Improv Classes

Animated Laugh

The National Comedy Theatre improv classes are an exciting and fun approach for people from all walks of life: actors, writers, lawyers or plumbers, beginners to experienced performers, the skills we teach can be applied to all areas.

Ask any casting director what skills are most important when seeing an actor at an audition - the vast majority would answer that is the ability to improvise.

Our teachers have been featured in commercials, film, and on television as well as performed in theaters across the country and all around the world. Whether you want to perform improv in front of a live audience, nail that next audition or develop skills that can help you on any stage, set or work environment, the National Comedy Theatre improv classes can help you achieve your goals.

We offer four levels of adult workshops, each one building on the lessons of the previous. Class sizes are limited.

Classes are held either at our theatre or at our new NCT Training Center at NTC Liberty Station.

For more information, check out our FAQ page.

If you would like to be contacted before the next round of workshops, click here.

Level 1: Improv Fundamentals

6 Mondays from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
September 26 - November 07 Sign up now secure enrollment

6 Saturdays from 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
October 01 - November 05 Sign up now secure enrollment

This course stresses basic skills such as focus, teamwork, mime, character and status - all of the things that, together, create great scene work. The core components of improv, listening skills & your ability to be "in the moment" are strongly emphasized. We build a solid foundation and develop a common language that ensures success in Level 2 and beyond.

Prerequisite - no experience necessary

Level 2: Scenework

6 Tuesdays from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
September 27 - November 01 SOLD OUT

Building upon the skills learned in our First Semester, this class places a stronger emphasis on character and complex scene development. Improv theory, storytelling, and advanced improv skills are learned, as well as a myriad of short form games.

Instructor: TBD

Location: NTC Liberty Station

Prerequisite - NCT Level 1

Level 3: Performance!

5 Tuesdays from 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
November 15 - December 20 Sign up now secure enrollment

An advanced class which will bring all the skills learned in the previous two courses together, with a focus on live performance. In this class, students are taught games taken directly from the NCT repertoire, which they will perform at our theater for an invited audience.

Instructor: Joe Birdsong

Location: National Comedy Theatre

Prerequisite - NCT Level 1 and Level 2

Level 4: Transition to Long Form

6 Tuesdays from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
September 27 - November 01 SOLD OUT

Expanding on skills learned in Levels 1 through 3, we will introduce theories and formats from the world of Long Form improv. We will learn how to build group trust, have better sustaining characters, and create longer formats that explore bigger themes. And because it's hard to instantly jump into 20 minute scenes, students will first focus on starting good scenes, learning when to edit, and telling better stories.

Instructors: Jessica Burtness

Location: National Comedy Theatre

Prerequisite - NCT Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3

Teen Improv Level 2

6 Saturdays from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
November 05 - December 10 Sign up now secure enrollment

Designed specifically for teens to build upon the skills obtained in the first semester of classes. In a fun and supportive environment, the students will learn the process of developing more complex and advanced improv scenes, characters, as well as becoming more skilled in pantomime-based games.

These classes will be held at our training facility in Pt. Loma.

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to perform for friends and family at the end of each series of workshops.

Taught by Steve Hohman

Prerequisite - NCT Teen Improv Level 1

Teen Varsity Squad

6 Saturdays from 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
October 01 - May 27 Sign up now secure enrollment

For teens that have completed Teen Level 1 and Teen Level 2, a new ongoing advanced workshop that will focus on performance. Teens will have the opportunity to present a recurring show approximately once a month.

The Varsity Squad is for advanced teen improvisors and meets every week throughout the school year

Cost is $75/month

Taught by Casey Gardner

Location: National Comedy Theatre

Prerequisite - NCT Teen Level 1 and NCT Teen Level 2

ELECTIVE - Musical Improv I

6 Mondays from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
September 26 - November 07 Sign up now secure enrollment

Taught by veteran mainstage player Michael Maury, this class provides improvisors with a strong musical foundation and the right tools to make up melodic masterpieces that can be incorporated seamlessly into any improv scene.

In this 6 week class, students will explore a variety of musical improv styles, games, and ideas. This class will delve into both short form and long form musical improv techniques and will confidently leave you with a song in your heart and a hitch-kick in your step.

Prerequisite - NCT Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3

Location: NTC Liberty Station

Stand Up Comedy Workshop

6 Sundays from 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
October 30 - December 11 Sign up now secure enrollment

Under the guidance of Comedy Veteran Tony Calabrese, you will learn how to develop a tight 5 minute stand-up comedy set that you can take anywhere and perform in front of anyone. You will learn the fundamentals of joke writing and performance; how to edit and refine material that is unique to you and your ‘voice’; how to connect and relate to an audience; and how to maximize your laughs per minute.

Advanced Students are encouraged to join the class to tighten their current material; create 5 minutes of new material; and learn strategic techniques key to better performances.

Location: at NTC Liberty Station

Prerequisite - no experience necessary