Improv Training Program

NEW! Sketch Writing Intensive on December 17th! Details below…

The only thing more infectious than watching joyful people do what they love is being one of those joyful people. American Stage is pleased to offer this unique program specializing in the art of long form improvisation training and performance. Our multi-level program will guide participants through the foundations of improvisation as a performance medium, and offer guidance and coaching toward forming improv troupes.
All classes are taught by improv professionals from our program, or programs like Second City and The Groundlings. The Improv Training Program curriculum is uniquely crafted by our instructors, and based on tenets from The Upright Citizen’s Brigade.

Receive 15% off with:
A current college ID.
Your 2nd class during the same quarter.
Discounts can only be applied via phone.
Cannot be used in combination with early registration discount.

10% Early Enrollment Discount before December 21st at 12pm!
Use code: Early

Details below…

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Sketch Writing
Intensive

sold out!

An “intro to the writer’s room”. This one-off class starts with learning the fundamentals of sketch writing with an emphasis on creating a cohesive sketch show. Rather than writing in isolation, we simulate what a writer’s room is like: pitching sketches, slinging ideas back and forth, writing drafts, doing readthroughs and notes, and narrowing focus to perfect just the top sketches (still including work from each student). We then rehearse and perform these sketches in a casual show for ourselves, with a few invited/optional guests of the students.

Instructor Matt Schwartz grew up in North Jersey and received a B.S. in Theater with a writing concentration from Skidmore College. During his seven years in LA Matt has written and sold several pilots including a musical children’s show for the Jim Henson Company, acted in all manner of commercials (including Target, Pizza Hut, Visa, Nintendo, Staples, and Jack in the Box), and trained in improv and sketch comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre where he eventually was invited to write for and musical direct monthly show “Quick and Funny Musicals”.  This past year he finally made the decision to leave CrazyTown, and currently resides in St. Petersburg FL where he studies computer coding and coaches Improv.

Minimum: 7 students
Maximum: 14 students

Dates: Saturday, December 17th
Time: 10am-5pm (one hour lunch break)
Location: American Stage
Informal Performance: Saturday, December 17th at 4:30pm
Instructor: Matt Schwartz
Tuition: $75 (early registration discount does not apply)
No prerequisite required, but some improv experience (Intro to Improv or Level 1 completion) recommended.

Enroll Today!

Workshop Dates and Times: TBD

Dates: Wednesdays, July 6 – September 7 (10 weeks)
Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, September 11, 2016
Coach: Chris Friday & Hunter Brown
Tuition: $270
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 1 , and Instructor approval.

ENROLL TODAY!

Or call American Stage Education at
(727) 823-1600 ext. 201.

INTRO TO IMPROV

“Yes, and…” In improvisation we practice this simple skill to make our scenes a success. And if you try it, your life will be changed for the better both on stage and off. In the Intro to Improv class, you will learn how to give up judgment, embrace new possibilities and say “yes” to change. Through scenework and improv games like those seen on the show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, this class will introduce you to the fundamentals of improv comedy and give you the skills to think quickly and creatively on your feet.

This class is for students new to improv or for anyone who wants to revisit the core concepts behind this popular performance style. (It’s a great way to prepare for our Improv Level 1 – Setting the Scene class if you are new to acting or improv.)

The class will culminate in a showcase performance for family and friends.

About the instructors…

John Huls is a veteran actor, producer, director, and educator, who has performed in just about every bay area theater. An alumnus of U.S.F. (BFA) and Tampa’s School of Night improv group, John taught theater at Patel Conservatory and Berkeley Preparatory School for over 20 years. He also served as Educational Director at American Stage.

Patrick McInnis has been a performer for over 25 years. He has performed locally in plays, musicals and, most recently, in his own one-man show, The Comedy Hypnosis Experience. In addition, Patrick performs with The Third Thought in the area’s longest running weekly improv show. He has completed intensive studies with Piero Proccacini, a Second City and Improv Olympic graduate, and Kevin Mullaney, former instructor at ImprovOlympic and UCB, along with several workshops. Patrick has been teaching long form improvisation since 2011.

Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 20 students

Choose from Two Times!

Wednesdays
Dates:
January 18-March 8 (8 weeks)
Time:
6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: 
American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday
, March 12 at 6pm
Instructor: 
John Huls
Early Registration Price: $193.50 (use code Early)
Tuition
: $215

Enroll Today!

