We will have classes running Tuesday-Sunday, September 8-13.

To jump to a specific class, please click the links below, or just scroll to see ALL our wonderful workshops!

Shared History with Jess Kelley-Madera & Adrián Burke - Tue, 9/8, 6-8:30 PM ($30)
Ghost Light: An Introduction to Dramaturgy with Lindsey McGowen - Tue, 9/8, 6-8:30 PM ($40)
Dirty Rotten World: Improvising Film Noir with Parallelogramophonograph - Tue, 9/8, 6-8:30 PM ($40)
Achieving Immediate Depth with Asaf Ronen - Wed, 9/9, 6-8:30 PM ($35)
Life’s Little Dramas with Lisa Thauvette - Wed, 9/9, 6-8:30 PM ($30)
Improvised Acting - A Path to Dramatic Improvisation with Michael J. Gellman - Wed, 9/9, 6-8:30 PM ($35)
INSTA-TEAM When Theater is Far: Improv in an Online World with Mario Gomez - Wed, 9/9, 6-8:30 PM ($50)
Subtext: The Power of the Unsaid with Megan Sherrod - Thu, 9/10, 6-8:30 PM ($40)
Words and Emotions with Zeno Cavalla - Thu, 9/10, 6-8:30 PM ($38)
Explore Your True Global Potential with Ankur Sardana - Thu, 9/10, 6-8:30 PM ($30)
INSTA-TEAM Intimacy & Relationship with Jeremie Day-Glider - Sat, 9/12, 10 AM-12:30 PM ($30)
Finding the Funny in The Drama with Jimmy Carrane - Sat, 9/12, 10 AM-12:30 PM ($55)
Mastering the Monoscene with Jonathan Pitts - Sat, 9/12, 10 AM-12:30 PM ($35)
Who Are You? Bringing Yourself To The Stage with Rhiannon Jenkins - Sat, 9/12, 1:30- 4 PM ($40)
Improvised Monologues with Shaun Landry - Sat, 9/12, 1:30- 4 PM ($35)
Every Breath You Take with Luana Proença - Sat, 9/12, 1:30- 4 PM ($20)
Fearless Females with Willy Clewits & Marjolein Inklaar  - Sat, 9/12, 4:30-7 PM ($40)
Meisner Into Improvisation with Mark Phoenix - Sun, 9/13, 10 AM-12:30 PM ($50)
Stiff Upper Improv with Rachel Thorn - Sun, 9/13, 10 AM-12:30 PM ($30)
Dig Deeper! with Simone Ellul - Sun, 9/13, 10 AM-12:30 PM ($35)
Narrative Long Form with Joe Burton - Sun, 9/13, 1:30- 4 PM ($50)
Acting for Improvisors with Rachael Mason - Sun, 9/13, 1:30- 4 PM ($35)
Bridging The Divide: Creating Relationships Via Zoom with R Kevin Doyle & Jonathan Pitts - Sun, 9/13, 1:30- 4 PM ($40))

The time slots are listed below (All time are Central Time Zone):

Tuesday, September 8, 6-8:30 PM

Wednesday, September 9, 6-8:30 PM

Thursday, September 10, 6-8:30 PM

Saturday, September 12, 10 AM-12:30 PM

Saturday, September 12, 1:30- 4 PM

Saturday, September 12, 4:30-7 PM

Sunday, September 13, 10 AM-12:30 PM

Sunday, September 1, 1:30- 4 PM

Please note: We will have a limited number of “scholarship slots” for classes and shows. These are reserved for students in need. Click here to find out more!

The workshops are on sale now!
See below for full details on the classes being offered:

Class: Shared History
$30/ Tuesday, September 8, 6-8:30 PM

Do you find yourself doing the same boring first-date-in-a-restaurant scene over and over? Why land there instead of the explosive romantic moment between two childhood neighbors on their first visit home after leaving for college? In improv, our scenes are only as interesting as the character relationships within them. By focusing on nonverbal listening, stage picture, body language, breath, and emotion we can establish a specific shared history between our characters. With shared history, we can make our scenework so textured and honest that the audience will forget they are watching improv.

Instructors: Jess Kelley-Madera & Adrián Burke

Jess is a NYC-based improviser specializing in narrative and musical improv. She loves all things weird and heartfelt, and as such her style sits between many of the traditionally comedic schools in NYC. She therefore teaches and performs independently throughout NYC, and she especially loves teaching teams with an emotional or narrative goal. She tours with her romantic narrative team, Bound, throughout the US, and she has participated in festivals around the world. She has studied improv at UCB Theater, Magnet Theater, Reckless Theatre, and HUGE Theater. When not doing improv, she is at home with her many pets and her beloved husband, Christian.

