Workshops and Education

Part of our Mission is to do everything that we can to make sure that everyone in the world has a chance to experience improvisation.  We do that in a big way through Workshops and Education, believing that Improv is as much (or more!) a private experience than a public show.

We are always available to offer private workshops!   Private workshops are available to help an improv team move to the next level or to allow your existing social club a fun chance to try something new!

We offer company/corporate workshops to help your work teams operate more cooperatively and creatively, to blow off steam for a few hours, and to enjoy important morale and staff development.  

Send us an email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to get the ball rolling on setting yours up!!  See below for more detail on what we're offering right now!!



Improv Basics and Beyond

Winter/Spring Improv Class at SoDo Theatre (now closed for new members, but please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. that you want in on the next rotation of workshops!):

Thursdays Feb 20 - Apr 17 (no class Mar 27)
7pm to 9pm
Cost is $80 for the session
SoDo Theatre (link to your left)
Registration is at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Improv students attend all Zoo shows at no charge throughout the class!

Interested in giving Improv a try, but scared?!  DO IT!!  You'll be so glad you did!  As they say in Vegas, what happens in Improv Class STAYS in Improv Class.

You may not be a "beginner."  Fear not, please come and join us!  There will be plenty of learning and experiencing to do, and you will likely find that working with people who've never improvised before will both show you how far you've come and give you the very pleasurable opportunity to share those skills with your newbie brethren.  We will ensure that each and every class will give everyone involved something new each time, even if just solidifying an idea or skill you thought you already had.  As we've learned from seasoned Second City improvisors who we've seen take "beginner" classes at our Festival, it never hurts to revisit the fundamentals!

We've found that our improv students often enjoy performing at the end of their class, and although this is by no means a requirement, know that you will have an opportunity to show your friends and family what you've learned on a real live improv stage.



Fall '13 Targeted Workshops

Cara Maurizi will be teaching 6 nights in October, November, and December.  Sign up for one, two, or all of them.  

Weeks 1 & 2  (Oct 24 and Nov 7)
Learn the foundations of improv - "Yes, and" and listening through the fullest through a series of exercises and fun games.

Week 3  (Nov 21)
Give an even bigger gift!  Heighten your scenes.

Weeks 4 & 5  (Dec 5 and Dec 12)
Relationships and character buidling.  Add another layer by getting to the relationship faster and build characters to heighten.
Week 6  (Dec 19)
Pulling it all together.  Use your sweet skills to create awesome scenes that connect.  
Register by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with your name, phone number, the dates/classes you wish to attend.  All classes are $10 per night.  If you sign up for all six and pay for all six on the first week, we'll give you 4 free passes to Zoo's Friday Night Improv shows at SoDo Theatre.



Phoenix Theatre - Monticello


Starting October 17, James and Aubrey are taking their Beginner Improv Workshop on the road to the Phoenix Theatre in Monticello!  Thanks to the Monticello Theatre Association for asking us to guest host!  

Register through the MTA by sending them an email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Kelly at 217.493.4939 for more information.

Deadline for registration is October 10th. Fee is $90


Beginning and Intermediate Workshops

This year, James and Aubrey have been hosting classes on Thursdays, and it's been amazing!  People are learning to improvise right in front of us, and we couldn't feel more honored by the experience.

Improv is more than a parlor trick, it's not about being clever or smart.  Improv is the art of being uncensored and open to the moment, of being completely free from words like "clever" or "smart."  Improv is tons of fun to watch, and guess what?  The same skills work when applied to your life!  Saying "Yes!" to your circumstances, responding honestly and openly without fear, and asking explicitly for what you want when you want something are all basic to good scenework, and they're all basic to having a good day.

We're asking for $80 for enrollment in an eight week class, that's only $10 a session.  We've had rotations for intermediate and for beginning improvisors, and will continue to offer classes based on expressed interest from YOU.  We're currently considering intensive focus workshops as well that would hone in on a particular skill or technique.  What do you want to do?

The focus of our next rotation is yet to be determined, so email us now now with your desires!

Send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you want to get in on some of that.



Rick and Laura Hall, July 13, 2013!!

Zoo Improv is pleased to announce the Triumphant Return of Rick & Laura Hall’s Music Improv Workshop!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to improvise with music? It's easier than you think.
Laura Hall of Whose Line is it Anyway and Rick Hall of Second City are coming to Champaign to show you how!

Saturday, July 13.  3 -  630 pm.

SoDo Theatre
111 S. Walnut St., Champaign.  
Admission to the workshop is $30.

To register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  You must be registered in advance to attend and space is limited so be sure to register right away.  Payment will be due by check or cash on the day of the workshop.

This fun, lively workshop is accessible even for people who’ve never done song improv before.  If the thought of doing song improv scares the pants off you, this is the place for you.  It helps to have an improv and/or musical background, but isn’t essential.  You just need to bring an open spirit and be willing to give it a try!  And if you’re already experienced with song improv, this workshop will stretch your skills and bring you to the next level.

We'll just say that we're super excited about this and that we absolutely loved working with and learning from these two fantastic human beings.  You really want to make time for this!