Why Take an Improv Class?


“When I arrived in L.A. pretty much myself and Judd Apatow were the only guys who used improv in comedies… Now you just about can’t act in studio comedies without having an improv background.”
–Adam McKay (The Big Short, Anchorman)

Longform improv comedy is about creating complex scenes, compelling characters, and wonderful imaginative worlds from the performers’ own opinions, observations, and emotions. More than just the scenes or the characters themselves, longform improv means the training system that has evolved over the last decade or so to teach performers how to create in this way. The best longform improv training is practical, fun, and  effective. It uses time well, gives you simple things to do (rather than complicated things not to do), and teaches you how to listen and respond with immediacy, honesty, and simplicity. You even learn how to use your own doubts, fears, and shyness to add to the scene and to your characters.

IMG_2816 While the training system first developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a better way of teaching actors, directors, and writers, it has gone beyond the entertainment industry to reach people of all walks of life who discover how funny they are, how interesting they are, and how rewarding it is to be in sync with others. Beneficial for everything from job interviews to teaching to public speaking to conversing to writing novels, a longform improv class could be the best money you’ll ever spend.

BBD Harold by Martyn Kyle Big Blue Door is Charlottesville’s only longform improv training program. You can’t get these classes at UVa, PVCC, any other theater group, or any student club or association. Jen and I moved back here from years in New York City excited by the chance to bring our hometown and the University community these courses.

IMG_3422 Big Blue Door offers three 8-session courses, Improv I, Improv II, and Improv III. They’re for anyone, whether interested in comedy or the entertainment industry, or just interested in enjoying life. In Big Blue Door classes you’ll meet other funny, smart humans from all ages, backgrounds, and all walks of life.

shawn and deborah Big Blue Door runs Improv I courses at different times and days during the year. For 2020 we are running two Improv I courses in the winter (Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings) and another Improv I in the summer or fall (Time TBD). I hope you’ll join us!

Email classes@bigbluedoor.org if you would like us to let you know when the next Improv I is online for registration!

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