Adrián Burke is a Peruvian-American actor, comedian, and writer based in New York City. He has worked with TVLand, BET, VH1, Broadway Video, and on many, many indie film projects. He is the creator and host of the podcast La Mezcla: Conversations With Mixed and First Generation Americans which also is a bimonthly live show at Caveat in Manhattan. Adrián tours internationally as an improviser and improv teacher. He also tours with his duo improv show Bound . He is an advanced level improviser at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and a teacher at GoodCapp Arts in Manhattan. You can catch Adrián performing in theaters and bars all over NYC doing material about his immigrant mom.

Adrián is an alumn of the Acting Apprenticeship program at The Barrow Group Theater Company. Training includes the Boston University College of Fine Arts, The Atlantic Theater Company, Terry Schreiber Studio, and The Barrow Group Theater Company. He received his undergraduate degree in film production from Boston University.

Class: Ghost Light: An Introduction to Dramaturgy
$40/ Tuesday, September 8, 6-8:30 PM

So you’ve got an idea for an improv show but not sure where to start? Dramaturgy is what will take your show from concept all the way through to the performance and maximize the impact on your audience.

In improv, dramaturgy tells us how to research for a genre-based show, how to think critically about which tools to keep in our narrative toolbox, and why we do live theater in the first place. No matter what the production, a dramaturgical approach inspires acting, directing and design choices.

In this workshop, Lindsey will introduce you to the concept of dramaturgy, and to the invaluable guidance it provides improvisors. No matter what your position in an improv show — actor, director or tech — knowing where you’ve come from directs where you are going.

Instructor: Lindsey McGowen

Lindsey McGowen is the award-winning Mainstage Technical Director and Production Manager at the Hideout Theatre in Austin, TX. She’s designed lights, sound or video (sometimes all three!) for more than 30 improvised plays, and been a regular featured collaborator of the Hideout’s own Parallellogramophonograph. Improvised theatrical design is her passion, and she can’t wait to share it with you!

Class: Dirty Rotten World: Improvising Film Noir
$40 / Tuesday, September 8, 6-8:30 PM

PGraph’s Film Noir workshop draws inspiration from classic noir films and hard-boiled fiction to help you to create a world dirty and rotten enough to make the likes of Jim Thompson, Sterling Hayden, and Dick Powell feel right at home. A world where the rich are above the law and the poor operate below it. Everyone cheats, everyone lies, and everyone gets their hands dirty. Learn how to play out riveting scenes between all types of genre-specific characters including double-crossing detectives, cunning criminals, honest dames, lying broads, and careless thieves. Build your gritty world and then have fun getting dirty in it!

Instructors: Parallelogramophonograph

Since their premiere in 2005, Parallelogramophonograph (PGraph) has been more than just an improv troupe. Early on in their time together Kaci, Kareem, Roy, and Valerie knew they wanted to do something different onstage. Intrigued by the challenge of crafting fully-improvised stories together as an ensemble, PGraph spent years developing original formats and studying the arts of theatre, improv, and storytelling. Fiercely dedicated to the craft and art of improvised theatre, PGraph has performed weekly for over 14 years and will hit their 1,000th show together in 2020. They’ve toured the world performing and teaching their unique brand of improv with ensemble appearances in over 55 cities in the US, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Finland, and the UK.

The members of PGraph regularly teach, direct, and perform in shows at The Hideout Theatre in Austin, Texas – even during the pandemic. Find out more about them and their work, and their book on narrative improv, Do It Now, at

INSTA-TEAM Class: When Theater is Far: Improv in an Online World
$50 / Wednesday, September 9, 6-8:30 PM (with performances Friday, September 11, 8 PM)

Note: These participants will perform as a group Friday night focusing on the skills from the workshop.

Theater and Improvisation are always changing, but the last few months have made the change faster and more drastic. Many of us have moved our shows, jams, and classes online. While many of us can’t wait to go back to performing in-person in our regular spaces, this time represents a fantastic opportunity to explore new mediums, tools, and ways to interact with our audiences. The entire online world and technology are at our disposal. Let’s bring them into our shows! In this class, we will explore some tools, platforms, and ideas we can implement in our shows to make them more than a passive experience for the audience, our actors more than faces on a screen, and our audience members more than spectators. We will generate and develop an idea for a dramatic improv show using the tools that we discuss or tools that we come up with during class!