Saturdays
Dates
: January 21-March 11 (8 weeks)
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, March 12 at 6pm
Instructor: Patrick McInnis
Early Registration Price: $193.50 (use code Early)
Tuition: $215

Enroll Today!

Dates: January 30 – March 19 (8 weeks)
Time: Saturdays 10:00am – 11:45am
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, March 20, 2016
Instructor: Patrick McInnis
Tuition: $170

To be added to the waiting list for this session, please call American Stage Education at
(727) 823-1600 ext. 204.

Coming Soon!

Improv Level 1 — Setting the Scene

sold out!

This class introduces students to the basics of how to perform long-form improv. Students will learn and put into practice improv concepts like “Yes, And”, “Give And Take”, “Playing At The Top Of Your Intelligence”, and “Object/Space Work”. No matter what your improv experience level is, this ten-week course will show you how to create interesting scenes and explore new ideas, culminating in a showcase for your friends and family.

Shrey Neil is an actor and comedian in Film, Television, Theatre & Improv. Shrey’s improv training began alongside the formation of the Improv Program at American Stage where he spent years training under Hawk & Wayne, learning their unique style and approach to improv comedy. He performs regularly on the house team ‘As Per Usual’ at American Stage. Shrey currently studies Improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City and studied sketch writing with The Second City – Chicago. Shrey is a proud member of SAG – AFTRA and a member of The Performers Studio Workshop. Trained in Acting at Yale University, American Conservatory Theatre, and the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 20 students

*All students in Improv Level I are required to purchase The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual. You may purchase this book through American Stage Education or on your own. You must have the book on the first day of class. Once your enrollment for the class has been processed, someone will be in touch with you about purchasing the book.

Choose from Two Times!

Wednesdays
Dates:
January 4-March 8 (10 weeks)
Time:
6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: 
American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, March 12 at 6pm
Instructor:
Shrey Neil
Early Registration Price: $207 (use code Early)
Tuition: $$230
Lab Fee: $30*

Enroll Today!

Saturdays
Dates:
January 7-March 11 (10 weeks)
Time:  12:00pm-2:00pm
Location: 
American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, March 12 at 6pm
Instructor:
Shrey Neil
Early Registration Price: $207 (use code Early)
Tuition: $230
Lab Fee: $30*

Enroll Today!

Dates: January 16 – March 19 (10 weeks)
Time: Saturdays 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, March 20, 2016
Instructor: American Stage Improv Faculty
Tuition: $202
Lab Fee: $30*

To be added to the waiting list for this session, please call American Stage Education at
(727) 823-1600 ext. 204.

Sold Out!

IMPROV LEVEL 2 — FINDING THE FUNNY

sold out!

Picking up where Level 1 left off, students will learn and put into practice improv concepts like “The Game Of The Scene”, “Heightening/Exploring” and “Walk-Ons”.  The Level 2 course shifts focus to elevate the artistry of your improv work. It will heighten your technique, storytelling instincts, and wit, culminating in a showcase for friends and family.

Chris Juul has performed stand-up comedy and character acting for many years, and is among the first graduating class of American Stage Improv under the instruction of Gavin Hawk and Ricky Wayne He regularly performs improvisation comedy with his troupe, “As Per Usual.” Chris is also an accomplished multi-media artist, and studied film and graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and screenwriting and film production at Columbia College in Chicago, and also holds an AA teaching certificate in vocational education from USF. Chris has acted and provided voice characterizations in several award-winning educational videos for the Tampa Museum of Art (Greeking Out And Romanin’ Around The Ancient World) and (Get Surreal with Salvador Dali) for the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL. Additionally, he teaches graphic design in an applied trades high school, garnering two “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” awards, a City of Seminole Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year award, and a 2012 State of Florida nominee for Teacher of the Year.

Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 18 students

Saturdays
Dates
: January 7-March 11 (10 weeks)
Time: 12:00pm-2:00pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, March 12 at 6pm
Instructor: Chris Juul
Early Registration Price: $224.50 (use code Early)
Tuition: $255
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 1 and instructor approval.

Enroll Today!

Dates: July 9 – September 10 (10 weeks)
Time: Saturdays 10:00am – 12:00pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, September 11, 2016
Instructor: Chris Juul
Tuition: $235
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 1 and instructor approval.

ENROLL TODAY!

Or call American Stage Education at
(727) 823-1600 ext. 201.

IMPROV LEVEL 3 – CREATING THE CHARACTER

sold out!

