Rapid Fire Theatre’s Outreach Program is an improv training program designed to reach students and audience who are not traditionally served by improv or theatre groups.
The intent of the program is to provide education and motivational hands-on improv training that provides valuable life skills. To inspire, educate, and to entertain in an inclusive and supportive setting. Our instructors aim to lead by example and uplift our student’s voices. The program teaches positivity, collaboration, and confidence while celebrating failure, risk-taking, and individuality.
Rapid Fire Theatre started the outreach program in 2009 in Prince Rupert School, an offshoot of the amiskwaciy Academy for kids with learning challenges. Lead by Joleen Ballendine, the project began with a tiny seed grant from the Edmonton Arts Council and within two years it was a multi-pronged initiative with classes taking place at Boyle Street Education Centre, The Youth Empowerment & Support Services, Amiskwaciy Academy, and the Edmonton Public Library.
Over the years Rapid Fire Theatre’s amazing team of instructors have delivered the program to a wide variety of local organizations around Edmonton, including Boys and Girls Club (Big Brothers/Sisters), iHuman, YESS (Youth Empowerment & Support Services), Eastglen High School, Delton Elementary, Spruce Ave Elementary, John Howard Society, Edmonton Life-Long Learners, Old Strathcona Youth Society, Fresh Start, The Geri-actors and The Way In program, which included schools such as TD Baker, Edith Rogers, Dan Knott and Kate Chegwin, just to name a few.
Meet the Team
“I love seeing the shy kid come out of their shell and take up space. Because they listen so well, whatever they add to a game or a scene is so funny they can’t be ignored.”
“If there’s one thing that I hope all my students learn, it’s that failure is a gift. That and measure twice, cut once. For the love of god, measure twice!”
“My favourite thing about teaching improv is when a student is genuinely tickled by a joke they made. Laugh at your own jokes! You are a delight!”
“The best improv advice I’ve ever been given was to Sit In The Fart, and I vowed to use that advice every day.”
“You’re only doing it wrong if you aren’t having fun. Find the joy in your scene and chase it!”