Instructor: Mario Gomez

Mario Gomez (he/him) is an experienced improviser and theatre artist. He has worked in over 255 productions in scripted and unscripted theater. In Mario’s 12 years as an improviser, he’s had the privilege to have worked with improvisers and theatre artists representing more than 40 countries and all continents. Mario has also taught improvisation in the USA, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

One of Mario’s main areas of interest and experience is technical improvisation, the relationship between the audience and performers, and dramaturgy for improv. These have led to him developing a unique viewpoint on improv and the heights that it can reach.

Class: Achieving Immediate Depth
$35/ Wednesday, September 9, 6-8:30 PM

Skip past the pleasantries and into the meat of the scene immediately. Play characters that have an immediate sense of shared history and learn that depth within a few lines of dialogue. Learn simple tactics that will give you insights and avenues to explore in any situation that you can build endlessly from for the rest of the scene.

Instructor: Asaf Ronen

Asaf Ronen is the author of Directing Improv: Show the Way By Getting Out of the Way. He regularly performs, teaches and produces in Austin, and for eight years was Education Director at The Institution Theater. He is also a Producer and Education Director of the annual Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. He has taught and performed improvisation in Canada, Great Britain, Norway and in twenty-eight of these United States with such groups as the B. Iden Payne Award winning Confidence Men (improvised plays in the style of David Mamet) and imp (mostly silent improv). He was also producer on TRUST US, THIS IS ALL MADE UP, a documentary on legendary improvisers TJ & Dave that premiered at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival in 2009 and helped develop the improvised film Days of Delusion with director Scott Myers. In 1999, Asaf founded the improv website, of which he is Editor-in-Chief.

Class: Life’s Little Dramas
$30 / Wednesday, September 9, 6-8:30 PM

Do you unabashedly love to watch feel-good movies, á la “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Ladybird”, “Princess Bride”? These dramas are wrapped up in memorable characters with good intentions. If you find that you lean toward the happy and giddy in your dramatic scenes or conversely, gravitate toward the dark and macabre, then this workshop is for you. We will examine the ingredients of drama (care of characters, tension, conflict of interest and change) and learn to apply this to everyday scenarios. Be prepared to notice the little things and to cultivate the quirky and bright.

Instructor: Lisa Thauvette

Lisa Thauvette has been in the brain tilting business for most of her professional career, in HR, education, and improvisation, tilting the trajectory in scenes and life. Lisa’s improv journey started in Brussels, Belgium, with the professional troupe, The Ghost Sheep, and has performed nationally and internationally in Brussels, Amsterdam, Dublin, Belfast, Chicago, and Malta. After 15 years in Belgium, Lisa now lives in northern Michigan, where she owns and operates Tilt Think, an education consulting group that harnesses the brain-tilting power of improvisational play for teachers, leaders, and innovators. She is one-half of a duo group playing at the DIF, Invisible Women; one-fourth of, The Femme Four; and one-sixth of her home-base group, Total Waste of Time Improv. Her affinity for improvisation eclipses even her affinity for doing fractions.

Class: Improvised Acting – A Path to Dramatic Improvisation
$35 / Wednesday, September 9, 6-8:30 PM

Out of stock

Improvisation is the jazz of theatre

For Centuries, Improvisation has been theatre created by actors for actors. It is simply acting without a script. In this workshop we will explore tools that can help bring our life experience to the work. Playwrights are told: ‘write about what you know’ well, we can improvise about what we know by incorporating our own unique and vibrant truth. Exciting and inspired performance comes from the courage to work outside our comfort zone – Let’s rediscover the play inside the play.

Instructor: Michael J. Gellman

Michael J Gellman is an alum of the Chicago Second City mainstage and was a Resident Director for Second City in Canada and the USA for over 25 years and Artistic Director of SC Toronto. He was a Senior Faculty and Founding Member of the Second City Training Center where he was a Program Head and Director of the NYC Training Center. He was also a Founding Faculty Member at Improv Olympic with Del Close, ten years Adjunct Faculty Member at Columbia College in the Film Directing and Comedy Studies Programs, Co-Founder and Company Member of Rendition Theatre, Artistic Associate at Organic Theatre, Founder and Artistic Director of both Theatre Works and Windy City Workshop and Co-Artistic Director of Wavelength. He is currently Artistic Director of Process Theatre.

He is credited with originating the term “Long Form” Improvisation and the book “Process: An Improvisers Journey” (Northwestern University Press) he co-authored with Mary Scruggs is a summary of his approach to improvisational training and Improvised Acting.

Michael continues to teach, direct and act in Toronto and around the world.

