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 1/29/17 12:30pm-2:30pm
Sunday 2/26/17 12:30pm-2:30pm



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


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


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.​


Register HERE

Creating A Character Reel or Showcase

Auditioning for a sketch team? The Just For Laughs festival in Montreal? SNL? A sketch pilot on TV? At some point you’re going to need a character reel. Take this class to come up with characters and impressions – as well as to learn best practices for assembling your reel.

Megan Grano has been performing and teaching comedy for 15 years. She has coached hundreds of people on their character reels. She is a former staff writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live, she tours the country performing live comedy with Jim Belushi and the Board of Comedy, and she is one third of the creative force behind the hit web series The BreakWomb.

Saturday, 2/18/17 @1:00pm – 4:00pm – Mainstage
Saturday, 2/25/17 @1:00pm – 4:00pm – Writers’ Room
Saturday, 3/4/17 @1:00pm – 4:00pm – Writers’ Room
Saturday, 3/11/17 @1:00pm – 4:00pm – Writers’ Room


Register HERE

JTS Brown w/ Craig Cackowski

Learn one of the most challenging, freeing, and legendary improv forms from the director of JTS Brown, Craig Cackowski. Created by an ensemble formed by Ike Barinholtz and Jason Sudeikis in Chicago in the late ‘90s, the original JTS Brown were renowned for their transformational, dream-like style of play. Craig will teach you the techniques behind the form, and you’ll learn how to play within a large ensemble with instant support and no judgment. For iO West graduates, and current Level 4 & 5 students with instructor approval. Limit 14 students.

Taught by Craig Cackowski

Sundays @2:00pm – 5:00pm
March 26th – April 16th
One performance TBA the week of April 16th


Email darcy@ioimprov.com for registration info.

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