BBD’s Improv Program



Longform Improvisational Comedy builds completely new, impromptu, unplanned scenes into an entire show, using nothing but a bare stage and maybe a few chairs.

The comedy comes not from conditions imposed on the performers, but from the characters and relationships they create. It’s a style of improv that lets you draw on who you are, on what you know, on what you think is funny and interesting. It’s the comedy training of most of the performers on programs like The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show, as well as the comedy schools of Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

Our improv program is based on the system developed by the Magnet Theater in New York and developed by Armando Diaz. We offer three classes on technique, Improv 1, Improv 2, and Improv 3 (Classes are taught both directly through Big Blue Door, or sponsored by the ever-awesome Live Arts). Each class is fun, interesting, and beneficial on its own and students are under no obligation to take multiple classes. Students who do complete all three levels are eligible for our Performance Workshops.

This spring Live Arts is offering Improv 1 & Improv 2, and Big Blue Door is offering Improv 3. You can register here.

Level 1: Character & Scene

This introduction to Longform Improv will teach you how to build an original show of life-filled characters and spontaneous, hilarious scenes. In eight weeks of exercises, games, and a final class performance you’ll learn how to play fearlessly with other smart people in focused abandon; how to draw inspiration from almost anything; and how to find what’s funny and compelling in real human emotions, quirks, and experiences! Whether you’re interested in longform improv, curious about how comedy works, or just looking to have fun this is one of the best classes you’ll ever take! $125. Maximum 10 students.

Our next Improv 1 class starts April 6th at Live Arts!

improv 2

Level 2: Cuts & Callbacks

Building on the skills from your Improv 1 class, Improv Cuts & Callbacks will teach you new techniques such as cuts, tags, callbacks and second beats. You’ll use these new skills in sync with other performers to explore characters in different times and places. You’ll also learn to expand the range of your characters using physicality, actions, and verbal confessions. Finally, you’ll learn to use the ‘Living Room Opening’ to generate richer and more playful ideas from audience suggestions. A fantastic course for actors, writers, and anyone who likes to have fun. Eight sessions plus a class show. Prerequisite: Improv 1. $125. Maximum 10 students.

Our next Improv 2 will start April 6th at Live Arts.


Level 3: Harold

This culmination of longform improv training draws on all the skills you’ve learned from previous levels and explodes them into a universe of fun. You’ll learn to create group scenes, group games, and group openings; you’ll explore third beats and connecting storylines; you’ll explore such forms such as the Monoscene, and the Harold, the original and most popular longform structure; most of all, you’ll work with other performers as a tight, dynamic, versatile unit to question, investigate, or just make fun of anything from the silly to the sublime. Eight sessions plus a class show. Prerequisite: Improv 2. $125. Maximum 10 students.

Our next Improv 3 starts March 24th at The Director’s Studio.

perf work

Performance Workshop

Students who have successfully completed Improv 3 are eligible for Performance Workshops. Each Performance Workshop is a run of shows at local venues and beyond focusing on a particular improv form, such as Monoscene, Harold, of the Sleepover. These Workshops take place throughout the year so improvisers can perform when their schedules permit.

Performance workshops planned for 2014:

advanced harold 4 June 2014

smallprov 2 August 2014

monoscene 3 November 2014

For more information on improv classes, forms, and curriculum email

2 thoughts on “BBD’s Improv Program

  1. Pingback: What’s the Big Deal with Improv? | Big Blue Door

  2. Pingback: Improv Runs | Big Blue Door

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