The History of Sorry Not Sorry Improv
Would you believe that Sorry Not Sorry Improv has been making people laugh with make-em-ups for over a decade? We’ve come a long way since then, creating new formats and refining beloved shows, all the while being the unapologetically nerdy improv company you know and love. Our story begins in 2012, with the format that we now call “yegDND”…
Fringe 2012 - Instant Hype
It was at “Village of the Fringe” - the 2012 edition of the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival - that yegDND, then called D&D: Improv Edition, made its debut at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Edmonton. At the time, the show was directed by Michael Davidson under the production company No Snocones. It was the year of inflatable dice, a gigantic stage, and “hug check!” The final night featured a packed house, with the majority of the audience dressed in costume. Fun fact: players Liam and Angela were in that very first Fringe!
During the show, a sheet was posted in the lobby with a question: Do you want to see D&D Improv Edition return in the fall? The number of signatures on the sheet revealed the answer to be a resounding YES. From there, the show returned on a monthly basis at the Paramount Theatre.
2013 - yegDND
In 2013, D&D: Improv Edition was taken over by Worker Ant Productions, under the direction of Chad Cuthbertson. The show returned to the Fringe Festival under its new name: yegDND. The show came alive at the Paramount Theatre just like the year before, only now we had the signature chant of “y-e-g, D-N-D!”
2014-2016 - Sorry, Not Sorry
In 2014, Sorry Not Sorry Productions was born, founded by Ritchie Panas. Michael resumed direction of yegDND, Adara Broyles took on the mantle of artistic director, and we bid farewell to the Paramount Theatre and moved north to the Azimuth Theatre. There, we continued monthly productions of yegDND alongside a new format: THUNDERPROV. At the time, THUNDERPROV was a catch-all name for any experimental format we wanted to try, such as the improvised talk show “Up Pretty Late with Petey Late” or the sci-fi epic, “Thunderstar Galactiprov” (try saying that five times fast!).
For Fringe 2014 and 2015, we remained downtown, performing shows in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church. In 2016, we finally crossed the river, performing both yegDND and THUNDERPROV at That Was Then, This is Fringe!
2017 - New Discoveries
In 2017, Sorry Not Sorry became a nonprofit organization that operated out of Theatre 9910 - an auxiliary space of the Church at South Edmonton. The creative team shifted to Jamie Pratt, and later, Corina Dransutavicius, who is our artistic director to this day. This was also the year that Laena Anderson became the new director of yegDND. By this point, our 20-sided dice were made of sturdier foam core, and the table scene had been incorporated into yegDND itself rather than a pre-show.
That Fringe, we produced three formats: yegDND, THUNDERPROV, and Cream of Improv Soup. By this time, THUNDERPROV had become its own format: an off-the-wall deconstruction of a series of recurring scenes, much like how lightning branches off into several directions. See how we incorporated the name into the theme? Cream of Improv Soup took over as the home of experimental formats, and it was in this Fringe that All the King’s Men made its first debut, featuring Marq and Gaz O’Lean.
2018-2019 - Building Community
In 2018, we moved our operations to the newly-built Grindstone Theatre. THUNDERPROV saw its sunset this year, and in its place rose Prairie Improv Federation, an improv entertainment spectacle inspired by the shenanigans of professional wrestling. Cream of Improv Soup became the more elegant Sorry Not Sorry Presents, under which we debuted new formats such as Magic: The Improvising, The Yuk-Yoke Menagerie, and a fully-fledged All the King’s Men, featuring more drag kings and macho confidence than ever before.
yegDND turned into a biweekly affair for a while, featuring heroes that reappeared throughout the year and players rotating into the DM role. In 2019, we produced our first ever 8-hour yegDND show to fundraise for the Fringe.
Fringe of 2019 - Where the Wild Things Fringe - was an equally ambitious endeavour, with the production of three formats: yegDND, Agent Thunder - an improvised spy thriller in the style of James Bond or Mission Impossible - and a one-man clown show performed by David Rae called The Splendiferous Quagmires of Mr. Filliam Crowe.
2020-2022 - Prioritizing Safety
As we halted production on shows and waited out the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were still meeting regularly via video call to keep in touch and refine our skills to the best of our abilities. In 2021, directorship of yegDND transitioned to Liam Creswick, and we started putting on live-streamed performances of yegDND. Eventually, we returned back to the Grindstone Theatre, where we performed in a limited capacity at the 2021 Fringe. In 2022, we returned in full force, producing yegDND at the La Cite Auditorium in the French Quarter for Destination Fringe.
2023 - Today
A lot has changed in the past 11 years. Players and show formats have come and gone, our style has evolved and grown, and new ideas have flourished and flopped. Our name has changed, most recently into the simpler “Sorry Not Sorry Improv.” Our values, however, have remained the same: to deliver high-quality, unapologetically nerdy improv to enthusiastic audiences.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan from years past or recently discovered Sorry Not Sorry Improv, thank you for joining us in making magic onstage. We couldn’t do it without you.