Class: Subtext: The Power of the Unsaid
$40 / Thursday, September 10, 6-8:30 PM

Our improviser skills are honed to be clear and obvious, so conveying and reading subtext in a scene can be tricky. In this workshop we fill focus on tools and tricks you can use in scenes to both communicate and respond to subtext. With these tools you’ll find scenes take on a deeper, richer meaning for the characters, their relationships, and the overall scene or narrative.

Instructor: Megan Sherrod

Megan is an actor, improviser, teacher, and director based in Austin, Texas. On stage, critics have called her “charming” and said her performances have a “vulnerability [that] is manifest and moving.” She is a member of the award-winning modern musical troupe Rook and a regular on the Hideout Theatre stage, which specializes in narrative improv. She’s performed in such improv shows as the wildly popular “Happily Ever After: Improvised Musicals Inspired by Disney Classics” and the award-winning “Nothing and Everything: Improvised Anton Chekhov Plays.” In 2019, she was honored to be one of the core eight cast that completed Hideout Theatre’s infamous 48 Hour Improv Marathon.

When improvising, Megan enjoys connecting with audiences through the creation of varied characters – from playful and silly to grounded and vulnerable and everything in between. She has been teaching for the Hideout Theatre (Austin, TX) since 2017 and has over a decade of teaching experience. She has performed and taught both nationally and internationally. Megan’s improv specialties include: vulnerability, acting in improv, musical improv, stage presence, long-form narrative, space work, and intimacy.

Outside of improv, Megan is a professional singer, voice teacher, theatre producer, and dog mom.

Class: Words and Emotions
$38 / Thursday, September 10, 6-8:30 PM

“I love you”. We imagine a romantic scene, a lovely, soft voice telling this words. But what if we say “I love you” with anger, sadness, fear? What’s going on when emotion, body and voice contradict our words? Welcome to the world of paraverbal communication. A brand new impro style!

Instructor: Zeno Cavalla

Zeno runs Teatro Believe, an improv and theatre school in Padova, Italy. He hosted (before the covid affair) every month a teacher from all around the world for shows and teachings, trying to see different point of views and and trying to realize connections with several art form. Zeno is also a novelist, a stand up compedian and the coordinator for northern Italy of the Italian network of poetry slam. He has been performing and teaching in almost all European Union, plus Los Angeles, New York, Bogotà.

Class: Explore Your True Global Potential
$30 / Thursday, September 10, 6-8:30 PM

Access to improv is not privileged anymore, it wasn’t meant to be and with the global pandemic helping improv explode, it is in for a global renaissance. Which means that in your class or group or maybe in your troupe, there will be people from various ethnicities. As moderators how many times we let our context and bias seep into games, suggestions and directions. We don’t realise when we have lost one of our students or co-participant. — Not anymore — This class is for teachers who want to learn from first hand experience, as a designer and an improviser – what are these moments where you loose you diverse students. How can you make them thrive? This is for students who should feel empowered about their backgrounds and culture and not worry about pleasing the class or the teacher. How can I use my context, my ethnicity better? This will not be an only exercise class, but an interactive one where Ankur will share ‘slides’ (Oh yes !) as well as play some games.

Instructor: Ankur Sardana

Wearing a couple of hats most times, Ankur is the founder of the improv group – Nautankibaaz Improv Comedy (NIC) in India and heads the design group at the OLX group.

As a designer he has worked in multiple countries and domains.

His journey in improv is a passionate pursuit into community building. A community which is based on empathy, play and creativity. He firmly believes that improv has a lot of answers to tough societal questions that we face currently as parents and citizens. The group NIC regularly conducts workshops and shows (now streaming online across the world) for kids, adults and elder alike.

INSTA-TEAM Class: Intimacy & Relationship
$30/ Saturday, September 12, 10 AM-12:30 PM (with performances Saturday, September 12, 8 PM)

Note: These participants will perform as a group Saturday night focusing on the skills from the workshop.
How often are we talking at one another rather than having an experience together on stage, shying away from moments of true connection in fear that the moment may stray into uncomfortable territory? Intimacy can be found in the touch of a hand, the familiarity of two shoulders touching, or the rhythm of a slow exhale. These subtle signals of connection relax the improviser, ground our scenes in truth, and invite the audience in to witness our most human moments. This workshop explores what creates intimacy and relationship onstage and off, helps us solidify our personal boundaries, and provides tools to create connection and intimacy onstage. We explore personal boundaries, learn tools to connect energetically, explore physical proximity and familiarity in different stages of relationship. When we portray intimacy and relationship realistically, scenes have even greater dramatic and comedic effect.
The experience level required for this class is two years or more of improv experience (Intermediate level).

