Improv Training Program

American Stage Improv cultivates community and ignites artistry. Our robust educational programming empowers collaboration, discovery, and personal and professional growth. Classes are available for all levels, beginner to advanced, from shortform to longform improv styles.  All classes are taught by professionals from American Stage Improv, Second City, The Groundlings, or Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Live. Laugh. Improv!

Receive 15% if you qualify in one of these ways:
Retake a Level (applies to L1-L4)
Enroll in a 2nd class during the same quarter
Present a current college ID at the Box Office
(15% discounts can only be applied via phone or at Box Office. Cannot be used in combination with EARLY promo)

Review our class policies and FAQs.

CURRICULUM UPDATE: As of January 2019, ASI students starting Level 1 are beginning a 4-Level Foundational Training Program – and all former, current, and future students will have the option to complete Advanced Training that currently includes an additional Level 5: Longform Lab course. Level 5 will give students an opportunity to elevate all of the skills explored throughout the basic curriculum in the previous levels. An audition will be required to take Level 5 toward completion of Advanced Training. More details here.

Get Involved!

2018-19 ASI Shows

Practice & Performance opportunities for Local Indie Teams

Forming your own team? – See this list of local coaches (coming soon)

Spring Classes Coming Soon!

Join the email list for our monthly newsletter:

Adults Email List
Sending

facebooklogoFollow Us!
ASI Page &
ASI Student Group

Improv4Life

New Saturday Class Time!

Playtime for grown-ups!

Using fun short-form improv games & exercises like those seen on Whose Line is it Anyway? this class introduces you to the world of improvisation. With the guiding principle “Yes, And…” students will be exposed to the basics of improv while having fun performing.  This class is perfect for beginners, as well as more experienced improvisers, looking for awesome grown-up playtime.

Improv4Life will culminate in a student performance for family and friends.

NOTE: If you have minimal to no performance experience or would like to learn the art of Short-Form Improv, take Improv4Life before considering Level 1. If you have some performance experience, and would like to learn the art of Long-Form Improv, take Level 1.  For more information, please download this article written by ASI co-founder, Gavin Hawk…
What is the difference between Level 1 and Improv4Life? Which class should I take first?

Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 20 students

Instructor Bios

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 A. Jackson is an actor, playwright and teaching artist. He is an alumnus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and has studied with the British American Drama Academy. Patrick’s love for theater is rooted in improvisation, spoken word and story telling. He is currently a mainstage and musical cast member with FST Improv and performs with ASI’s new musical team “Definitely Not Murderers”. Patrick is a proud member of Actor’s Equity. www.patrickajackson.com

Wednesdays
Dates: January 16 – March 13
Time:
7pm-9:00pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: December 9

Instructor:
John Huls
Tuition
: $215*

SOLD OUT

Saturdays

Dates: October 13 – December 8 (8 weeks);

Sun, Oct. 28 during ASIF!;

No class on Oct. 27 or Nov. 24
Time: Saturdays 10:00am – 12:30pm
Location: American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: September 9
Instructor: Patrick Jackson
Tuition: $215*

*Enroll by September 26th for 20% off with code: EARLY

ENROLL TODAY!

Improv Level 1 — Setting the Scene

Learn the basics of how to perform long-form improv!

Level One is the starting mark, this is where you learn the fundamentals of Long Form Improv: Yes and, agreement, listening and commitment. Group exercises, basic scene work and object work are geared to make students more confident, committed performers and people.

There are no prerequisites for this class.  It is designed for the beginner improviser and/or the seasoned actor interested in the art of improv.

NOTE: If you have some performance experience, and would like to learn the art of Long-Form Improv, take Level 1. If you have minimal to no performance experience or would like to learn the art of Short-Form Improv, take Improv4Life before considering Level 1. For more information, please download this article written by ASI co-founder, Gavin Hawk…
What is the difference between Level 1 and Improv4Life? Which class should I take first?

