FRIDAY September 2nd

Longform Improvisation Workshop

Bob Dassie of WeirDass (Los Angeles)

Noon - 4pm
ColdTowne Theater


Auditing spots are available for $20 to be paid day of, in cash at the door.

This workshop concentrates on initiating strong scenes, playing in the moment, reacting to your partner and exercising good scenework skills. Students will work on creating a solid foundation for scenework and seeing how that applies to more complex relationship-based scenes. Focus will be on sustaining, balancing and making strong choices for the sake of the scene regardless of how many people are on stage. The ultimate goal is to have good, fun scenes consistently.

BOB DASSIE is originally from Chicago where he studied with many improv luminaries including Del Close, toured with the Second City and co-created and performed in several long-form improvisation shows such as Trio and Quartet (at Improv Olympic) and Close Quarters (at Second City etc). He has appeared regularly in New York at the UCB hosted Del Close Marathon with Dasariski and his two-person show WeirDass, ventured out to Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Baby Wants Candy and has appeared and taught at improv festivals around the globe. Bob can be seen on HBO's Funny or Die Presents... starring in Carpet Bros. along with Tim Meadows, David Spade and Will Farrell. He also performs live every Thursday at the IOWest in Quartet or often at the UCB Theatre in Dasariski or A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T.

SATURDAY September 3rd

Finding Themes & Going Deeper with the Harold

James Grace of iO West (Los Angeles)

Noon - 4pm
State Theater, 713 Congress Avenue


This workshop will review the Harold form and help you learn how to discover and be inspired by the themes from the openings. Whether you are new to the Harold form or have been performing it for years, this workshop will help you find the levels and deeper meaning in the work.

JAMES GRACE, the Artistic Director of the iO West Theater, has performed, written, produced and directed comedy for the stage, web, television and film. Credits include Super Troopers, Beerfest, Real World Hollywood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Reno 911!, Mr. Wrong and many more. He has performed and taught improvisational comedy for over twenty-five years. In that time he has studied with Del Close and has performed with iO's most famous alumni, including Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Dave Koechner, Andy Richter, Angela Kinsey, and Neil Flynn.

Short Form for Long Form’s Sake

Lloyd Ahlquist of Mission IMPROVable (Los Angeles)

Noon - 2pm
State Theater, 713 Congress Avenue


Are you great at games but not so hot in scenes? Are you feeling sluggish in your long form shows, but can't figure out how to pick up the pace without selling things out? You're not alone. This class will show you how to take the quick twitch muscles from your short form arsenal and apply them to your long form play. This class will give you some specific exercises from game style improv that you can use to make your long form scenes and group work more dynamic and playful.

LLOYD AHLQUIST is the former General Manager and Training Center Director of M.i.'s Westside Comedy Theater and the Westside Eclectic Theater. He has been making a living performing and teaching improv comedy for the past 14 years and his talents have taken him to nearly every improv stage and festival in the country as well as to the sets of network television shows. As the Director of the WCT Comedy Training Program, Lloyd authored its unique six-level improv curriculum and continually works toward preparing young improvisers to become well-rounded, working professionals in the improv community. Lloyd is a co-founder of the acclaimed Mission IMPROVable National Touring Company and M.i. Productions. He currently executive produces and stars in the hit YouTube series "Epic Rap Battles Of History" which have garnered over 100 million views worldwide.

Writing Sketch for Television and the Web

Colton Dunn of MADtv and Boom Chicago (Los Angeles)

12pm - 4pm
Hideout Theater, 617 Congress Avenue


This three-part workshop focuses on writing sketch comedy for the small screen. Part one: Workshop your sketch. We table read a pre-written sketch of yours and use elements of the "writers room" to give ideas for re-writes and punch-ups. Part two: Pitch your ideas. In a group pitch meeting we build on your ideas for a future sketch and explore what makes a good "pitch" Part Three: Take the note: A discussion about the elements of a good sketch packet and what it's like to work on a show.

PLEASE BRING: 1 sketch you feel comfortable workshopping and 2 sketch ideas

COLTON DUNN has performed comedy all over the world. As an improviser/teacher he has worked with ComedySportz, Chicago City Limits, Boom Chicago, The Second City, iO West and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. As a writer he's worked for MADtv, Nick Swardson's Pretend Time and MTV's Boiling Points. He's also appeared on numerous TV shows such as Parks and Recreation, The League and Children's Hospital. Colton currently teaches and coaches improv and sketch writing in Los Angeles, CA and is a regular performer in UCBT-LA's Rough Cut and the mainstage show ASSSSCAT.