Picking up where Level 2 left off, students will learn to put into practice improv concepts like “Point of View”, “Character Mirroring”, and “Status”. This ten-week class is taught by Ricky Wayne, working television & film actor and sketch-writer who studied at The Groundlings in LA. Ricky is also from the improvisation team, Hawk and Wayne. Students in this class will hone their acting skills, and stretch and define their comedic voice.

Ricky Wayne was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has trained and taught at Children’s Theatre Workshop and American Conservatory Theatre in theatre and acting, and at The Groundlings in Los Angeles in improvisation and sketch comedy writing for many years. Most recently, Ricky performed as Tartuffe in American Stage’s modern adaptation Moliere’s Tartuffe.  Past American Stage audiences have seen him as Carl from OPUS in 2010 and Marc in ART in 2013. Ricky is also half of Hawk and Wayne, a long form improv comedy duo with local actor and director Gavin Hawk (THE DUMB SHOW, 321, THE MEMORY, NEWS OF THE WEIRD: LIVE!, IT’S A LIVING!, THIS IS A COMEDY SHOW, THE MOCKUMENTARY and ANYWHERE, USA) and is a founding member of American Stage Improv. Other Local theatre credits include A Simple Theatre’s CONGRATULATIONS, JOE! and The Heather’s SPEED-THE-PLOW, ON TIDY ENDINGS and GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association.

Minimum: 12 students
Maximum: 18 students

Saturdays
Dates
: January 7-March 11 (10 weeks)
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, March 12 at 6pm
InstructorRicky Wayne
Early Registration Price: $243 (use code Early)
Tuition: $270
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 2 and instructor approval.

Enroll Today!

Dates: October 8 – December 10
Time: Saturdays 12:00pm – 2:15pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, December 11, 2016
Instructor: Ricky Wayne
Tuition: $270
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 2 and instructor approval.

Class will not meet on Saturday November 26th

Enroll Today!

IMPROV LEVEL 4 — LONGFORM FORMAT

sold out!

Picking up where Level 3 left off, students will learn troupe-focused improv concepts like “Group Scenes”, “Tags” and “Second and Third Beats” and apply them to performing a long form format that highlights the strengths of the group. This ten-week course culminates in a showcase for your friends and family. It is taught by Gavin Hawk, who is one half of the renowned troupe Hawk & Wayne, an Associate Professor of Theatre at Eckerd College, and the Artistic Director of A Simple Theatre.

Gavin Hawk may be known to American Stage audiences as one half of Hawk and Wayne, who have performed their long-form improv shows Mockumentary, It’s a Living, The Dumb Show and 321 as part of First Sunday Improv in the cabaret space for the past several years. Currently, Hawk and Wayne is performing Anywhere USA for American Stage’s First Sunday improv series. Other acting credits include Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (freeFall Theatre), Hate Mail (The Studio@620),Circumference of a Squirrel (The Studio@620), Love, Bukowski(California Repertory Company), Cider House Rules: Parts I & II (California Repertory Company), Gross Indecency (Huntington Theatre), Over the Tavern II: King O’ The Moon (Studio Arena/Pittsburgh Public), and Refuge (Soho Repertory). Gavin is also the founder and artistic director of A Simple Theatre, and an Associate Professor of Theatre at Eckerd College. He holds a Diploma in Acting from The Juilliard School Drama Division, and an M.F.A. in Acting/Directing from California State University, Long Beach. He is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association.

Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 16 students

Schedule: TBD, early 2017
Tuition: $275
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 3 and instructor approval.

Saturdays
Dates
: January 7-March 11 (10 weeks)
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, March 12 at 6pm
Instructor: Gavin Hawk
Early Registration Price: $243 (use code Early)
Tuition: $270
PREREQUISITE: Level 3 and instructor approval.

Enroll Today!

Performance Lab

sold out!

Congratulations! After graduating from the American Stage Improv Training Program, you’ve made it to the ranks of the best improvisors in Tampa Bay. We now invite you to join Performance Lab. What is Performance Lab?

Performance Lab is a group of advanced improvisers that gather each week for ten weeks to:
-Practice the skills you’ve learned in Levels 1-4 with other similarly trained improvisers under the supervision of one of our founding teachers.
-Receive individual constructive criticism, along with targeted exercises and methods to improve your weaker skill sets.
-Learn new Longform Improv Performance Forms that will stretch your imagination.

You must be invited by American Stage Improv to join Performance Lab after passing Level 4. Once you are invited to join, you may take the Lab as many times as you like, giving you a rigorous and safe environment to take risks and strengthen yourself as an improvisor.

