Improv Comedy Classes | Monkey Business Institute

Learning the skills of improvised comedy isn’t difficult! If you like having fun, laughing, and trying new things, it’ll be as natural as breathing! Classes are taught by Madison’s most experienced instructors for every skill level and all ages.

Improv Skills Series

Level One: Intro to Improv

In Level One: Introduction to Improv, students learn the fundamentals of improvised comedy in a fun, supportive setting! Instruction focuses on the basics of scene creation and collaborative creativity – in addition to some of the most popular improvised comedy games that are regularly perform in MBI weekly shows. This class culminates with a class performance for family and friends.

No prerequisites required!

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Level Two: Intermediate Improv

In Level Two, you’ll build on the basics covered in Level One and dive into guessing games, non-conventional communication games and more. We’ll cover how to listen more deeply in scenes and introduce the concept of status. You’ll use these new skills in your Level Two class show for family and friends!

Prerequisite: Completion of our Level One class or instructor permission.

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Level Three: Advanced Scene Work

After learning the basics of improv comedy in our Level One and new skills in our Level Two class, it’s time to add some depth to your scene work. We will cover everything you need to know to make your scenes more compelling, including story arc, cuts and edits, scene assists, and juggling multiple plot lines.

Prerequisite: Completion of our Level Two class.

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Level Four: Individualized Improv Work

Level Four asks students to assess their own improv strengths and weaknesses. Each week, a new curriculum will be designed for one or more students that focuses on their own areas to improve as identified by themselves, their classmates, and their teacher.

Prerequisites: Completion of Monkey Business Institute’s Level Three class or instructor permission.

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Level Five: Performance

In this class, students learn the mechanics of a great improv show, how to host, how to DJ, and how to create a show that flows from beginning to end. With multiple performances and a smaller class size, students get maximum stage time and experience in all aspects of a brilliant performance.

Prerequisites: Completion of Monkey Business Institute’s Level Four class or instructor permission.

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Level Six: Master Class

In this course, we will look at other philosophies and schools of thought in the larger improv world. Monkey Business Institute certainly has its own unique style, but it is only one of countless ways that the art form of improv can be approached.

Prerequisites: Completion of Monkey Business Institute’s Level Five class or instructor permission.

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Special Topics

Characters

Characters are an essential part of great improvising. In this class, we will explore various ways to create characters on the spot.

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Characters Level 2

In the first Characters class, we learned methods to create characters on the spot.  In Level Two, we’ll focus on what you can further do with the characters you’ve created, such as maintaining characters through a scene, evolving your character, developing strong relationships between characters, examining character status, and probing deeper into the psyche of the character.

 

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Musical Improv: Level One

Beginning Musical Improv teaches students the basics of improvising musically. Can’t carry a tune? Not a musician? No worries! No musical experience or singing ability required.

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Musical Improv: Level Two

This class focuses on musical genres and using music in improvised scene work. We will discuss the mechanics and conventions of various musical styles and then try them out. How do you improvise a country song? How do you make up a Broadway musical comedy? What the heck is dubstep? You will learn all this and more!

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Introduction to Sketch Writing

Learn the basics of sketch writing for stage.

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Genres and Styles

This class is designed to help you feel comfortable improvising in a specific style or genre. From film noir to spaghetti westerns, we cover them all!

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Longform

In this class, we will teach you the art of longform improvisation.  Sometimes known as “the improv form for improvisers”, longform incorporates longer narratives, allowing for more thematic exploration.

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Story Arc, Narrative and the Door to the Group Mind

Starting with the fundamentals of building exceptional platforms, this class explores methods of creating compelling, engrossing narratives using tools such as tilts, status shifts, and choosing the right kind of trouble.

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Kids Classes

Improv Camp: Ages 8-10

In this camp, we teach kids the basics of improvisation. Through our games and exercises, we’ll discover how to make confident choices, support each other, stay focused, and create characters and stories together.

Monday-Friday, August 12th-16th, 1-4 pm

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Improv Camp: Ages 11-14

Improv doesn’t work if people’s ideas don’t build on each other! This camp focuses on using collaborative skills to say “Yes, and…” to other people’s ideas. We’ll focus on games and exercises that require these skills, giving your child more self-confidence, focus, and empathy.

Monday-Friday, July 8th-12th, 1-4 pm

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Improv Camp: Ages 15-18

This camp focuses on games and exercises that require abstract thinking, strong narrative skills, and deeper, more complex characters. We’ll teach campers how to listen to and trust their instincts, help support others’ moments in the spotlight, and express themselves more clearly.

Monday-Friday, June 24th-28th, 1-4 pm

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Make Improv Dreams Come True

Donate To the MBI Scholarship Fund

Click here to learn about the MBI Scholarship Fund and see how you can help make improv dreams come true!

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