Instructor: Jeremie Day-Glider

Jeremie Day-Glider has been teaching and working in theatre for over 20 years. Since joining the Barcelona Improv Group in April 2013, in addition to performing, directing and creating new forms for the group, she has both taught and developed curriculum for BIG School of Improv. Improv, at its base, is a philosophy of clear, honest communication; if we are self-absorbed in fear, it is very hard to communicate. When we are engaged in play, we are present with one another. When we are present, available, and really listening to our partners and ourselves, we are able to write, direct, perform, and edit in the moment, all at the infinite speed of creation. Jeremie’s goal for her students is to help them acknowledge and accept their own fear as they develop their skills, allowing them to play freely and shine as the brilliant humans they are. In her own play, direction, and teaching Jeremie works to create joyful, trusting, uninhibited play that is a delight to play with and watch.

Class: Finding the Funny in The Drama
$55/ Saturday, September 12, 10 AM-12:30 PM

Just because you’re doing dramatic improv doesn’t mean that it can’t be funny. In fact, often when you truly commit to the reality of a scene, many everyday moments can turn out to be very funny. In this workshop, you will learn how to make connections with your scene partner before any words are even spoken, as well as how to react emotionally to the reality of the scene, heighten the stakes, and choose a comedic point of view without losing the drama in the scene. Working this way will help you discover that dramatic improv can be as easy as having a conversation.

Instructor: Jimmy Carrane

Jimmy Carrane is the host of the popular improv podcast Improv Nerd, co-author of Improvising Better,­ and author of Improv Therapy and the Inner Game of Improv. He was an original member of The Annoyance Theater and Armando at iO Chicago, and has performed in Jazz Freddy and Naked with MAD TV’s Stephanie Weir. His one-man shows include the hits I’m 27, I Still Live at Home and Sell Office Supplies and Living in a Dwarf’s House and World’s Greatest Dad(?). Jimmy has taught improv for more than 25 years at The Second City, iO Chicago, and The Annoyance and his award winning Art of Slow Comedy Classes and Workshops, now online. For more information go to

Class: Mastering the Monoscene
$35 / Saturday, September 12, 10 AM-12:30 PM

The Monoscene is one of the most challenging and rewarding forms of improv. In the Monoscene you play the same character for the full 30-45 minutes, you are only in one location, the scene takes place in real time, and there are no edits of time or space. It can be a tricky process as there’s no internal form structures to cling too, so instead the improviser’s skills require listening, give and take, ensemble focus, acting, and patience. Through this workshop, Jonathan Pitts, who studied with Michael Gellman twice, will teach the performers how to apply these skills in this form, as well as establishing small moments in the beginning that become strong character arcs, in depth relationships, and the ability build a whole world out of one location.

Instructor: Jonathan Pitts

Jonathan Pitts is an award-winning international improv theatre artist from Chicago with over 30 years’ experience. He’s a creator, director, improviser, producer, and teacher, and he’s also the Founder and Executive Director of Chicago Improv Productions.

He co-founded the Chicago Improv Festival and produced it for 20 years. He created and produced the College Improv Tournament for 10 years. He was Teen Comedy Fest’s executive producer for 7 years. He’s also the founder and producer of Chicago Podcast Festival for the past 2 years.

He has taught and performed internationally in 12 countries, as well as all over America. He’s performed in over 1,250 improvised shows. He has created the improv shows, “The Make ‘Em Ups”, “The Oracle”, “The Silent Movie”, “Solo Plus One”, “Stopwatch”, and “Storybox Unscripted Theatre”.

He taught at The Second City for 16 years and he’s a contributing writer to their book on improvisation. He taught story-based improv at Piven Theatre Workshop. He’s also taught at 25+ American cities at regional improv fests and improv theatres.

For 3 consecutive years he was selected by New City magazine as one of “Chicago’s Top 50 Theatre Players” and he’s been interviewed about improvisation in books, newspapers, online posts, podcasts, radio, and TV.

Class: Who Are You? Bringing Yourself To The Stage
$40 / Saturday, September 12, 1:30- 4 PM

In this workshop we will use a variety of exercises and techniques to encourage you to be more vulnerable, more truthful, and more yourself on stage. All this will help you be better able to connect with your scene partner, and more comfortable on stage.

Instructor: Rhiannon Jenkins

Rhiannon is an improviser, actor, teacher, and facilitator, working across London and Europe. She performs regularly with They Don’t Know the Half of It, and The Ol’ Bill, and was a founding member of Acaprov: the improvised A Capella Musical.