Please Note: As of January 2019, ASI students starting Level 1 are beginning a 5Level training program (formerly a 4-Level training program). The future Level 5 will give students an opportunity to elevate all of the skills explored throughout the curriculum in the previous levels.

Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 18 students

Attendance policy: Any student who misses more than 2 classes across the 8-week session, will not be permitted to enroll in Level 2. (ASI reserves the right to make exceptions).

Instructor Bios

Jenna Felder is a graduate of the American Stage Improv Training Program. Taking an improv class was a “bucket list” item for her after going through breast cancer in 2013, and she hasn’t looked back since. Jenna grew up in the performing arts studying both dance and musical theater. As an adult, she was attracted to improv as a way to get back on stage in a fun and unique way. When not at American Stage, Jenna manages her own small business that helps local non-profit organizations create strategies for success and generally move the needle to get things done. Her areas of expertise include event planning, grant writing and donor development and management. She currently performs with the ASI house team, As Per Usual, which can be seen the second Sunday of each month.

Davina Reid  traveled the country as a military spouse and physical therapist prior to getting back to her roots in entertainment.  Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Davina was raised in the entertainment world with her SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor and drama teacher father, David Early.  Enjoying the fun, collaborative, in the moment storytelling of improv, she trained and graduated from the American Stage Improv Training Program. She performs with the ASI House Team, As Per Usual, every second Sunday of the month.  Davina is also an actor and member of SAG-AFTRA, most recently appearing in Lifetime’s “Christmas in Mississippi”.

Wednesdays
Dates: 
January 16 – March 13
Time: 6:30-8:30PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: Jenna Felder
Performance in Student Festival: March 17
Tuition
: $230*

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

Saturdays
Dates: 
 January 19 – March 16
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: March 17
Tuition: $230*

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

IMPROV LEVEL 2 — FINDING THE FUNNY

SATURDAY CLASS sold out!

Picking up where Level 1 left off, students will learn to find and play the Game of The Scene, the cornerstone of our improv philosophy. Students will learn how identifying and playing “game” makes their long-form improv scenes funny. Students will expand their improv tools to include: Finding the First Unusual Thing, The Game of the Scene, Heightening, Exploring, and Walk-Ons. The class culminates in a performance at the Student Improv Festival.

Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 16 students

Attendance policy: Any student who misses more than 2 classes across the 8-week session, will not be permitted to enroll in Level 3. (ASI reserves the right to make exceptions).

Instructor Bios

Gavin Stark  is a graduate of the American Stage Improv Training Program, and performs on the ASI house team AS PER USUAL. After watching his girlfriend’s progress with improv classes at American Stage, he joined the program as a counterpoint to his logical, structured world a software engineer and as a way to improve his public speaking for a new job as a teacher. Away from American Stage, Gavin is both Chief Technology Officer and an instructor at the Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild where he teaches web development to adults who are transitioning careers. He has even found ways to combine his worlds, developing a custom application to run the “tech” for this season’s Hawk and Wayne show, Karaoke Prov. Catch him on the 2nd Sunday of each month in House Teams Live!

Kris Atkinson is originally from Tulsa Oklahoma, is a filmmaker, writer, and comedic actor, that has been in St Pete since 2013. He has a Bachelors of Fine Art in Graphic Design and Mixed Media Art and is currently completing his Masters of Fine Art in filmmaking and screenwriting with a focus on the comedic response; his thesis film is set to premiere in April 2018. Kris has written and directed eight short films and has experience as a 1st Assistant Director, Unit Production Manager, Line Producer, Art Director and in other art department rolls on various film projects. Kris is a graduate of the American Stage Improv program and plays with the house team As Per Usual.

