September 20, 2021


It’s been a hellish couple of years for live performance all across the world, but next month, the New Zealand Improv Festival returns with its 2021 programme, “Throw Away the Script”, from the 4th – 16th of October.

With a wide array of acts from all over Aotearoa and performers picked from within the Festival workshop programme, this season brings something for all of us; from murder mysteries, to D&D, to intimate moments between people on a park bench in a five day grab bag at BATS Theatre in Wellington (12 – 16th Oct).

The workshop series begins the week before on the 4th Oct, offering 32 workshops in the adult programme, plus a school holiday programme for youth.

The Festival management this year has not been without its challenges. In true improvising spirit, we’ve had to work with the times and governmental COVID-19 guidelines to get the event on its feet.

“We put together our first programme while the Trans-Tasman bubble was still a thing, and when that popped we had to switch to Plan B,” says Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan. “While this means we won’t get to host our wonderful Australian colleagues, we’re stoked that we get to add even more Kiwi presenters to the lineup. We’re often spoiled for choice and have to turn down some incredible work – this year, circumstances made some of the choices for us!”

Presenters for 2021’s performance and workshop programmes hail from across the motu, including Brendon Bennetts (Christchurch), Matias Avaca (Argentina), Maria Williams (Auckland), Jim Fishwick (Hamilton) and Marea Columbo (Dunedin).

NZIF also holds a conference alongside the main events, which is open to the public and will feature international guests participating digitally. This runs 11-15 October, and events will be announced soon.

The NZ Improv Festival is thrilled to be back again with its annual celebration of improvised theatre in all its forms. From comedy to drama, musicals to mystery, and plenty of mischief, there’s something for everyone. Eighteen unique shows over five days at the wonderful BATS Theatre – don’t miss a moment!

The New Zealand Improv Fest 2021 runs from the 4th-16th of October 2021.
For more details on our workshop and performance programme, check out
To purchase tickets, visit

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