She trained in Musical Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and in improv with Hoopla, The Free Association, and the Nursery.

Class: Improvised Monologues
$35 / Saturday, September 12, 1:30- 4 PM

Shaun Landry teaches you online how to take real-life monologues and apply them to improvisation. She will also take a classic piece of theater/poem/literature and deconstruct it down improvisationally into a solo improv character.

A class that not only can be used for improvisation on stage but for any online venture you choose to create. (Youtube to Tik Tok to Instagram, etc…)

Instructor: Shaun Landry

A Native of Chicago Illinois living in Los Angeles via San Francisco, Shaun Landry is the Artistic Director of Oui Be Negroes and founded The West Coast Improv Alliance and The San Francisco Improv Festival. She is also half of the Duo of Landry & Summers with husband Hans Summers).

Shaun has worked for The Second City Chicago Tour Company & Children’s Theater, Geese Theater Company, African American Shakespeare Company and has been in the improvisational festival circuit teaching, performing and directing at The Kansas City, Big Stinkin Improv Austin, The Funny Women’s New York, Miami, Hawaii, Duofest Philedelphia, Oberlin College, Chicago, Amsterdam, Seoul, Hong Kong, Toyko and Sweden Improv Festivals. She has performed and taught improv recently in London, Barcelona, Brussels and Dublin.

She can be read in numerous dissertations on improvisational theatre and in the the book “Whose Improv is it Anyway: Beyond the Second City”.

As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, she can be seen in the movies Read You Like a Book with Danny Glover and Karen Black as Marcia and The Oscar Award winning movie Milk with Sean Penn as Gwenn Craig. She can currently be seen in the upcoming show “Broke” with Quinta Brunson and Buzzfeed Motion Pictures. She currently teaches at The Pack Theater level 3 Improv and does online The Seniors and The Nationals Improv Comedy.

Class: Every Breath You Take
$20 / Saturday, September 12, 1:30- 4 PM

Using the idea of seven levels of tensions from Jacques Lecoq, slow motion techniques, corporal matrices, this workshop works from the rhythm of individuals and group’s breath to develop mime, emotional connections, create scene movement and characters. Everything is connected to our own breath: movement, emotions and relationships. Let’s breathe Improv together. Skills learned in this workshop: Body conscience and organic control. Principles of mime. Corporal Matrices to create character’s bodies.

Instructor: Luana Proença

Luana Proença is a Brazilian artist graduated in Acting, with specialization in Cultural Management, and Master in Arts. She had her own Theater and Producer School in Brazil from 2008 to 2016, and a College teacher in Directing and Acting from 2014 to 2017. She is a member of the Brazilians groups Novos Candangos and Saída Sul with which she created her solo show “Aleatório”. She moved to Lisbon in September 2018 in order to begin her PhD studies continuing her research in Improv. Her Master’s work was a proposal applied for an Improv Training using Sports, Viewpoints Techniques, and Improv Games. In 2018 she started the project “Visando Impro” with which she writes a blog about Improv in Portuguese, and she also made the Improv Documentary “It was necessary to listen to other voices”. She completed the Improv program at The Second City Training Center Hollywood and a few Master Classes from 2016 to 2018. In Europe, she has been a member of the Improv Groups Lilimprov and Codfish Waters, and also in The SIN (an European Improvisation Network), and the cast of international Improv shows as “Room 3” (Dance, Improv and Tarot) with the improvisers Amy Lamier and Jamie Graham from USA. She created the monthly project Impro.Lab, where she teaches and coordinates Improv Master Classes, and also the Project Jelly Jams with Stephen Thornton (USA) in Lisbon. She also translates “Status” magazine to Portuguese. In 2019 she was a teacher in the Belfast Improv Festival where she also performed her solo “Aleatório”, as in Sofia Improv (Bulgaria), Festival Amadora Mostra (Portugal), and in 2020 in Oslo (Norway). “Room 3” was performed in Portugal and in the Bentwood Festival (iO Chicago).

Class: Fearless Females
$40/ Saturday, September 12, 4:30-7 PM

When looking at ‘lower-level’ improv there is often a comparable number of male and female players (usually even leaning towards a higher percentage of women) – however, when looking at ‘higher-level’ improv more and more men seem to dominate the stage. This often has to do with how our societies and western cultures work. Therefore we need both to work together to turn this around, and it usually turns out that we have to start by empowering women. It is often noticed by women when playing with men that they are somewhat taken advantage of by the ‘yes-and’ ideas – “you should accept my offer, therefore play the accepting woman now”. This workshop is open to both men and women, because (as said before) we need both to change things. Although, the men should not be afraid of (powerful) women!

