Peoples Improv Theater Classes

thepitbigEvery few months, instructors from the Peoples Improv Theater in New York City travel to the DC Improv Comedy School to teach special weekend classes in improv and sketch comedy.

If a PIT class isn't currently listed on our calendar, don't worry -- we have a wait list! Send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and specify the course in the subject line. We'll send you a message as soon as a new PIT class is open to registration.


SNL Sketch Writing

This two-day workshop is for anyone who has ever thought about writing sketch comedy for stage or television. If you've got the ideas and want to know how to build a sketch, this class is for you. This class will demystify what an SNL sketch looks like, what a "packet" for SNL or other sketch shows consists of and what "readers" are looking for in a "packet."

The class will focus on a commercial parody for the first day (which you will bring to the first class) and a two-person, five-page page sketch for the second day. As one of the only former SNL writers teaching in the country, Ali Farahnakian will give you a clear, concise point of view of someone who has been in the belly of the beast. Ali has taught this class to more than 700 people.

This class is limited to 12 people, and there's a three-hour session on each day.


Two-Day Improv Workshop

This class is for ALL improvisers who are looking to fine-tune their work. We'll take everything you've been working on in the world of long-form improvisation and solidify your learning thus far. We'll 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.

This class is limited to 16 people, and there's a three-hour session on each day.


 

ABOUT ALI FARAHNAKIAN: 

alifarahnakianAli is an American actor, writer, and improvisational comedian. He is the founder of The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) in NYC. Farahnakian was born in Iran but grew up in North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1990. After college he moved to Chicago in 1990. While in Chicago he became involved in improvisational comedy and was a performer at Chicago's Second City, ImprovOlympic and was one of the original founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) along with other original UCB members such as Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Horatio Sanz, and Adam McKay. In 2002 he founded The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) in New York City in honor of his mentor, Del Close. His one-man-show "Word of Mouth" was featured at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Farahnakian wrote for Saturday Night Live in the 1999–2000 season and appeared for many years as a sketch performer on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," his memorable characters on the show included playing Conan's agent Ari Palone. Farahnakian has appeared in films such as "Edge of Darkness" and "Arthur." He has made guest appearances on television programs such as "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "30 Rock," and "Louie." In 2012, Farahnakian joined the cast for the third season of the Adult Swim show "Delocated" starring Jon Glaser.

Farahnakian has also written for the MTV sketch series "Human Giant" and produced segments for the Channel 101 website.