Improv Classes

Highwire Improv workshops bring together some of the top teachers across the world for classes focused on specific skills and formats. Our classes will help you as a performer, producer and all-around improv genius! Click the arrow to learn more about our improv classes and to register.

All improv classes are offered completely online through Zoom. We recommend using a computer for the best experience. You do not need a Zoom account, but you might want to try it before the class so you are familiar with it.

All students taking our improv classes must agree to the Highwire Improv Code of Conduct.

Scholarships: At Highwire Improv, we want to make improv classes accessible to as many people as possible.  To support this, we have a very simple scholarship program for our paid workshops and classes.  Request a scholarship code by emailing highwireimprov@gmail.com with your name and the workshop you want to register for.  If we have a space available, we’ll send you a code for when you register.  The only condition is that you have not already used two scholarship spaces in the past month, to ensure we can reach as many individuals as possible.

We also have a list of improv classes at other theaters which we recommend. Learn more about them.

improv classes

Saturday, May 22, 11 am-1 pm
Improv for Kids

Instructor: Jonathan Monroe

It seems like grownups get to have all the fun. Improv isn’t just for adults! Get a chance to learn some improv games and play. Let’s put our imaginations to the test!

Ages 8-13

This class is offered completely online through Zoom. We recommend using a computer for the best experience. You do not need a Zoom account, but you might want to try it before the class so you are familiar with it. Captions are available upon request.

All participants must adhere for the Highwire Improv Code of Conduct

Cost: Pay-What-You-Can

Jonathan Monroe has been a teacher in the Maryland school systems for over 10 years. He has also been an improviser in the Baltimore area for 8 years. Jonathan has been directing a monthly school-aged driven family-friendly show, The Playground, once a month at Highwire Improv.

Saturday, June 12, 11 am-1 pm
Singin’ Saturdays

Instructor: Velvet Wells

The first Saturday of each month is dedicated to making up made up songs! We will practice techniques to sing in groups, trios, duos and maybe even some solo moments. The only experience you need is a joy for singing.

Immediately followed by a FREE open jam!! All levels welcome!

Cost: $25
Scholarships are available for BIPOC students. (Unlimited, select appropriate ticket type during checkout.)

Bio: Velvet Wells is a Black, autistic, queer, velvet voiced entertainer and facilitator from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a graduate of the Second City Toronto Training Centre (Musical Improvisation Conservatory) and The Improv Place (Masterclass in Teaching). Additionally, Velvet studied under international facilitators including Katy Schutte and Chris Mead, John Gebretatose, Ken Hall, Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto, Natasha Boomer, Patti Styles, and Mick Napier.

Velvet has facilitated in-person workshops for Toronto Theatresports (Toronto), Theatre on the Edge (Waterloo) and Black and Funny Festival (Minneapolis), and in 2020, started offering independent workshops online.

Social media link: https://linktr.ee/velvetduke

Saturday, June 19, 12-2:30 pm
Let’s Put on a Show!

Instructor: Geoff Taylor

Have you been in a jam that was just a series of 2-person scenes that have no common thread other than being loosely based on a one-word suggestion? Been in a mashup that resembled an NBA All-Star game folks chucking up 3’s from half court and then not getting back on D?

Often, we treat jams and mashups as opportunities to get some reps and play with new folks, but they can be so much more! This workshop will focus on making “sets” into “SHOWS!” We’ll do this by determining what we enjoy watching most about Improv shows, formats, styles, and then finding ways to bring those aspects to our own jams, mashups, and even teams we’ve been playing with for years.

We’ll find ways to add production value and pacing to make for a better viewing experience for the audience.

We’ll delve into the “Montage”. Why it has such a bad rap and what we can do to pump some life in this maligned form.

We’ll discuss “Pacing and Spacing” and how this provides a polished look to any show, improv, stand up, or sketch.

Then we’ll put this into practice by performing a 20 minutes set at the end of the workshop to be live streamed on Highwire Improv’s Facebook or YouTube!

Cost: $0-25 (Pay What You Can)

Bio: Geoff Taylor (he/him) took his first improv class at 40, fell in love with it, and promptly tried to fit 40 years worth of improv classes, jams, shows, and workshops into the next 4 years.

Geoff has studied improv all across the US, and strives to be the kind of improviser that can play with anyone, any style, any format. Experienced improviser or audience member. He is a board member at Highwire Improv and performs regularly with indie teams Whatever This Is?, David Bowie, Bear Trap, and on The Big Show at Socially Distant Improv.

Saturday, July 10, 11 am-1 pm
Singin’ Saturdays

Instructor: Velvet Wells

The first Saturday of each month is dedicated to making up made up songs! We will practice techniques to sing in groups, trios, duos and maybe even some solo moments. The only experience you need is a joy for singing.

Immediately followed by a FREE open jam!! All levels welcome!

Cost: $25
Scholarships are available for BIPOC students. (Unlimited, select appropriate ticket type during checkout.)

Bio: Velvet Wells is a Black, autistic, queer, velvet voiced entertainer and facilitator from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a graduate of the Second City Toronto Training Centre (Musical Improvisation Conservatory) and The Improv Place (Masterclass in Teaching). Additionally, Velvet studied under international facilitators including Katy Schutte and Chris Mead, John Gebretatose, Ken Hall, Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto, Natasha Boomer, Patti Styles, and Mick Napier.

Velvet has facilitated in-person workshops for Toronto Theatresports (Toronto), Theatre on the Edge (Waterloo) and Black and Funny Festival (Minneapolis), and in 2020, started offering independent workshops online.

Social media link: https://linktr.ee/velvetduke

Saturday, June 26, 1-3 pm
Taking Up Space

Instructor: Michelle Gilliam

Confidence, charisma, fun! These are things we all want to exude in improv and in life. In this workshop you will gain some tools to help you do just that and be a great scene partner. The one thing no one else can do is BE YOU!

3 Takeaways

· Confidence

· Ability to be calmer before shows and in life!

· Feeling like a contribution to yourself your team and your community!

Cost: $0-40 (Pay What You Can)

Bio: Michelle Gilliam is a voice-over actor, as well as the Owner and Artistic Director of Improv MKE, an improv comedy school and theater, based online and in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently serving the world.

Michelle has been involved in improv comedy for over 24 years, through studying, performing, coaching, teaching, directing, as well as leading corporate teams to success through helping them to harness the power of improv as a tool and resource for creativity and empowerment.

Sunday, June 27, 11 am – 2 pm
You. Them. Us.

Instructor: David Escobedo

A class inspired by my current study in improv as a PhD Student. I am studying “collaboration as a form of entertainment.” People like movies like Lord of the Rings, Coach Carter, or Big Hero 6, etc. – movies where a ragtag band of misfits learn to work together.

This class will have a 30 minute lecture at the top. I’ll talk about some theories and ideas. Surrounding the concept of “you” and “them.”

Then we will do some exercises to get into some kinesthetic practice.

Some of the material will be inspired by my book “This Improv Book” – there are things you can control (You), things you can support (Them) and the nexus at which these things collaborate as a collective (Us).”

Cost: $10-30

Bio: David Escobedo has been coaching and performing improv since 1995. He ran his first improv team for 13+ years and has performed in San Diego and Los Angeles. He has his BA and MA in Drama, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Drama with a focus on improv. His MA paper was on how an improviser’s voice (background/experience) is the most valuable element to an improv team and show. David loves improv that leans towards discovery more than invention. Improv is one of the few art forms where the audience discovers the story at the same time as the performers. Being lead by a style discovery may surprise the performer at the same time.