Instructors: Willy Clewits & Marjolein Inklaar

Willy Clewits is from the Netherlands and has been playing improv since 1994 and teaching since 1999.

Marjolein Inklaar is from the Netherlands and has been playing improv since 2004 and teaching since 2009.

Both of them have taught at several improv troupes (from one-off classes, to modules, to building up a troupe for several years) and in the past 6 years they’re both part of the Sub Rosa Improv School in Groningen (co-founders). Willy is owner at Improsa (since 2007) and Marjolein at Impro Inklaar (since 2010) – both companies work thoroughly with applied improv.

They have organized The National Long form Improv festival in Groningen (the Netherlands) 5 times and have participated in multiple national tournaments, functioned as coach, player and judge.

They are specialized in: Improv acting – more ‘sincere’ acting (realistic emotions, using silence etc.). Also pushing sincere to a point that it seems larger than life – because that is what surrounds us in society as well. Intimacy and aggressive play (which are closely linked together). Very good at coaching and teaching people how to play all ranges of personalities (including personality disorders such as schizophrenia, borderline personality, people with anxiety disorders, etc) in an honest and realistic way – which does not mean it cannot be very dramatic. Coaching directly focused on what a specific person needs to grow.

Class: Meisner Into Improvisation
$50/ Sunday, September 13, 10 AM-12:30 PM

Learn how to integrate the acting technique of Meisner into your improvisation. Meisner defined acting as: living truthfully in imaginary circumstances. Learn how to live truthfully and then how to use that truth to create the imaginary circumstances. Starting by teaching the repetition technique, we examine what the audience perceives as true, and let that truth guide the acting choices of the performer. The work is not about being ahead of the audience with ideas, but respecting their intelligence and following the emotional journey they see. Scenes will be richer, emotionally truthful, more silent, and work much better on camera.

Instructor: Mark Phoenix

A professional actor, V for Vendetta, The Bank Job…..acting and improvising for 30 + years, and teaching for 20+ yrs. developing the work of making emotionally truthful, improvised full plays for 20+ years. The big challenge is to compete with well written and fully rehearsed, star studded plays in national theatres, and do it better improvised!

Class: Stiff Upper Improv
$30/ Sunday, September 13, 10 AM-12:30 PM

You’ve heard of the British stiff upper lip, right? You know, how we can’t express our feelings, we uphold social etiquette at all times, we stick rigidly to class and power structures, and we do whatever it takes to avoid CAUSING A FUSS.

Now, this might be very damaging for human beings, but it makes for excellent improv! What if you can’t express yourself? What if the words are taken away? What if powerful emotions are glimpsed through subtext? That’s when you get your audience hooked on the engaging drama unfolding before them.

In this workshop we’ll use the power of subtext to explore what our characters are feeling versus what they’re saying. We’ll play with language to explore which communication methods make for the most engaging scenes.

And we might have a nice cup of tea as well.

Instructor: Rachel Thorn

Rachel trained as an actress at Drama Studio London and performs professionally in improvised theatre shows across the UK. Along with Alex Keen, she created Sex, Lies & Improvisation, a dark comedy about lying together, and the relationship drama Between Us, a bittersweet story about what it means to be in love. They were awarded The Phoenix Remix Act Of The Year 2019. Rachel also founded CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation and Scriptless In Seattle, the improvised romcom. She’s performed with Upstairs Downton, The Cambridge Impronauts and Shrimps.

Rachel teaches dramatic and narrative improvisation across the UK, including for Equity Sheffield, Sheffield Theatres, University of Nottingham Students Union and the British Improv Project. She also writes comedy sketches, which have been heard on BBC Radio.

Class: Dig Deeper!
$35 / Sunday, September 13, 10 AM-12:30 PM

Improvisers often introduce too many elements to a scene, trying to be original, trying to find new and different things in order to make the scene more interesting or exciting. But do we need to do this? What if we stopped looking around and started looking in, at what we can find deep inside a character or situation? Let’s explore together and savour the richness of depth. This workshop will help you feel more confident in your scenework, and give you skills to unpack the details, knowing that there is always so much to discover within any scene.

