Jill Bernard is a loved teacher, performer and writer of perhaps the tiniest improv book in the world.

We chatted with Jill Bernard from Minneapolis, USA, who has has toured the world with her One-Woman show “Drum Machine”. Now she is bringing the show to Finland, as well as her Duo show SCRAM. She’s also teaching a bucketload of workshops, sharing knowledge and spreading love.. Here’s what she said about her upcoming trip to the Finland International Improv Festival.

Have you ever been to Finland?

No! This is the first time anyone has ever invited me.

I think everything will look like a Tove Jansson illustration. If everything doesn’t look like Moominvalley I am going to be really mad.

What do Finns not know about the USA that they should?

Over half of us did not vote for Donald Trump and we’re really freaked out. I don’t know if that word is getting out.

Jill Bernard & Joe Bill perform “SCRAM” on Wednesday, June 14th.


What do you do when you're not improvising?

I am studying Spanish, it is my favorite thing.

You perform in our headliner act "SCRAM" on Wednesday night. What can the audience expect?

SCRAM is a duo with my friend Joe Bill. We both like playing characters that like each other.

We play three scenes at the same time, two small ones and a larger one that we spend more time in. At the beginning of the show there’s always a little bit of tension for the audience because it’s hard to understand that there is more than one scene happening, but after that I hope they enjoy our three little worlds.

You also perform your famous show "Drum Machine" on Thursday. What do you like about the show?

Drum Machine is a solo show but it never feels very solo, because I often play with a musician, and an active technician, and also the relationship with the audience feels very ongoing and alive.

What's your favorite Improv / Theatre book?

“Jill Bernard’s Small Cute Book of Improv” because it says everything I would say!

What workshops are you bringing to FiiF this year?

This year I’ll be teaching Being a Dream Partner, If It Makes You Happy, Creating Realistic Character, and The Other Conflicts.

I’m also coaching an Ensemble in the format “Jump”. All players must exit and enter the stage with their pairs. The format allows veteran and beginning improvisors a chance to borrow each other’s influences!

What's going on in the improv scene in your home town?

We have so many new students that every year that it feels like improv is being reborn and pushing forward all the time.

We are getting ready for our HUGE Theater Summer Intensive in August – it’s going to be about Music & Mindfulness, I can’t wait!

Thanks so much! Is there anything else you're looking forward to about Finland and #FiiF2017?

I want to eat lots of Finnish food with berries and fish!

I also can’t wait to spend a long time with my students, digging into new ideas and discoveries.

What's your central message to improv students?

You are enough. Your self is the raw material, you have what you need to do your best work.


We can’t wait to have Jill joining us for the 2017 Finland International Improv Festival!

Her workshops are almost sold out, only a few single places are left. However, there are still 1-Day Passes available for Wednesday night when Jill performs with Joe Bill in their duo SCRAM; and for Thursday night when she performs her award-winning show Drum Machine!   And of course, you can buy your 4-Day Pass to get access to all the wonderful shows at this year’s Festival, including Saturday night, where you can see Jill perform with all the other FiiF Instructors in the INSTRUCTOR SHOWCASE

Be sure you don’t miss this chance to see Jill Bernard, and all the other wonderful performers in action! Get your tickets for the Festival HERE!



The 6th Annual Finland International Improv Festival takes place June 14-17th in Tampereen Ylioppilasteatteri.