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.
Autumn 2015 Improv Class at SoDo Theatre:
Learn to improvise. The benefits of receiving training in improv stretch far beyond comedy on stage! Try it for yourself or give classes to someone as a gift.
Next session of beginning improv classes with be a six week session Oct 8 to Nov 12. All classes are Thursday evenings beginning at 7 pm and ending at 9 pm. As always, we'll be at SoDo Theatre. Fee is $75 with preregistration by Sept 30. Registration after October 3 is $85. Session fee includes free admission to Friday night shows during the entire session for each registered participant.
This Winter, we're offering drop-in classes on Thursdays. Come for any or all of the following dates to keep your winter a little less wintry and a little more improvy.
Dec. 11- No class due to another group having the space for the evening.
Dec. 25 - Christmas Day. No class.
Jan. 1 - New Year's Day. No class.
Have fun and don't forget to Yes-and yourself.
The summer schedule of improv classes!!! All classes take place on Thursday nights, 7-9 pm, at SoDo Theatre, 111 S. Walnut St., Champaign. See class descriptions below for details about fees. Payment by cash or check is requested at the start of the class.
"Yes you May" Drop-in Classes
Suitable for all levels of improvisers, these targeted classes will stand alone well, but offer a variety of topics for a well-rounded training experience. Pre-registration is requested but not required. Pre-register for all 5 dates in May and get free admission to Friday night improv shows during the entire month of May.
NOTE: May 22 & May 29 are recommended (but not required) for beginning students planning to enroll in the Basics and Beyond 2 summer session.
May 1: Get out of your head and into your body. (Coach: Brian Hagy)
May 8: Using the space and the stuff in your scene. (Coach: Brian Hagy)
May 15: Engage your emotional intelligence. (Coach: Aubrey Wachtel)
May 22: Back to Basics: "Yes, and" plus introductory scene work guidelines (Coach: Tami Haubner & Cara Maurizi)
May 29: Back to Basics: Character, object work, environment (Coach: Tami Haubner)
Summer Session: Basics and Beyond 2
Suitable for beginners and students who have taken one other beginning level class with Zoo Improv or elsewhere. Class includes 8 weeks of meetings plus an optional performance in August. In addition to expanding skills related to agreement, students will learn techniques for developing a scene outside the framework of an exercise and basic editing principles.
Dates: June 5 - July 31 (No class on July 3).
Fee: $80 for the session
Thursdays Feb 20 - Apr 17 (no class Mar 27)
7pm to 9pm
Cost is $80 for the session
SoDo Theatre (link to your left)
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.
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.
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!
Deadline for registration is October 10th. Fee is $90
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!
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.
111 S. Walnut St., Champaign.
Admission to the workshop is $30.
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!