top of page
Brian-Smith Facilitator of Annex-Improv
Brian G. Smith

Brian G. Smith is an award-winning film-maker, educator, and alumnus of The Second City.  Over the last 20 years, Brian has helped thousands of students exercise their creative spirits, and find their own storytelling voices.

​As head of ‘Annex Improv’ (at the Centre for Social Innovation and MaRS), Brian has created training programs that combine personal and professional growth. "Powerpoint Improv" is Brian's unique custom package for corporate company team-building, found nowhere else in the city.  It combines Presentation Skills training with Classic Improv fun as participants are coached in improving their Public Speaking and Team Presentation skills using PPT slides they've never seen before. 

Brian is also an award-winning creator of short films, web series, TV programs and podcasts.This text is not funny, but Brian is.

Yitzi Gal

Yitzi Gal is an improviser and Drama therapist based in Toronto. Yitzi studied Drama Therapy in the masters program at both N.Y.U in New York and Concordia University in Montreal. Yitzi is a faculty member at the Second City Training Centre Toronto in their Improv, Longform, and Improv for Anxiety programs.


Yitzi is also a faculty member at Annex Improv and The Assembly longform improv school in Toronto. Yitzi has trained with the Second City Training Centre, Impatient Theatre Company, as well as the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City.


Yitzi performs around Toronto with several troupes including The Assembly house team Jibber Jabbar, and the duo We Are Trying, with Cameron Algie.

Yitzi was voted Toronto Improv Uber-Mensch 2015-2020

Facilitator: About
John Portero

John is an actor, and an improv & sketch comedian from London, UK. He currently performs in Toronto with The Assembly team SMOOCH, as well as troupes Barbara Flay, and Vermin Melville.


His one man show 'One Board Man', was a featured event at the Nottingham Comedy Festival, Amsterdam Improv Marathon, and The Edinburgh and Brighton Fringe Festivals.


John has studied and trained with teachers from the Upright Citizens Brigade, Improv Olympic, The Free Association, and The Second City, Toronto.

Note: He is NOT the puppet in this photo, like that older dude was not the cat in the Zoom call

Brian is a fantastic teacher. His ability to make people feel comfortable and judge when they are ready to take on new challenges is very impressive. I have never experienced anything like it.

Chris, Lawyer, Cavalluzzo LLP

Brian is a wonderful teacher, with a great sense of humour ... and a nurturing, patient teaching style. He sees what you're capable of, and then gives you the coaching, or challenge, and/or scene partner you need to be successful  (yes, you will probably have to sing at some point). .. Recommend highly!

Julie, Consumer Insights Manager

Facilitator: Testimonials

Make 'em LAUGH.

With his unique humour-based approach, Brian has helped thousands of students exercise their creative spirits, and find their own storytelling voices.

Facilitator: Text
Brian G. Smith, Facilitator of Annex Improv
Facilitator: Image
Brian's Blog

Read what Brian has to say below!

Facilitator: Headliner
Facilitator: Blog2 Custom Feed

“As an improv teacher, I’m much more interested in the therapeutic value than in the show business angle. I find teaching beginners to be the most fulfilling, ’cause it’s where the greatest personal transformations occur. There is a trajectory of joy in the first few classes that will never be repeated; they’re discovering that they, and the others in their new tribe, have magic powers. Literally – magic powers.”  - Brian G. Smith

Facilitator: Quote
bottom of page