Improv Program Intensives

The iO Theater offers shorter “intensive” versions of our Improv Program throughout the year.


Summer Five-Week Intensive

This program is designed for people who do not necessarily plan on permanently relocating to the Chicago area. (If you live/move here, you might as well take advantage of our full program!)

The Summer Intensive condenses the entire iO Theater school of thought into five incredible weeks. The class meets every Monday through Thursday from 11am to 5pm for five weeks. Each week, a different iO teacher instructs the class in a particular level of curriculum. All of our teachers for the Summer Intensive are currently teachers in our Training Center. Best of all, the class culminates in a performance here in our theater!

Week 1 focuses on Level 1 – This class teaches the basics of the iO style of improvisation, patterns, theory, connections, and iO’s philosophy on long-form improvisation.

Week 2 focuses on Level 2 – Here you will build on the teachings of Level 1 while allowing you to discover your strengths; it focuses on character creation, “the group mind” and object/environment work.

Week 3 focuses on Level 3 – This class concentrates on the two-person scene, the anchor of long-form improvisation.

Week 4 focuses on Level 4 – This is where you use all the skills you have acquired thus far in order to create the Harold, the signature long-form structure at iO.

Week 5 focuses on Level 5 – The advanced Harold level; here you will probe even deeper into the form, focusing intensely on the acting, editing, and group commitment that it takes to generate a 30-minute piece. You’ll also be getting ready for your show this week.

The Summer Intensive culminates in a performance at the iO Theater.

Dates: July 10th – August 10th
Cost: $1205

(You may make a half payment to secure your spot in the Summer Five Week Intensive.)

One Week Intensives

This week-long alternative to our popular Summer Intensive program will immerse you in the world of long-form improvisation, giving you the tools to be successful as a performer and as a teacher when you go back to your home troupe. The classes meet from 11am-5pm Monday through Friday. These week long intensives are offered 4 times a year:

Spring One Week Intensive
Dates: March 6th – 10th, 2017
Cost: $355

Summer One Week Intensive
Dates: June 5th – 9th, 2017
Cost: $355

Fall One Week Intensive
Dates: September 18th – 22nd, 2017
Cost: $355

Winter One Week Intensive
Dates: December 11th – 15th, 2017
Cost: $355


iO Advanced Two-Week Summer Intensive

This intensive is intended for graduates of the iO Summer 5 Week Intensive only. No exceptions.

The focus will of the intensive will be on advanced two person scenes, Harold, and other popular forms .  The intensive will meet Monday – Friday from 11am – 5pm both weeks and there will be a show on Friday, June 16th and Friday June 23rd during the day.

Dates: June 12th – 23rd
Cost: $605



Musical Improv Intensive with Dave Asher
Students of all experiences and backgrounds can find common ground in covering the fundamentals of musical improv through the lens of long form improv comedy.  How can you sing your best?  How can you find and support original choruses (both rhyming and non-rhyming) that indicate a brand and structure for a song?  We push past traditional genres and into original themes, emotional games, and points of view.  We create opening numbers that introduce a larger conversation that can be explored in a way unique to a piece, pushing past traditional one act or narrative structures, into long form; organic expansions, connections, and conclusions of a theme. 

This is a great week to do some of your best, most fun improv, with an ensemble on that same page.  Once everyone is up and singing together (which happens immediately), all sorts of things that can be troublesome in a class, (including agreement, scene work, and overall significance of content) fall right into place.  The singing keeps us PLAYING TOGETHER.  And we celebrate the group mind at the end of the week with the class divided into two teams, each performing an improvised musical piece.

The intensive will meet Monday, August 14th – Friday August 18th from 11am-5pm.  There will be a graduate performance on Friday, August 18th at 6pm.

Dave Asher, serves as both the teacher and the piano player.  He’s been improvising, on stage, in front of a class,  and behind the keys for over 20 years, and was honored by iO in 2015 as Improvisor of the Year, despite most of his work being as the theater’s resident Music Director (a position he’s held since 2007, having now played piano for literally thousands of shows.)  He’s also been teaching both regular and musical improv during that time, including launching iO’s 3 Level Musical Improv Program in 2015.

*note* Students who complete this Intensive are eligible to join into Level 2 of iO’s Musical Improv Program*

Dates: August 14th – August 18th
Cost: $355


There are no refunds. All sales are final. If you cannot attend the class you registered for, we can roll your tuition to be used during another session as long as you contact the Training Center 24 hours prior to the class beginning. If you reach out after that, we cannot roll your tuition.  

If you have further questions, please feel free to call the Training Center at (312) 929-2401.

Register Today!