Learn Improv

 
 

We teach a style of improvisation devoted to telling stories, together. Rather than try to be funny, we explore the endless emotions of the human experience — and we have a whole lot of fun doing so! Our philosophy is built on listening and collaboration, which we are confident makes for more memorable, and more enjoyable, stories. We're always planning new courses.  Sign up to get your spot in the next one!

 
 

ELEMENTS OF IMPROV

You've heard of improv, and maybe seen a show or two? Now it's time to jump in and play in a safe environment with people as open-minded, eager, and willing as you to dive in without fear of judgement. Our Elements track ensures you build a solid base of improv skills while having a blast!

ELEMENTS 1 • 8 classes • 10 - 14 students

This course will reignite your sense of discovery, whether you’re extroverted or a more shy introvert. An energetic introduction that will help you build confidence with the basics of improvised theatre, in a fun and trusting environment. No experience is necessary. This is the recommended starting point for all students.

You'll learn: 

  • how to get comfortable with, and even love, failure (yes, really!)

  • the art of getting out of your own head

  • the power of simplicity and vulnerability

  • using agreement to move forward by saying “yes, and…” to others’ ideas

  • the foundations of a great collaborative improvised scene

  • and more surprises we’ll keep for your first day ;)

In this safe environment we will celebrate failing, empowering you to find your voice. You'll make your first steps into the wonderful world of improvisation! Sign up now.

ELEMENTS 2 • 8 classes • 8 - 12 students

Ready to take it up a notch? In this course we go beyond games (but enjoy our fair share on the way) by diving into emotions and the basics of storytelling. You’ll learn what makes a story worth telling and how to find and create believable characters and scenes.

You'll learn: 

  • how to listen, really listen, to collaborate in scenes with other players

  • how to use silence and emotions to tell richer stories

  • what makes a relationship between characters interesting and worth watching

  • the basics of space-object work (miming) to create believable environments

  • more advanced techniques for solo and group scenes

  • and lots more!

Building on the work you’ve already done, you’ll dive deeper into improvised stories and learn to tell them believably while having fun!

ELEMENTS 3 • 8 classes • 8 - 12 students

It’s time to learn how this comes together to tell a whole story! In this course you’ll be introduced to the techniques that will empower you to move a story forward, and truly learn to wear all the improv hats: actor, writer, and director. The dynamics of a performance will be introduced. Depending on the group, this course may end with an in-class show to present what’s been learned to family and friends!

You'll learn: 

  • some narration techniques from the best stories ever told

  • how to edit and cut scenes, moving forwards and backwards in time

  • basic stage dynamics: working with pacing, stage picture, and movement

  • how to use the hero’s journey and genre attributes to weave wonderful tales

  • lots, lots more!

With your previous experience already under your belt, you’ll work with the group to create longer, more memorable, more emotional, and more energetic ensemble scenes.

No matter your level of experience, just get in touch and we’ll work with you to ensure you’re in the right course!


STUDIO

STUDIO • Rolling 8-class courses • 8 - 12 students

For those who’ve completed and met the expectations of the Elements track, the Studio track is where you’ll continue to hone your improv skills and learn how to play for an audience. You’ll work with a highly experienced improv instructor on developing more advanced techniques and really looking after your fellow players. Listening, emotional work, and slowing down are the pillars of this level. Feedback is very personalized.

More specific topics, like working with intimacy, solo scenes, and even specific genres (think Western, Horror, Romcom, Sci-fi, and more) are also covered. You’ll learn how to skillfully build tense and dramatic scenes, no matter what type of story you end up telling.

Students can train as long as they like in the Studio track.


STAGE Ensemble

Stage ensembles are smaller groups of advanced students who, after completing and meeting the expectations of the Elements and Studio tracks, are interested in training over a longer period to deliver a memorable and dynamic performance on a professional stage!

Believability and acting skills are given more focus. Working with lighting improvisers and musicians is a significant part of the training. Sometimes, students at the Studio level will perform as a stage ensemble, depending on the skills and goals of the group.

To join a stage ensemble, students are recommended by their instructor.


SPECIAL WORKSHOPS

We host workshops on different topics, from three hour quickies to weekend-long intensives. We also host guest improvisors that inspire us!

Past workshops have included:

  • "The Magic of Improvised Song" – with Stacy Smith (io Chicago)

  • “Space & Stage Composition” – with Daniel Orrantia (Speechless, PICNIC)

  • "Starting in the Middle" – with Tim Orr (BATS, Three For All)

  • "Closeness and Intimacy" – with Robert Rodgers (Scratch Theater)

Workshops are announced as they happen. Get the latest on Facebook.