Washington Improv Theater’s classes program surveys the breadth of improv craft and provides a transformative experience that empowers students to explore improv at whatever level of mastery to which they aspire.

These values underpin the training program and exemplify the experience we strive to create for our students, and model for them in our teaching:

Inclusiveness. Surveying ideas from major improv schools.

Diversity. Reaching students from varied backgrounds.

Engagement. Includes students in unpacking meaning from the work.

Exploration. Playing with new ideas.

Personalization. Serving various needs of various students.


Listening and agreement. Honoring scene contributions by affirming and building upon them. Being affected by one another. Embrace “mistakes” as opportunities. Trust and support.


Commit to choices and consequences. Specificity. Play with fire, not just smoke. Play with shared purpose. Discover and illuminate the patterns and messages being created. Reincorporate.


Play from the emotional honesty of your character and your own intelligence as a storyteller. Pursue and play emotional stakes. Celebrate human complexity.


Finding the fun. Genuinely playing. Subverting the “normal.”

Game. Finding the fun, building and discovering patterns. Exploring: If that’s possible, then what else is possible? Create organic premise spectrums.

Relationship. Raise the emotional stakes. Make moments matter.

Character.  Work with POV. Explore your physicality, and create objectives.


Story. Fable pattern stories and narration. Recognize and utilize genre conventions.

Theater. Stagecraft and audience engagement.


Relevant sources: Keith Johnstone. Del Close. Shira Piven. the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. iO. etc.