Instructor: Simone Ellul

Simone has an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from the University of Exeter and discovered improvisation during her studies, using it mainly as a rehearsal tool. It wasn’t until an improvisation workshop in Brussels in 2012 that she discovered improvisation as a performance art and hasn’t looked back since. She is a founding member of the English-language improvisation theatre troupe The Ghost Sheep, which is based in Brussels. She performs in improvisation shows regularly, mainly with The Ghost Sheep, but also with other improvisation troupes. Simone is also a member of the Mediterranean Improvisation Project Sabir and is one half of the duo Invisible Women. She recently co-founded a troupe named Firemoon, which is made up of three women of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. She has also performed in numerous international improvisation festivals including: The Dramatic Improv Festival (Chicago), Improv Fest Ireland, Impro Amsterdam, Improfestival Mainz, Copenhagen International Improv Festival, Tilt, Improfestival (Salento), Tolfama and Wip. She has attended various improvisation workshops with leading teachers and also attended the International Improvisation School, including the Teaching Programme, at Loose Moose in Calgary, Canada. She has taught various classes and workshops, including at The Dramatic Improv Festival in Chicago and for The Ghost Sheep, as well as an improvisation workshop for interpreters at the European Commission. Simone gives workshops to the Malta Improv Group and is a member of the teaching staff at ImproBrussels, one of the leading improvisation schools in Brussels.

Class: Narrative Long Form
$50 / Sunday, September 13, 1:30- 4 PM

In this class, we will explore techniques and practices that enable an ensemble to create a coherent narrative. We will discuss one act vs. two act forms, character considerations, and off-stage discipline.

Instructor: Joe Burton

Joe Burton is a 20 year veteran of Chicago’s improv community, founder of Bughouse Theater, and member of The Improvised Shakespeare Company. His class in narrative long form is directly drawn from the practices of The Improvised Shakespeare Company and Bughouse’s improvised children’s show Hogwash. He has also served as director for narrative improv troupe, Improvised Jane Austen.

Class: Acting for Improvisors
$35 / Sunday, September 13, 1:30- 4 PM

Improv IS acting… BUT we don’t know our lines. This workshop will steal from FAMOUS acting techniques and apply them practically to improv. This is NOT Improv for Actors but rather the opposite. You know improv now let’s listen, commit to moments, and ACT. We will cover character, relationships, and game play.

Instructor: Rachael Mason

Rachael Mason has performed and taught all over the world. She’s worked for the venerable Chicago Improv Institutions teaching improv in all its forms, long, short, serious, funny, satire, for film, for business, and for wellness. She is one half of the comedy duo THE BOYS with SUSAN MESSING.

Class: Bridging The Divide: Creating Relationships Via Zoom
$40/ Sunday, September 13, 1:30- 4 PM

It’s wonderful that webconference technology has made it possible for us to interact with performers from all over the world (and, in these strange times, online in our own communities), but the nature of that tech can make it difficult to form rich, genuine relationships. This workshop explores methods for forging honest relationships using techniques and exercises specifically curated for this brave new environment.

Instructors: R Kevin Doyle & Jonathan Pitts

R. Kevin Garcia Doyle is the director of the School of the Arts at Mid-Pacific on Oahu in Hawai’i. He is a recipient of the Hawai’i State Theater Counsel’s Pierre Bowman Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the theater community. His work with Hawai’i improv groups On The Spot, ImprovHI, Loose Screws and improv rock band Oil in the Alley has afforded him the opportunity to perform and teach from L A. to London. Online, he performs regularly with The Nationals via Pack Theatre. Doyle is also the education director for Improvaganza: The Hawaii Festival of Improvisation.

Jonathan Pitts is an award-winning international improv theatre artist from Chicago with over 30 years’ experience. He’s a creator, director, improviser, producer, and teacher, and he’s also the Founder and Executive Director of Chicago Improv Productions.

He co-founded the Chicago Improv Festival and produced it for 20 years. He created and produced the College Improv Tournament for 10 years. He was Teen Comedy Fest’s executive producer for 7 years. He’s also the founder and producer of Chicago Podcast Festival for the past 2 years.

He has taught and performed internationally in 12 countries, as well as all over America. He’s performed in over 1,250 improvised shows. He has created the improv shows, “The Make ‘Em Ups”, “The Oracle”, “The Silent Movie”, “Solo Plus One”, “Stopwatch”, and “Storybox Unscripted Theatre”.

He taught at The Second City for 16 years and he’s a contributing writer to their book on improvisation. He taught story-based improv at Piven Theatre Workshop. He’s also taught at 25+ American cities at regional improv fests and improv theatres.

For 3 consecutive years he was selected by New City magazine as one of “Chicago’s Top 50 Theatre Players” and he’s been interviewed about improvisation in books, newspapers, online posts, podcasts, radio, and TV.