Learn Improv At The Improv

Anyone who enjoys laughing and having a good time can benefit from the collaborative art of improv comedy. Instructor Shawn Westfall & Chris Ulrich resumes their wildly popular 4-10 week Improv courses. Featuring beginning-level courses, advanced courses with graduation performances plus intensive improv comedy workshops. Shawn's classes (and the numerous DC Improv shows they've generated) have been featured in the pages of The Washington Post, The Washington Post Express, Washingtonian magazine and The Georgetowner, as well on Washington Post Radio, DC 101, and WTOP Radio.

If you'd like to be placed on the wait list for any course please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and specify the course in the subject line.

Please note all classes are 18 and over and once you make a payment there are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations.

Beginning Improv Level w/ Shawn Westfall (6 Weeks):
*Only 2 Spots Left* Mondays, Sept 8 - Oct 13, 2014 at 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Beginning Improv Level w/ Chris Ulrich (6 Weeks):

Does "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" make you laugh? More importantly, does it look like something you'd like to try? Not only is improvisational comedy fun to watch, it's both fun - and easy - to do. And improv isn't just for actors: anyone - from teachers to corporate trainers to anyone wanting to build stronger teams - can benefit from the collaborative art of improv comedy. All it takes is an understanding of the basics of improv - and in this course you'll learn them. You'll also learn a number of games you can play just about anywhere, learn how to develop scenes and create characters within seconds, and learn exercises to help create "group mind" to better work and act together. But more importantly, you'll have fun!
Tuition: $225.00

Short Form Improv Level 2 (6 Weeks):
*Currently Available* Tuesdays, Sept 9 - Oct 7, 2014 at 7:30pm - 10pm plus performance showcase on Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Picking up where the Level I class left off, the Short Form Level 2 Improv comedy class continues to focus on "cabaret style" improv games. You'll learn the difference between "strong focus" and "weak focus" improv games, as well as new ways and strategies for developing scenes, adding information, and making new and different character choices. You'll also be exposed to some less structured abstract styles. In addition, you'll discover new ways to develop group mind and trust - integral for any successful improv scene.
Prerequisite: Improv Level I or permission of the instructor & principal.
Tuition: $225.00

Improv Boot Camp (10 Weeks):
*Sold Out* Thursdays, Sept 11 - Nov 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm plus performance showcase on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm

You've talked, we've listened. You wanted classes that were longer, that gave you an opportunity to build more cohesion -- "group mind" - with your fellow students, or that gave your improv troupe an opportunity to explore, together, some of the key components of successful improv scenes. Improv Boot Camp combines all the workshops offered by the DC Improv - Character; Advanced Long Form; Genre, Parody and Narrative; and Breaking the Rules - into one long ten week class ideal for those wanting a lengthier improv experience. It also provides established improv troupes with the opportunity to work together to further enhance group mind and as well as expose them to other options where long form and character are concerned. Register
Prerequisite:Improv Level I or permission of the instructor & principal.
Tuition: $400.00

Harold Long Form Improv (6 Weeks):
*Sold Out* Tuesdays, July 15 - August 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm plus performance showcase on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Picking up where the Level I class left off, the Harold Long Form Improv comedy class focuses on more advanced, abstract improv structures, specifically the Harold, a game technique created and popularized by Del Close, founder of Second City. Less emphasis on cabaret style games (although they are integral to the class, and you will learn a number of new ones) and more emphasis on understanding good scene work, building trust, listening, creating "group mind", and surrendering yourself to the moment in order to create improv scenes by performers functioning as an integrated whole. It's improv without a safety net -- specifically the safety net of a game structure. In fact, the last class will involve doing nothing but performing lengthy improv scenes based only on one-word suggestions.
Prerequisite: Improv Level I or permission of the instructor & principal.

Improv Level 2 w/ Chris Ulrich (6 Weeks):
*Sold Out* Wednesdays, May 21 - June 18, 2014 at 7:00pm - 9:30pm plus performance showcase on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Picking up from the beginning level course, this class will explore more in depth scene work and character creation using both short form and long form improv techniques. Students will learn how making powerful choices at the top of the scene and how a fully formed character will enhance and inform the performance. Also, we will explore physicality and object work as tools for interacting with the environment of the scene. The final class will be a performance showcase.
Tuition: $225.00

Long Form 4 Week Workshop:
Date: *TBD*

This course will be an intensive workshop focused on the Harold format in addition to other long form Improv techniques. This workshop runs 4 weeks, for duration of 2 1/2 hours per class.
Prerequisite: Improv Level I or permission of the Instructor & Principal.
Tuition: $195.00