Let the Scene Find You

Aaron Krebs of Mission IMPROVable (Los Angeles)

2:30pm -4:30pm
State Theater, 713 Congress Avenue


Auditing spots are available for $10 to be paid day of, in cash at the door.

This workshop focuses on finding efficiency in your scene work. Through a series of exercises we will find the scene that wants to be played versus the scene you are trying to force it to be. This is a great workshop for improvisors who are looking for more detailed philosophies of improv and looking to tune up their mechanics. We will find the quickest path to an incredible, rich, real scene. The goal of this workshop is to push yourself as the artist to find that next level.

AARON KREBS if co-founder or the national touring company, Mission IMPROVable and the L.A.-based Mi's Westside Comedy Theater. Aaron can be found teaching in L.A. with the Westside Comedy Theater and iO West. Really anything with "West" in it. He currently performs with 2 Dudes, Mi, iO West's The Elevator, and many others. In addition, Aaron created AK Workshops & Puddle Management in L.A. representing and helping improv Actors in the TV/Film industry. TV Credits include Brothers & Sisters, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Glenn Martin DDS, and Damon Wyanns Sketch Show The Underground.

SUNDAY September 4th

The Power of Fearless Support

Debra Downing, Rebecca Sohn and Jean Villepique of Switchboard (Chicago)

Noon - 4pm
State Theater, 713 Congress Avenue


Auditing spots are available for $20 to be paid day of, in cash at the door.

Tired of sweep edits? Are your transitions a chore?

Rebecca, Jean and Deb co-teach a workshop that caters to smaller groups who’d like to work together more seamlessly. But don’t worry; if you’re not currently in a group, we’ll form them in the workshop. You will experience true support, make bolder choices, take more risks, listen more actively – with your whole body, and create and support a group mind. Participants will learn skills for transformational edits from the source. Jean Villepique, who worked with Four Square in Chicago, brings music into your improv world. Rebecca Sohn inspires with choices for character development, and Debra Downing pulls the tools together to help groups actualize these transformations. The Switchboard Workshop will change how you edit, and make you a better listener.

DEBRA DOWNING is an actor, writer and improvisor currently living in Los Angeles. She is honored to be a part of Switchboard, a three woman improvised show with Rebecca Sohn and Jean Villepique which performs all over the country. Debra is an alumnae of The Chicago Second City Mainstage, ETC and National Touring Company. Other Chicago credits include "Chicagoland" at The Annoyance Theater (a live improvised show and pilot), "The Claudia & Deb Show" with Claudia Wallace, and many shows at the iO Theater such as "Under The Influence", an improvised show inspired by guest poets and Baby Wants Candy, an improvised musical. New York credits include "New Play" an improvised play in two acts at The Magnet Theater, "The Steve Miller Band and Other Annoying Monsters or Oceanquake!" at The UCB Theater, and "Tiny Spectacular" at The Magnet Theater. Deb was a founding member of The Caterpillars, a post-feminist rock band, and has been featured at many stand up shows in Chicago and New York, most recently at the DC Comedy Festival.

REBECCA SOHN lives and works in Chicago. She’s a Second City alum and a member of The Annoyance Theatre. She's thrilled to be bringing Switchboard back to Austin. Current improv shows include In A World at Annoyance, "Virgin Daquiri" at iO and "Almost ATLANTA" in various theaters. Almost ATLANTA is an improvised, 2 act dramatic play using an actual living breathing playwright to guide us through the show. She and her husband Rich Sohn brought their sketch show "Idiot Tango" to Austin in 2009. Her own show, "Hope is a Four Letter Word", enjoyed an extended run on the ETC stage. As a “legit” theater actor she has performed for Steppenwolf, About Face, Remy Bumppo and others. Some Film/TV credits include Early Edition, Yonghong and Stages of Emily. She teaches improv for The Annoyance and various independent workshops.

JEAN VILLEPIQUE has been improvising for 20 years. She studied with Del Close in Chicago at the iO Theater and went on to perform, write, and teach for The Second City. In New York, Jean taught and performed at the Magnet Theater and continues to coach, teach and work as a corporate trainer using improvisation. She has taught at festivals in Chicago, NY, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Los Angeles, & Austin.

Three’s a Crowd, Four’s a Cluster%$&#: Group Scenes Made Simple

Eric Hunicutt of The Reckoning (Los Angeles)

12pm - 2pm
State Theater, 713 Congress Avenue


Auditing spots are available for $10 to be paid day of, in cash at the door.

