TVA IMPRO is one of the oldest impro groups in The Netherlands, and certainly the largest. TVA started organising the international improvisation theatre festival in 1995.
Founder André Besseling describes the origin of the international festival:
Shortly after the introduction of theatresports in the Netherlands in 1988 by Keith Johnstone, it gained popularity and the first event was organized in 1989. This quickly developed into an annual tournament, organized by last year’s winner. TVA won in 1992 and organized a high energy Theatersport Championship in September 1993. However, winning had become so important that players sometimes focussed too much on scoring points and winning the match. […]
TVA therefore decided it was time for a change, and came with the idea of combining theatresports, longform and workshops. In Octobre 1995, TVA organized the first festival with this combination. […] The first groups which were invited came from Los Angeles, New Zealand and Danmark.
By now, the festival has had guest players from literally all over the world. You can see all the participant countries in red on the world map below. Besides teams from North-America, where impro blossomed long before it came to our country, we were inspired by players from Colombia, Brasil, Russia, Finland, Kazachstan, Slovenia, Israel, Libanon, South-Africa, Zimbabwe, New-Zealand, Japan. Just to name a few.