Electives & Workshops

All-You-Can-Sing Sundays

Come get those singing reps in! Eric Schackne leads this monthly workshop for musical improvisers of all levels. Practice your on-the-fly song skills!

Sessions are led by Eric Schackne, iOwest’s Music Director and house accompanist. Eric has a breadth of experience spanning teaching/performing/studying improv comedy and songwriting/composing/producing, which provides him a progressive approach to the musical improv niche. Improv ability should be (at a minimum) stage/performance comfortable.

Next Drop-in Class:

Sunday 1/29/16 12:30pm-2:30pm
Cost:$25

Improvised Pop Songs (5 weeks)

Pop songs. Whether you love them or love to hate them, it’s most likely for the same reason: they’re dumb and catchy. Dumb — dumb and catchy.

Musical improv may seem daunting, but learning the simplicity behind crafting a punchy pop tune dissolves all those fears into a newfound confidence.

Eric Schackne, iOwest Music Director and house accompanist, provides a supportive environment for sharpening your song skills. Five sessions are focused on making up songs, so get ready to sing a lot. Learn to make bold moves that support the song. Find a deeper understanding of leading/following — how you can lead by following and vise versa. Explore the structure and function of top 40 hit formulas and learn ways to artfully deviate from the standard.

While improv/singing experience may come in handy, the only prerequisite is that you are comfortable standing before a group of peers and getting a little silly.

Sundays 1/29/17 – 2/26/17 3:00pm-6:00pm

Mondays 1/30/17 – 2/27/17 3:00pm-6:00pm

Cost:$250

Master Class: The Improvised Movie

Face it, you came to Hollywood to be in the movies and now’s your chance! In this workshop veteran improviser (and co-founder of the iO West) Paul will use his 15+ years of experience with the Improvised Movie to teach students the all skills necessary to perform their own improvised movies right before the audience’s very eyes.

Students will learn how to call and create camera angles, effective use of genre and scene painting and one of the most important tools – the tee pee method of story telling. For movie lovers and lovers of linear narrative in general.’

Taught By Paul Vaillancourt

Starts 1/4/17 through 2/8/17
Wednesdays @ 7:00pm-10:00pm in the DCT

Cost:$250

Register HERE


Kids in the Hall Sketch Class w/Kevin McDonald ​(​2 days​)

​Join Kevin McDonald of the Kids in the Hall for a two day workshop to learn how to write sketches through improvisation – just like the Kids in the Hall used to do. Kevin will talk about the secrets of writing comedy sketches (hopefully they’re secrets and not lies) and teach you the Kids in the Hall process of coming up with an idea and turning it into a sketch through improvisational rehearsal.

You will be performing and writing with Kevin supervising, all weekend. All you have to bring is pen, paper and your bodies. Kevin promises bathroom and lunch breaks and if you ask him, there’s a good chance Kevin will tell stories about the Kids in the Hall. Lots of stories about the Kids in the Hall.

You might actually have to ask him to shut up and stop telling stories about the Kids in the Hall. He’s beside me now, telling stories about the Kids in the Hall. Shut up Kevin.

Saturday & Sunday 2/18/17 – 2/19/17 @10:00am – 5:30pm in the Writers Room

Taught by Kevin McDonald

C​lass show Sunday Feb 19th from 7-8pm.​

Cost:$300

Register HERE


Improv Coaching Workshop

This two-week workshop will focus on coaching strategies designed to benefit both new coaches and veterans. Areas of focus will include building camaraderie and ensemble, how to conduct a rehearsal, giving notes on shows, and how to develop your own coaching philosophy.

Workshop participants will learn from two of the best coaches in the world of improv comedy who will each bring their unique coaching perspectives.

Brian Jack is a veteran IO performer and coach who has performed with The Reckoning in Chicago and Los Angeles and coached many teams in both cities including current IO team Swearwolves.

Karen Graci is a Second City and IO vet who performs with King 10 and has coached many teams including ‘Harold Team of the Year’ winners Bandit and Heyday.

2/15/17 @7:00pm – 10:00pm with Karen Graci

2/22/17 @7:00pm – 10:00pm with Brian Jack

Cost:$60

Register HERE


Click HERE for more information regarding our class policies and Registration FAQ