“It will change your life!” That’s what we hear most often about taking improv classes. At BIG University you’ll work with the best improvisers in Baltimore to perform original, honest, and funny work through games, exercises and performances. We offer classes for all levels – from introductory level to advanced specialized programs. Age is truly just a number in improv. There are classes and workshops for kids, teens, and adults.
You will receive excellent training and specific feedback while you have the time of your life!
WHERE: All classes, unless otherwise noted, will be held at Bolton Street Synagogue, 212 W. Cold Spring Lane, in Evergreen.
Level 101: Intro to Improv
This is the place to start. This course is a prerequisite to all of the upper-level classes.
Students will explore the fundamental principles of improvisation through exercises in agreement, commitment, spontaneity, and listening. No prior performance or improv experience are necessary. Classes build upon one another, allowing novice improvisers to grow and be challenged at a comfortable rate. Sessions are designed so students will build a strong foundation as a confident performer. You will amaze yourself with your newfound skills at the last class performance in front of your friends and family!
Note: This course will meet at The BIG Theater, 1727 N. Charles St.
Level 201: Introduction to Improv Game
Now apply what you’ve learned in Level 101 to focus on "the game of the scene". This class is heavy on exercises in the structural components of game-based, longform improv: zeroing-in on one idea at a time and playing them to their comedic high points. Students will emerge from Level 201 with the tools necessary to stage longer, intertwining scenes with recurring themes, rich characters, and fun relationship dynamics. Prerequisite: Level 101
Note: This course will meet at The BIG Theater, 1727 N. Charles St.
Level 202: Short Form Improv
You’ve learned the basics of building improvised scenes, now dive into the magical world of short form improv. In this class, students will focus on performance techniques within the parameters of punchy, predetermined formats (think Whose Line Is It Anyway? or BIG's very-own short form troupe, Plan B) . Students will engage in a variety of short form formats including guessing, gimmick, firing line, audience participation, pattern recognition, gibberish, and more.
7 Sundays, 12-2 pm, July 15 - August 26
Level 301: Scene Work
You’ve learned the basics, now get focused on making your scenes run like a well-oiled machine. This class will give you an opportunity to tighten up your longform scenes by building stronger comedic ideas through a deeper understanding of character and game among your team. Support moves, beats, callbacks, group scenes, and advanced edits will all be practiced and utilized to fill out and innovate scene work. Prerequisites: Level 101 and Level 201
7 Thursdays, 6:30-9 pm, July 12 - August 23
Level 304: Acting for Improvisers
The dirty secret of improv, the one many improvisers won’t even whisper to themselves at night, is that improv is acting. Acting for Improvisers will focus on “living truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” We will be slowing down to explore character creation and motivation using scripted scenes and monologues as well as fully improvised scenes. This course will require some work outside of class, and full engagement in class, with the commitment to play scenes for truth before laughs. The class will culminate in a showcase combining scripted scenes and fully improvised dramatic scene work. Prerequisites: Level 101 and Level 201
7 Mondays, 7-9 pm, July 11 - August 22
Level 401: Group Games
Two characters standing on stage: the most common improvised scene. But how do scenes change when a third, fourth, fifth or ninth player is thrown into the mix? And how do you build those group games within a Harold into more than just a palette cleanser? In this advanced improvisation class students will learn pertinent skills for scenes in which every player is involved. Special emphasis will be placed on agreeing, finding the game, and sharing focus while heightening emotionally and physically. The class will explore working as a group through openings, walk-ons and backline support, and numerous approaches to organic and structured group games. The class will culminate in a long-form performance which emphasizes the awesomeness of group dynamics. Prerequisites: Level 101, Level 201, and at least one 300-Level class
7 Mondays, 6:30-9 pm, July 9 - August 20
Try a Two-Hour Intro Workshop
Never taken an improv class before? Well now is your chance to try it out with experienced BIG instructors!
This introductory workshop is designed to give potential students an opportunity to experience what a class is like before committing to a full course. Through simple, fun and supportive games, participants will explore basic concepts like playfulness, listening and agreement – all in a safe and comfortable group setting geared specifically toward those who are new to improv.
*As an added bonus, workshop participants will receive a free ticket to the Sunday evening improv show, directly following the workshop!* Space is limited, so please sign up ahead of time to secure your spot. For adults 18+
- July 1, 5-7 pm (register)
- July 8, 5-7 pm (register)
- July 15, 5-7 pm (register)
- July 29, 5-7 pm (register)
Workshops for Kids and Teens
Teen Intensive Workshop
If your teen is looking to get more out of improv than our normal, one-off workshop offerings, then BIG's Teen Improv Intensive is the ticket! Our Intensive enlists 12 teens, 13-17 years old, to embark on a 5-day session of classes together, to sharpen their skills as individual performers and grow as a cohesive team of improvisers. The five, 2-hour classes will culminate in a live Student Showcase, where the Teen Intensive team performs for family and friends. While no previous improv experience is necessary, students must be committed to the program and serious about their desire to learn and perform.
Spots are limited and will most likely sell out.
Kids Improv Workshop
Saturday, July 14, 10 - 11:30 am (register)
Do your kids love to make believe? Are they creative? Do you think they might be funnier than you? Then have them join The Baltimore Improv Group for a fun class of improvisational theater! Students will learn the basics of improv, participating in exercises and games for better listening, agreement, and response. From there, kids will take to the stage to practice scene work and create fun characters. Through it all, the students will see their self-confidence increase while exploring their own creativity and how group trust and teamwork make for amazing and hilarious improv theater. This class is limited to children, ages 8-12 years old. No prior experience is necessary!
Teen Improv Workshop
Saturday, July 14, 10-11:30 am (register)
Let your teens jump into some seriously hilarious improv work while simultaneously learning newfound confidence! In addition to growing their speaking and listening skills, teens will learn how to build exciting stories, create fascinating characters, and present them through fun improv scenes and games. Students will also learn different types of improv formats, structures, and games. These workshops are all about jumping in, having fun, playing hard, working together and finding your voice. Always fun, this class will focus on developing improv skills and creating performers. For teenagers ages 13-17, with any level of experience.