Improv Training Program

American Stage Improv cultivates community and personal growth through artistry, discovery, and collaborative fun. The Improv Training Program classes are for beginner to advanced level students interested in the art of improvisation, sketch comedy, and comedic storytelling. Our multi-level program guides participants through the foundations of improvisation as a performance medium, and offers guidance and coaching toward forming improv troupes. All classes are taught by professionals from American Stage Improv, Second City, The Groundlings, or Upright Citizen’s Brigade. The curriculum is uniquely crafted by our instructors. All classes perform in a student show on our mainstage at the end of the quarter. Be bold, be playful, do improv!

Enroll by January 3rd for 20% off with code: EARLY

Receive 15% off:
When retaking a Level (applies to L1-L4).

OR
Your 2nd class during the same quarter.
OR
By presenting 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, unless otherwise noted.

Enroll below or contact us at improv@americanstage.org or 727-823-1600 ext 213

Review our class policies and FAQs.

Join the email list for new class updates!

Adults Email List
Sending

Improv4Life

sold out!

Playtime for grown-ups!
Improvisation enhances communication, confidence, wit, problem solving, and encourages laughter and creative risk-taking. If you try it, your life will be changed for the better both on stage and off.
Improv4Life is like a club for those who are either new to improv, or are hooked and would like to keep playing. In every session, you will discover new possibilities as you explore the philosophy and practice of “Yes And.”. Through scenework and short-form improv games like those seen on the show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, this class provides the FUNdamentals and great practice time. Be bold, be playful, do improv!

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

Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 20 students

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.

Wednesdays
Dates: 
Jan 17 – Mar 21 (10 weeks)
Time:
7pm-9pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, Mar 25
Instructor:
John Huls
Tuition
: $215*
*Enroll by Jan 3 for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Jan 3)


Sold Out!

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

WEDNESDAY CLASS 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.

 

Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 18 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.

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.

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.

Choose from 2 times!

Saturdays
Dates: 
Jan 20  – Mar 24 (10 weeks)
Time:
12pm-2pm
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Patrick McInnis
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, March 25
Tuition
: $230*
*Enroll by Jan 3rd for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Jan 3)

Lab Fee: $30**

Enroll Today!

Wednesdays 
Dates: 
Jan 17 – Mar 21 (10 weeks)
Time: 
6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Jenna Felder
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, March 25
Tuition
: $230*
*Enroll by Jan 3rd for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Jan 3)

Lab Fee: $30**

Sold Out!

Wednesdays 
Dates: 
Jan 17 – Mar 21 (10 weeks)
Time: 
6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, Mar 25
Instructor: TBD

Tuition
: $184 with code EARLY (regular price $230)
Enroll by Jan 10 for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Jan 10)

Lab Fee: $30*

Enroll Today!

IMPROV LEVEL 2 — FINDING THE FUNNY

SATURDAY CLASS 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.

Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 16 students

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.

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.

Choose from 2 times!

Wednesdays 
Dates: 
Jan 24 – Mar 21 (10 weeks)
Time:
Jan 24-Mar 7, 6:30pm-8:30pm;
Mar 14 & 21, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Kristopher Atkinson
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, March 25
Tuition: $255*
*Enroll by Jan 3rd for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Jan 3)

Prerequisite: Improv Level 1

Enroll Today!

Saturdays 
Dates: 
Jan 20  – Mar 24 (10 weeks)
Time: 
10am-12pm
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Gavin Hawk
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, March 25
Tuition: $255*
*Enroll by Jan 3rd for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Jan 3)

Prerequisite: Improv Level 1

Sold Out!

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.

Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 16 students

RICKY WAYNE (Teaching Artist) 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: 
Jan 20  – Mar 24 (10 weeks)
Time: 
12pm-2pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, Mar 25
Instructor: Ricky Wayne

Tuition
: $216 with code EARLY (regular price $270)
Enroll by Jan 3rd for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Jan 3)

PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 2

Registration Opens Soon!

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. 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.

Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 16 students

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: 
Jan 20  – Mar 24 (10 weeks)
Time: 
10am-12pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, Mar 25
Instructor: Gavin Hawk

Tuition
: $216 with code EARLY (regular price $270)
Enroll by Jan 3rd for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Jan 3)

PREREQUISITE: Improv Level 3

Registration Opens Soon!

Coming April 2018!

Sketch: ProLab Series

sold out!

More information coming soon!

Learn to write and perform sketch comedy! This elective starts with the fundamentals of sketch writing with an emphasis on creating a cohesive show. Rather than writing in isolation, we simulate a writer’s room: pitching sketches, slinging ideas back and forth, writing drafts, doing readthroughs, cuts and edits, and narrowing focus to perfect the top sketches.

This class is part of our ProLab Series: unique elective opportunities for intermediate to advanced improvisers to explore a range of skills that hone improv technique and artistry. Sketch Comedy can still be taken as a one-off experience. We recommend, but do not require completion of Improv Level 2 (or equivalent experience).

Sketch Comedy will culminate with a performance of an original sketch comedy show at our Student Improv Festival on March 25th.

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.

More information coming soon!

Back in January 2018!

Saturdays

Dates: Jan 20 – Mar 24 (10 weeks)
Time: 12:00-2:00pm
Location: American Stage
Final Performance: Student Improv Festival, March 25th, 2018
Instructor: Matt Schwartz
Tuition: $255*
*Enroll by Jan 3 for 20% off with code: EARLY

Recommended Experience: Improv Level 2 (or equivalent experience) is recommended, but not required.

Enroll Today!

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

sold out!

More information coming soon!

This class takes your improv technique to the next level. The best improvisers have a writer, director, and an actor’s mind. We must instinctively play rich characters, and create authentic relationships and scenework at every turn. Not only is this class a great extension of our Level 3: Character class, it’s an important complement to the UCB-style curriculum that focuses heavily on crafting comedic storytelling. Acting for Improvisers challenges the performer to reconcile their comedic writing muscle with their authentic stage actor muscle. These powers combined can make you an extremely versatile and unstoppable improv performer.

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. 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 8th 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 (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. He currently works in television and film most recently in Recurring roles on RECTIFY on the Sundance Channel and OUTSIDERS on WGN. www.rickywayne.com

More information coming soon!

Saturdays
Dates: 
Oct 7 – Dec 16 (10 weeks)
Time:
2:15pm-4:15pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
Sunday, Dec 17
Instructor:
Ricky Wayne
Tuition
: $204 with code EARLY (regular price $255)
Enroll by Sept 22 for 20% off with code: EARLY (discount can be transferred to another class after Sept 18)

Prerequisite: Completion of Improv Level 2 recommended, or 2 years of acting study.

Sold Out!

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!

Drop-Ins

sold out!

Monthly All Play Drop-Ins
Starting January 2018 – more info coming soon!

Double Dutch: Women’s Improv Drop-In
7pm-9pm in room 210 on…
Jan 25, 2018
Feb 15, 2018
May 17, 2018
Aug 16, 2018
Join American Stage Improv Facebook Page for updates & additional dates
FREE!

Led by the hilarious Jenna Felder (Level 1 instructor and As Per Usual team member), and Director of Educaiton & Outreach, Tiffany Ford. 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 select third Thursdays on the second floor at American Stage. Open to all levels of experience.
Stay tuned on Facebook for updates, reminders, and additional Double Dutch Happy Hour meet ups at local restaurants.
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.