Improv Classes / Program

The iO West Training Center is a destination for aspiring comedians, writers, and actors seeking to broaden their skill set. Our classes are designed to provide the tools needed to build your career in comedy and acting, whether on stage or on camera. As a student you will practice being present, seeking truthful ways to discover comedic moments, and committing to ensemble to unlock the magic of group mind. Regardless of where you are in your career, iO West offers the education, expertise and opportunities needed to learn sought after skills and sharpen your comedic sensibilities.

Level 1: Introduction to Improv

Students are introduced to the fundamental skills of longform improv and the tenets of iO. You will be exposed to the power of listening and building off of other people’s ideas. Level 1 gives you the foundation for creating well-acted, exciting and hilarious long form improv shows. Great for the experienced actor, students who have trained with other improv theaters, and true beginners new to performing.

Level 2: Characters in Scenes and Group Work

Focuses on creating and playing characters grounded in strong points of view. You will learn how to identify, create and play comedic characters as we break down the elements of successful improv scenes. This level focuses on demystifying how to make a scene funny, how to make comedic characters believable, and how to approach group work.

Level 3: Advanced Scene Work

Level 3 concentrates on students developing high degrees of proficiency and consistency in all aspects of scene work–listening, reacting, emotion, heightening, and pattern recognition. You will build the necessary skills to create rich comedic scenes that stand alone and also serve as the substantive material of a long form piece. This level includes a performance on one of the iO stages.

Performance Levels

Level 4: Intro to The Harold

In this level you will learn all of the elements of the world’s most famous longform improv piece (and the form upon which iO was founded), The Harold. Elements of the Harold include openings, beat structure, non-scenic group games, organic group work, advanced support moves, and theme exploration. This level includes a performance on one of the iO stages.

Level 5: Advanced Harold

The level where the training wheels come off! Armed with the ability to execute all of the elements of a Harold, you will now learn how to improvise the structure of your shows. Skills learned in this level will lead you to perform wildly inventive pieces that challenge you to express yourself while trusting and building off of the ensemble. This level includes a performance on one of the iO stages.

Level 5B: Graduate Level – New Form

In this final level the teacher takes on the role of director, working with you and your classmates to create your very own improv form. Upon completion, your class will perform your unique form in an 8 week run of shows at IO West.

The cost of each level of our Improv Program is $380

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