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Improv veterans to provoke serious laughter

Peter Oldring, one of the creators of the satirical CBC radio program This Is That, has teamed up with comedians Roman Danylo and Chris Casillan for a West Coast performance tour of The Improvisers, coming to the Heritage Playhouse March 16.
Radio broadcaster and screen actor Peter Oldring is the latest addition to the touring improv comedy troupe that will perform in Gibsons on March 16.

The return of a touring improvised comedy ensemble to Gibsons is set to include an award-winning authority on fake news. 

Peter Oldring, one of the creators of the satirical CBC radio program This Is That, has teamed up with comedians Roman Danylo and Chris Casillan for a West Coast performance tour. Danylo has anchored the touring Improvisers act for almost three decades and regularly collaborates with Casillan, a Vancouver-based actor and musician. 

The Improvisers last played to a packed house in 2022 at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons. It will be Oldring’s first time appearing on the Sunshine Coast. 

For Oldring and Danylo (a veteran comedian who has appeared at comedy festivals across Canada and on CBC’s The Debaters), the March 16 performance is a high school reunion in front of a live audience. The two spent their teenage years at the same school in Calgary, where they regularly performed a lunchtime comedy show. 

“It just sort of became this monthly hit that would happen once a month,” said Oldring, who now lives in Los Angeles.  He later met Casillan while performing in the Vancouver improv scene.  

When Oldring’s nine-season CBC Radio show spun off into a popular online video series, Casillan starred in one of the episodes, portraying a chef who serves up greasy-spoon fare (think chicken wings and pub burgers) with pompous gravitas. 

“These are both guys that I have such a long history with,” said Oldring, “but we don’t always get the chance to improvise or perform together. Coming together in this way in Gibsons is pretty special for us. It’s a combination of many, many, many years of friendship.” 

Oldring’s This Is That won three Canadian Comedy Awards for Best Radio Program and a handful of international plaudits. 

Each comedian brings a unique strength to the stage. Danylo, who has also toured with the Comic Strippers (an improv comedy troupe posing as unlikely male peelers), bares his own biography and first-person observations for humorous effect. Casillan, also a singer and guitarist, incorporates ironic musical performance (including impromptu lyrics) into the act. Oldring capitalizes on his international reputation for delivering outrageous fictions drenched in straight-faced plausibility. 

Although his This Is That radio show predated the popularity of the term “fake news,” hoodwinking listeners wasn’t its original intent. “It was about doing kind of a tongue-in-cheek impression of the sounds of CBC,” he explained. “Growing up in Canada, everybody is familiar with that Radio One tone. It became this playground for us as comedians to play with characters. It wasn’t until we started releasing the shows that we realized there’s a good chunk of the population who are listening that are not thinking this is satirical or comedy.” 

In 2017, Oldring delivered a TEDx lecture about the perils of fake news. He opened with an invented report about the closure of the (fictitious) Calgary Aquarium, which he informed incredulous listeners had downscaled its attractions by inviting visitors to barbecue and eat a favourite fish. Thoughtful satire, he proposed, prompts earnest debate from both sides. When it comes to improvised improvised comedy, he uses a different measure. 

“Every night it’s different,” Oldring said. “When improv works best, it’s kind of as though we as the performers are having equally as good a time as the audience. If I can get a rise out of my partners, a smirk or a raised eyebrow when we’re on stage together, that I also know that it’s striking a chord with the audience as well.” 

The Improvisers appears at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons on March 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($45) are available from EventBrite via

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated tickets were $30, they are in fact $45.