Instructor Bios

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 and his writing team created and sold several projects including a musical children’s show for the Jim Henson Company and a movie musical based on Rufio from the movie “Hook”. Matt has acted in all manner of commercials (including Target, Staples, and Nintendo), and trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre where he was eventually invited to join the team “Quick and Funny Musicals”.  Looking for change and consistency, Matt recently made the move to St. Peterburg where he studied computer coding, works in marketing, and teaches/coaches improv and sketch comedy to teens and adults. He is also in the workshop phase of his new musical, “Moments Awake”, which had its first reading at St. Pete’s own Studio @ 620.

Kris Atkinson is originally from Tulsa Oklahoma, is a filmmaker, writer, and comedic actor, that has been in St Pete since 2013. He has a Bachelors of Fine Art in Graphic Design and Mixed Media Art and is currently completing his Masters of Fine Art in filmmaking and screenwriting with a focus on the comedic response; his thesis film is set to premiere in April 2018. Kris has written and directed eight short films and has experience as a 1st Assistant Director, Unit Production Manager, Line Producer, Art Director and in other art department rolls on various film projects. Kris is a graduate of the American Stage Improv program and plays with the house team As Per Usual.

Wednesdays 

Dates: January 16 – March 13
Time:
6:30-8:30PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: 
Gavin Stark
Performance in Student Festival: 
March 17
Tuition: $255*

Prerequisite: Completion of Improv Level 1 (including performance in student improv fest)

ENROLL TODAY!

Saturdays

Dates: October 13 – December 8 (8 weeks); Sun, Oct. 28 during ASIF!; No class on Oct. 27 or Nov. 24
Time:
10:00am – 12:30pm
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Kris Atkinson
Performance in Student Festival: 
December 9
Tuition: $255*
*Enroll by September 26th for 20% off with code: EARLY 

Prerequisite: Completion of Improv Level 1 (including performance in student improv fest)

Button Text

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 explore and apply improv concepts like “Point of View”, “Character Mirroring”, and “Status”. Through both improv & acting exercises, learn to create grounded, dynamic comedic characters. Students in this class will hone their acting skills, and stretch and define their comedic voice.

Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 18 students

Attendance policy: Any student who misses more than 2 classes across the session, will not be permitted to enroll in Level 4. (ASI reserves the right to make exceptions).

Instructor Bio

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. American Stage audiences might remember him as Carl from OPUS in 2010, Marc in ART in 2013 and as Tartuffe in TARTUFFE in 2016. Currently he is in his 9th year in residence here at American Stage performing the first Sunday of the month as one half of Hawk and Wayne, a long form improv comedy duo with local actor and director Gavin Hawk in KARAOKE-PROV (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 currently works in television and film. Recent film credits include Girls Trip, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House. Television credits include recurring roles in WGN’s Outsiders, Netflix’s Bloodline, AMC’s The Walking Dead and Sundance Channel’s Rectify.  Most recently he can be seen in Madden NFL 18: Longshot as Ross Fountain. He is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association.  www.rickywayne.com

Saturdays 

Dates: January 19 – March 16

Time: 11:00 – 1:00pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
March 17
Instructor: Ricky Wayne
Tuition: $270*

PREREQUISITE:  Completion of Improv Level 2 (including performance in student improv fest)

ENROLL TODAY!

Coming April 2018!

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. Explore the logistics and framework behind montage sets, and integrate the skills you’ve acquired through out your improv training.

After completion of Level 4, graduates are eligible to audition for American Stage Improv House Teams.

Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 16 students

Instructor Bio

Tiffany Ford is a director, producer, and teaching artist dedicated to inspiring intellectual, emotional, and artistic growth through theatre education. Tiffany came to American Stage after expanding youth and adult outreach programs as the Education & Outreach Specialist at Asolo Repertory Theatre. Prior to her work with Asolo Rep, Tiffany spent seven years in Washington D.C., where she worked with the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, as well as Imagination Stage, and Washington Improv Theatre as a teaching artist and director. Her directing work additionally includes productions with The Kennedy Center Page to Stage Festival, Art Stream, Source DC, Madcap Players, The National Cathedral School, and more. Tiffany is a graduate of Theatre UCF, and recipient of the Gene Columbus Award.

