre-Requisites: Participants must have some sketch experience. For the optimum experience, please bring sketches that you’ve been working on.


Humber School of Comedy

With Bruce Pirrie of The Humber School of Comedy


Sunday March 12
The Theatre Centre: BMO Incubator for Live Arts

They still make you laugh every time you watch them- find out what makes a sketch A CLASSIC! Facilitated by renowned Humber College Comedy Program faculty member Bruce Pirrie, we’ll dissect popular sketches to learn what makes them so great. What’s the point of view? What are the stakes/conflict? How are they heightened? Different types of sketches will be explored- Town Hall, List scenes, Fish out of Water, and more. We’ll also do a live reading of a script from a current SketchFest participating troupe and analyze the sketch as a group.

FREE EVENT: All are welcomed to attend. No registration required.