Course Catalog | DC IMPROV | Comedy Club, Restaurant, Bar, School N.W. Washington D.C.

Comedy School Course Catalog

Below is a list of the classes taught by each of our regular comedy school instructors. If a class that you're interested in isn't currently on our calendar, get on our wait list! We'll keep your e-mail address on file, and we'll notify you as soon as we plan to offer the course again.

WAIT LIST POLICY: If you'd like to be placed on the wait list for any class, 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 tuition payment there are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations. The wait list is done via e-mail, and once a class is announced via e-mail, the first people to pay in full get into the course. Payment must be made online, with a credit card. If you miss out on registering and you’d like to continue to stay on the wait list, you must e-mail that request to the Improv. You are not automatically enrolled into the wait list for the next announcement unless you request it.

Chris Ulrich (improv)

chrisulrichBeginning Improv (aka Level 1)

    • Learn the basics of improv! Improv comedy helps people with teamwork and creative thinking. And best of all, it's fun.
    • Five weekly 150-minute classes or six weekly 120-minute classes.

Level 2 Improv

    • Picking up from the beginning level course, students will focus on making powerful choices at the top of the scene and how building fun and dynamic characters will enhance their overall experience. Through short-form scene work and games, students will explore how physicality, object work and interacting with their environment can inform the scene and set them up for success. The course includes 5 classes and a final graduation performance at the DC Improv. Prerequisite: Beginning Improv or permission of the instructor and principal.
    • Five weekly 150-minute classes, followed by a showcase performance at the DC Improv.

Advancing the Scene Workshop

    • Builds on the Level I & 2 training of "yes and," active listening, observation, structure, and support to expand how we approach scenes and play at the top of our intelligence. We will focus on bringing presence into scenes, finding the funny or game within the scene, honing characters and relationships. Prerequisite: Level 1 & 2 Improv or permission of instructor and principal.
    • Five weekly 150-minute classes or six weekly 120-minute classes.

Introduction to the Harold

    • This class focuses on the creation of the long-form improv style developed by Del Close. With particular attention to recognizing organic opportunities in the moment, students will learn how to create believable characters, discover themes, and make scenic connections in the moment. Students will learn to explore the signature elements (openings, scenic beats, edits, character pulls, & group games) that bring together this dynamic structure. Prerequsite: One advanced improv class or permission from instructor
    • Five weekly 150-minute classes, followed by a showcase performance at the DC Improv.

Advancing the Harold

    • Building on "Intro to the Harold," this class delves deeper into the Harold structure. We'll be playing with new openings, deeper scene connections and building trust to organically discover theme- and game-based 3rd beats. Also, it focuses intensely on mapping, acting, editing, creating multiple storylines and deepening group mind. The class is an opportunity for improvisors to express themselves, continue to hone their Improv skills and deepen trust within the ensemble in order to create a dynamic long-form piece. 4B includes a student performance. Prerequsite: Intro to the Harold or equivalent Harold training.
    • Five weekly 150-minute classes, followed by a showcase performance at the DC Improv.

Anna Bethel (improv)

Anna BethelBeginning Improv (aka Level 1)

    • Learn basic improv skills and short form games, with an emphasis on the most important part of comedy: having a good time.
    • Six weekly 120-minute classes.

Short Form Improv: Characters & Emotions

    • Learn short-form improv games and exercises that allow you to create dynamic characters in your scene work.
    • Five weekly 150-minute classes.
    • Graduation performance at the DC Improv.

Short Form Improv: Relationships & Story

    • Learn the value of intriguing relationships and compelling narratives in short-form improv performance.
    • Five weekly 150-minute classes.

Reading the Room: A Workshop

    • Develop skills to "read" an audience, and learn to put those skills to use when performing or moderating short-form improv games.
    • Five weekly 150-minute classes.

Peoples Improv Theater

thepitSNL Sketch Writing Workshop

    • This two day workshop is for anyone who has ever thought about writing sketch comedy for stage or television. Taught by instructor Ali Farahnakian, one of the founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade and The Peoples Improv Theater and a former SNL writer.
    • Two three-hour sessions on consecutive days. Limit 12 students.

Two-Day Improv Workshop

    • 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 long form 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.
    • Two three-hour sessions on consecutive days. Limit 16 students.

Chris Coccia (stand-up)

chriscocciaFive Minutes to Funny

    • Our signature stand-up class teaches students to write, polish and perform a stand-up comedy set.
    • Four weekly 210-minute classes, followed by a graduation showcase at the DC Improv.

Beyond Five Minutes to Funny

    • A workshop for people hoping to further their stand-up careers or improve as performers.
    • One 150-minute workshop session.