Character/Scene 4 Week Workshop:
Date: *TBD*

The best Improvers are character driven and you are well on your way. So why not enhance your skills with this brand new course, "Super 2nd Level Character/Scene Improv". This workshop will focus primarily on exploring new dimensions of characters and utilizing these discoveries in short form Improv scenes. Now's your chance to be someone else...it's like your day job except a hell of a lot more fun! This workshop runs 4 weeks, for duration of 2 1/2 hours per class. There is no performance showcase at the end of this course. Register
Prerequisite: Improv Level I or permission of the Instructor & Principal.
Tuition: $195.00

Improv Marketing 101: Or, How To Play To Something Larger Than The DC Improv Scene Echo Chamber
Date: TBD

So, you just got back from the Del Close Marathon, and you and your troupe are suddenly energized by the prospect of new formats, ideas, things you’d like to try. Or perhaps you and your troupe are interested in finding an audience outside of other improvisors, or other than the same people who end up at your shows all the time. In short, you want to expand not only your improv horizons, but your improve audiences, too. Do we at the DC Improv have a workshop for you:
In this 2-hour workshop, Shawn Westfall, exclusive teacher of improv comedy at the DC Improv, will show you two strategies for expanding your audience: branding your troupe, and branding your show.Not only will Shawn bring to bear his nearly two decades of experience as both a teacher and a performer, but also his nearly two decades of experience as an advertising/marketing/branding creative to solve the unique challenges of gaining an audience for your improv show. You’ll learn

•    The power of repetition
•    What improv audiences are *actually* seeking
•    Why even excellent improv shows alone won’t win audiences
•    The benefits of recognized formats
•    Locating your show(s) in a genre
•    How making shows “time-sensitive” draws audiences

And much more.

In addition to teaching improv, Shawn Westfall has a day job: he’s currently a senior copywriter and creative consultant at Proof Integrated Communications, a division of the global public relations firm Burson Marsteller, with offices in New York City, Washington, D.C.. Chicago and Pittsburgh. Shawn writes and produces advertising and creative communications—including television, print, outdoor, radio, digital and emerging technologies—for numerous organizations, corporations, nonprofits and political candidates, and is one of the Proof’s primary conceptual thinkers. While at Proof, Shawn has played an integral role in the creation and execution of reputational and issues-oriented ad campaigns on behalf of some of the best-known Fortune 500 companies and NGOs.

Prior to joining Proof, Shawn worked in marketing for the Washington Speakers Bureau, the world’s premiere lecture agency, as well as for numerous ad agencies, including Greenfield Belser in Washington, D.C., O’Connell Meier in Alexandria, Va., and Guerra DeBerry & Coody in San Antonio, Tex.
Limited space: 20 people
Tuition: $50

Breaking the Rules 4 Week Workshop:
Dates: TBD

As an experienced improviser, you know "The Rules": Don't deny. Don't say "no." Don't narrate. Establish the "who, what, and where." Don't do teaching scenes or dance instructor scenes. Show, don't tell. And so on and so on. But does improv always work that way? Are "the rules" the rules? Do unsuccessful improv scenes occur when a rule has been broken? Does identifying that a rule has been broken and moving on guarantee successful scenes in the future? Is simply not breaking the rules enough for a successful improv scene? In this workshop, based on Mick Napier's informative and illuminating book, "Improvisation," you'll learn that "the rules" of improv aren't necessarily *the rules,* that, like most rules, were meant to be broken, and you'll learn how and when to do precisely that.
Prerequisite: Improv Level II or permission of the instructor.
Tuition: $195.00

The PIT 2 Day Improv Workshop
Dates: TBD

This class is for ALL Improvisers who are looking to fine tune their work. We will take everything you have been working on in the world of longform Improvisation and solidify your learning thus far. We will work on drills and exercises that will reinforce the vernacular of Improvisation that works consistently. You'll learn how to cut to the chase and get to what the scene is really about while focusing on active listening and reacting while serving the entire piece. Discover how to cultivate your own personal Improv Samurai, so that you will trust that "Acting Like Yourself" works. As long as you are entertaining yourself, you will entertain others. Nothing suffices like the truth, that's where all the funny comes from. A pot of cold water boils faster than a pot of hot water, if you agree and understand this concept, this workshop is for you. Class limited to 16 people, 2 days-3hrs/day
Tuition: $195.00

To enroll, please download the registration form or pick-up one up at The DC Improv.
Registration forms can be handed in personally, mailed or faxed with payment directly to: The DC Improv Comedy Club
c/o Allyson Jaffe, Principal of Comedy School
1140 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20036 f 202.466.7282 | p 202.296.7008 ext.11 Any questions please e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Once payment is made for a class, there are NO REFUNDS, EXCHANGES OR CANCELLATIONS. All classes are 18 and over.