Scenes of three, four, five, twenty... they can be amazing and they can be infuriating. This workshop explores the dynamics of group scenes with particular attention paid to actively listening & sharing focus, establishing your character and point of view, serving the ensemble, allegiances & alliances within groups, and how to avoid getting marginalized in your own scene. You'll be improvising Altman-quality scenes in no time!

ERIC HUNICUTT has been performing since he was 15 years old: everything from Shakespeare at Lincoln Center to sketch comedy in dive bars (with countless improv shows throughout). Eric has studied and performed with Improv Olympic (iO) Chicago, The Second City, ComedySportz, Steppenwolf, iO West, DSi, UCB, and is a proud alumnus of The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is a working actor and director in film, TV, live theatre, and performs improv weekly at iO West in Los Angeles, as well as touring with the acclaimed Chicago-based ensemble The Reckoning. Recent directing credits include shows at The Comedy Central Stage, iO West, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, The Lost Studio, The Second City (L.A. & Chicago),The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (NYC & L.A.), and the University of California San Diego. In addition to teaching at iO West, Eric currently teaches at Steppenwolf Classes West, Warner Loughlin Studios, Cal State University’s Summer Arts program, and will teach and direct this fall at the University of California San Diego.

The Fix 'Em Up Shop

Jill Bernard of Drum Machine (Minneapolis)

2:30pm - 4:30pm
State Theater, 713 Congress Avenue


A session with Jill Bernard to provide individual assistance on topics of the participants' choosing. An opportunity to get personalized instruction and face what's challenging you. With your time together you'll tackle your biggest improv obstacles. You'll crack open your shell and find the improvisor you are underneath. Please wear closed toe shoes to this workshop.

JILL BERNARD has been performing with ComedySportz-Twin Cities since 1993 and is a founding member of HUGE Theater. Her one-woman improv piece Drum Machine has been featured at the Chicago Improv Festival, the Toronto Improv Jamboree, the Miami Improv Festival, Philadelphia Improv Festival, and the ComedySportz National Tournament, among others. She has taught and performed improv in Norway, Canada, and over thirty of these United States, in cities that include Juneau, AK; Spokane and Seattle, WA; Washington DC; Bowling Green, KY; Phoenix, AZ . . . and also on an episode of MTV's Made.

MONDAY September 5th

Organic Improv

Todd Stashwick of The Doubtful Guests and The Riches (Los Angeles)

1pm - 5pm
The Institution Theater, 3708 Woodbury Drive


Auditing spots are available for $30 to be paid day of, in cash at the door.

Organic Improvisation is about exploring the interface between players, honing the player into a heightened state of receptivity, called “predator mind.” Grounding the work in physicality puts the character and environment into the body, to get the player out of their head. The class is a synthesis of clown exercises and physical group work with an emphasis on experimentation and theatricality. Dress to move!

TODD STASHWICK graduated from Illinois State University Theater Dept. in 1990. A Chicago native, he has trained at both The Second City and Improv Olympic. He was hired as a performer to the Second City Chicago, where he toured, taught and wrote shows. In 1995 he moved to NYC and deepened his improv exploration with the critically acclaimed, experimental, improv troupe Burn Manhattan. In 2000 he moved to Los Angeles where he formed the macabre improvised cabaret The Doubtful Guests. In 2002 he co-founded the improv training school The Hothouse STC. In 2004 he went to Liverpool, England where he developed the improvised show Hoof! He continues to teach and perform at festivals and abroad. He works as an actor television and film. His resume includes shows The Riches, Heroes, Supernatural, Men of a Certain Age, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Burn Notice and others. He is also the co-creator of the action/horror webcomic Devil Inside.

Workshop cost is $50 per student for each 4-hour Master Class and $25 per student for each 2-hour class, except for Stashwick which is $75.

In the event that a class sells out, you'll be able to purchase an audit ticket that will allow you to sit and watch the class but not participate. Audit tickets will be sold at the classes location 10 minutes before the posted start time of the workshop, costs ranging from $10 to $30. Only cash will be accepted.


  • There is a maximum number of students for each class, which will vary depending on the offering.
  • Workshops will be open to anyone, but it is recommended that students have some improv experience.
  • Registration closes at 11pm on Thursday, September 1st.
  • On the day of the class, students can register in person with cash or check if the class limit has not been met.
  • Students can register using our online purchasing site just like show tickets.
  • A student's spot in a workshop is forfeited if they are more than 10 minutes late to class.
  • Anyone on the waiting list will be able to take this spot. Additionally, any student who is a no-show will not be refunded their class fees.

Please send your questions and concerns to Asaf Ronen, our Education Director. (Email: asaf EAT outofboundscomedy DIRT com)