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Canadian actress starts Improv Group in the Pass

Photo for the promotion of TNT FUBAR, a Canadian mockumentary comedy series, that features Terra Hazelton as Trish Cahill, pictured here with costars David Lawrence (left) and North Darling (right).

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Feb 22, 2023

"I’m hoping I end up with a core of super improv nerds like me"

Terra Hazelton, known for her role as Trish in Fubar II, is starting the Crowsnest Improv Club with club meetings every Tuesday from 7 to 9 PM at Side Street Stylz on Main Street in Blairmore.

Hazelton said that even though it might hurt her career, she always wanted to move out of the city and into the mountains, just closer to retirement.

“I always loved Crowsnest Pass because we came through here all the time. It’s one of my favourite places on the planet and I’ve travelled quite a bit. I thought I would wait till retirement age to leave the city, but I hit 40 and things were moving in a different direction,” said Hazelton.

Just when she went to start the Crowsnest Improv Club the first time, the pandemic hit. After only three classes she was forced to shut down like most of the world. Now she is starting up again, welcoming anyone interested to come check out a class.

“I’m hoping I end up with a core of super improv nerds like me, but I still want to be really open for people who aren’t necessarily going to be there every week, but go once or twice a month,” said Hazelton.

Although you will have to pay the $15 for the two-hour class if you attend, you will not need to participate in the class if you are uncomfortable. There are also loyalty cards you can buy. For $60 you get six classes, working out to be $10 a class. Every six weeks they will have a draw where anyone who brings in a friend will get their name entered for a free six-class pass.

“There’s literally no pressure to perform. There will always be a few people in class who will say yes, who will get up if no one else wants to get up. If someone wants to just come and watch that is perfectly fine,” added Hazelton, “I’m definitely allowing people to audit the class.”

With an extensive career in entertainment, she hopes people appreciate being taught by someone with professional experience. Her work in music and television have earned her multiple awards and accolades.

Hazelton is a Canadian Jazz & Blues Vocalist (Jeff Healey’s Jazz Wizards, Hogtown Syncopators), a two-time Canadian Screen Award Nominated Actress (Fubar II, Whatever Linda), has been the host of her own National Radio program and worked internationally as a plus size model.

“Terra Hazelton is one of the best improvisors I’ve ever seen. And she brings the values behind good impro to all the work she does, be it in music, acting, singing or teaching. I’m so excited that she’s bringing improvisation to the Crowsnest Pass… The Crowsnest Pass is so lucky to have someone like Terra to learn from. I have no doubt that it won’t take long for the Pass to be known for some great improvisors and talent. Can’t wait to see where she takes it.” said Jeff Gladstone, Artistic Director of the International Theatresports Institute.

Born in Cranbrook B.C, Hazelton grew up in Calgary where, at age 14, she began to study improvisation and acting under world renowned Keith Johnstone and Dennis Cahill at the Loose Moose Theatre Company. At 18 years old, she attended the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where she continued to study acting and music.

Upon finishing school in New York, Terra moved to Toronto to start her career as a performer and was discovered by Jeff Healey. As the featured vocalist in his band, the Jazz Wizards for six years, Hazelton’s debut album was released in 2004. Following in Jeff’s footsteps, she became a radio host at JazzFM91, hosting her own national show called ‘Timeless’.

While maintaining a full-time music career, she has also continued to build her career as an actress. She had a recurring role on the TV series ‘Orphan Black’ alongside Tatiana Maslany, who is better known as She-Hulk. Then, in 2017, she starred on the series ‘Fubar: Age of Computer’ on VICE.

In 2018 Hazelton said she was thrilled to be cast in a new Canadian stage play called ‘Undercover’ which had a multi-city run and allowed Hazelton to revisit her roots in live theatre and improv.

‘Improv is so humbling, it puts everybody on the same playing field,” said Hazelton.

After 20 years in Toronto, Terra has relocated to Southern Alberta and is hoping to grow the Crowsnest Improv Group to a point where they can have a group compete against other improv teams around the province. 

“I want to improv club to be around for a long time. I want it to be accessible. I want it to be cheap. I want it to be fun. I want to give people performance opportunities eventually, but more than anything I love to explore [improv]. For me it’s a huge gift to do my passion and share my knowledge,” said Hazelton.

For more information, you can find her on Facebook and on Instagram at giver_trish, terradawnhazelton, and cnp_improv_club. 

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