Wednesdays

Dates: January 16 – March 13
Time: 
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
March 17
Instructor: Tiffany Ford
Tuition: $270*

PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 3 (including performance in student improv festival)

ENROLL TODAY!

Coming April 2018!

IMPROV LEVEL 5A — LONGFORM LAB

sold out!

Step up your improv game. Now that you’re trained in the elements of longform improv, it’s time to fine-tune your form! This is the opportunity to work with other advanced players, and get the reps and professional coaching you need to really elevate your work, and advance whatever form your team uses.

We’ll work…

– Openings. Let’s dig into as many as we can in 9 weeks together – from monologues, to organic, to documentary.

– Mastering “game.” Hone the study of finding “the unusual thing” and bringing it back.

– Group mind. Share focus with a group, and practice playing the patterns in group games.

– Bold choices (that are still connected and collaborative).

– Playing at the top of your intelligence.

– Acting technique. Further hone your strengths as an actor – play what you feel, and find more authentic characters.

 

Pre-requisite: Completion of Level 4 at ASI (or equivalent experience – meaning graduation of a similar improv training program).

Audition Required. 

Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 16 students

Instructor Bio

Gavin Hawk  grew up in the Los Angeles area. He studied Long-Form Improvisation and Sketch Comedy in Chicago at Second City and The Annoyance Theatre, and he earned his undergraduate degree in Theatre from The Juilliard School, and his masters degree in Theatre from California State University, Long Beach. In addition to improvising, he regularly acts and directs for theatre companies in the Tampa Bay area. Recent acting credits include The Pitmen PaintersArtBarefoot in the Park,The Foreigner (American Stage), and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (freeFall Theatre). Recent directing credits include Cloud 9The Last Night of BallyhooClosetland (Jobsite Theater), One Slight Hitch (American Stage), Death and the MaidenCongratulations, Joe!Good Egg, and Miracle on South Division Street (A Simple Theatre). He received a Theatre Tampa Bay award along with his fellow cast members in The Pitmen Painters in the category of Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, and was nominated by Theatre Tampa Bay in the category of Outstanding Director of a Play for his direction of Good Egg. In addition to co-creating and being a Teaching Artist for the Long-Form Improvisation program at American Stage, Gavin is also a Professor of Theatre at Eckerd College, a member of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers, and a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Saturdays 
Dates: January 19 – March 16
Time: 
11am-1:00pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
March 17
Instructor: Gavin Hawk
Tuition: $270*

PREREQUISITE: Completion of Level 4 at ASI (or equivalent experience – meaning graduating from a similar improv training program)

ENROLL TODAY!

Coming April 2018!

Musical Improv

sold out!

WHAT?! Musical Improv? Yes, friends. This is a real thing, and it’s amazing. This workshop teaches the art of impromptu musicals though exploring how to craft songs collaboratively, and how to grow a scene into a song.  It will heighten your scenework, and delight you with new discoveries. Having a good singing voice is NOT required to take this high-energy workshop. 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

Instructor Bios

Chris Friday is an improviser with over 20 years of experience. He is an original member of the FST Improv Group, and founding member of the Musical Improv program at FST. In addition to performing at FST, Chris serves as Director of Curriculum and Senior Consultant for Game on Nation. His unique talent for using positive humor to inspire change has helped all branches of the US military, as well as some of the world’s most prestigious athletes and teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, NFL Players Association, University of Alabama Football, and over 100 first-round NBA and NFL draft picks. Chris resides in Sarasota, FL with his wife and two daughters.

Tuesdays
Dates: 
October 9 – December 4 (8 weeks); No class Nov. 20
Time:
7:00pm-9:30pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: December 9
Instructor: Chris Friday and Jeremy Douglass
Tuition: $255
Enroll by September 26th for 20% off with code: EARLY

Prerequisite: Completion of Improv Level 2 recommended.

ENROLL TODAY!

Call for details

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!

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.

SaveSave