The other advantage of Performance Lab is that it will keep your skills sharp so that you are ready to audition for House Troupes at American Stage when new performance slots become available. Remember, only improvisors who have successfully passed Level 4 are allowed to audition for House Troupes, and students who continue to practice in an environment like Performance Lab will drastically increase their chances of being placed in a troupe.

Dates: October 8 – December 10
Time: Saturdays 10:00am – 12:15pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, December 11, 2016
Instructor: Ricky Wayne
Tuition: $260
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 4 and invite from American Stage Improv leadership.

Class will not meet on Saturday November 26th

Call to Enroll

Dates: TBD Spring Quarter (not available every quarter)
Time:
Location: American Stage
Final Performance:
Coach:
Tuition:
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 4 , and Instructor approval/invitation.

Please call 727-823-1600 x 204 to enroll.

NEXT LAB TBD!

Musical Improv Workshop

sold out!

WHAT?! Musical Improv? Yes, friends. This is a real thing, and it’s amazing. It will heighten your scenework, and delight you with new discoveries. Having a good singing voice is NOT required to take this high-energy course. You just need a touch of fearlessness, a big imagination, and a solid grasp of Improv Level 1 (or higher). From there, the instructors meet each student at their level, and push you to new heights. We’ll be covering physicality, song structure, group numbers and a little bit of rhyming. If you’re looking to be more comfortable thinking on your feet and in verse, this class is for you. If you’re looking to stretching your improv skills further, this is right up your alley.

Hunter Brown is the musical director and accompanist of FST Improv. Chris Friday has been performing with FST Improv for over fourteen years at Florida Studio Theatre. They both co-created and co-teach all of their musical improv classes and are founding cast members of the hit musical improv show WHEN X MEETS Y.

Minimum: 9 students
Maximum: 20 students

Dates: October 5-December 7
TimeWednesdays 7:00pm-9:15pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, December 11, 2016
Instructor: Chris Friday & Hunter Brown
Early Registration Price: $270
($299 after September 28th early registration deadline)
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 1 , and Instructor approval/invitation.

Class will not meet on Wednesday November 23rd

ENROLL TODAY!

Workshop Dates and Times: TBD

Dates: Wednesdays, July 6 – September 7 (10 weeks)
Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, September 11, 2016
Coach: Chris Friday & Hunter Brown
Tuition: $270
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 1 , and Instructor approval.

ENROLL TODAY!

Or call American Stage Education at
(727) 823-1600 ext. 201.

Monthly Jams

sold out!

Monday Drop-Ins with Patrick McInnis.
Every Monday in the American Stage 2nd floor lobby.
7pm-9pm
$5 for current ASI Students, $10 for non-students
Led by ASI improv instructor, Patrick McInnis (formerly of Improv Olympic, and Upright Citizen’s Bragade). All experience levels welcome. A great chance for students to practice, and play with other improv folks from around town. This is also a supportive and fun group for those wishing to see what improv is all about.

Double Dutch: Women’s Improv Drop-In
3rd Thursday of each month in room 210
7pm-9pm
FREE!
Led by two hilarious ladies from American Stage House Teams: Sarah Davis & Jenna Felder. Inspired by the jump rope style that is only successful when you work as a team, this monthly workshop is an opportunity for the women of American Stage’s Improv Training Program, as well as women in the Tampa Bay Improv scene, to come together and learn from each other. Anyone who identifies as a woman and who has taken improv classes before are welcome to attend. Workshops will include both short form and long form exercises as well as an opportunity to run scenes and do character work. Double Dutch will take place on the third Thursday of each month on the second floor at American Stage. Recommended for ladies with some improv experience, from those who’ve simply taken a class before to those who perform professionally. Specific TBD dates will be open to newbies in the future!
Facebook group here.

If you have a workshop suggestion, or a genre of class you’re dying to take, please let us know! Email education@americanstage.org.

Workshop Dates and Times for Fall 2016: TBD

Dates: Wednesdays, July 6 – September 7 (10 weeks)
Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Sunday, September 11, 2016
Coach: Chris Friday & Hunter Brown
Tuition: $270
PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 1 , and Instructor approval.

ENROLL TODAY!

Or call American Stage Education at
(727) 823-1600 ext. 201.

Quarter Months
Fall: October to December
Winter: January to March
Spring: April to June
Summer: June to August

Classes subject to change and/or cancellation if fewer than the minimum number of students enroll. Should this occur, your tuition will be fully refunded.