The Improv Embassy runs improv and sketch classes in Ottawa for those wanting to learn comedy in a fun, supportive environment. With improv, walking onstage with nothing written down may seem daunting, but it’s a lot easier than it sounds — plus you’ll spend all class laughing! You’ll learn skills that will make you better at public speaking, get you out of your comfort zone and kick-start your creativity.

Never tried improv before? This is the perfect introduction! We’ll work on teamwork, listening and presentation skills through fun improv games. It’s a great way to improve your public speaking, have fun and meet new people.

Tuesdays, April 3 to 24, 7 to 9 pm (with Meghan Murphy)
Saturdays, April 7 to 28, 3 to 5 pm (with Krystal Merrells)
Saturdays, May 5 to 26, noon to 2 pm (with Meghan Murphy)
Saturdays, June 2 to 23, noon to 2 pm (with Meghan Murphy)

This class is four weeks, two hours per session. $100 (+HST)

Early Bird prices until April 9!

This class is all about truth in comedy. You will learn to generate unique characters through status, emotion and mining real life for ideas. You’ll learn the Armando, a format that combines scenework and storytelling.

Two class times: Tuesdays, 6:30 to 9 pm, May 1 to June 19 (with Chelsea Fahey); or Saturdays, 3 to 5:30 pm, May 5 to June 23 (with Krystal Merrells).
Eight weeks, 2.5 hours per class, one class show. $205 (+HST)

Early Bird prices until April 9!

This class is all about creating killer improv scenes. We delve deep into the dynamics of a scene, working on building strong relationships between characters, making the most of our stage presence and escalating humour by finding the “game” of the scene.

Two class times: Wednesdays, 6:30 to 9 pm, May 2 to June 20; and Sundays, noon to 2:30 pm, May 6 to June 24
Eight weeks, 2.5 hours per class, one class show. $205 (+HST)

Early Bird prices until April 9!

Instructor: Deborah Ring
Longform Improv 301
Not offered next term.

This class is all about the ensemble. You will learn to navigate scenes with multiple characters, work on developing the group mind with your ensemble, and find how your unique comedic voice can best serve your team.

Next dates coming soon!
Eight weeks, 2.5 hours per class, one class show. $205 (+HST)

Instructor: Dani Alon

Now it’s time to put everything you’ve learned together to perform the granddaddy of all longform improv formats: The Harold. The ensemble learns to create a rich, comedic world with strong characters in an entertaining half-hour set. This classic format, from which most others are derived, is performed regularly at such institutions as the iO Theatre in Chicago and Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City.

Sundays, 3 to 6 pm, May 6 to June 24 (with Chris Hannay).
Eight weeks, three hours per class, two class shows. $220 (+HST).

Early Bird prices until April 9!

Instructor: Chris Hannay
Longform Improv 501
Not offered next term.

This is where we get into the really bold stuff. Expanding on the previous class, this level will build on the Harold and explore advanced techniques, as well as other Chicago improv formats like the Deconstruction, JTS Brown, and Cat’s Cradle.

Mondays, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, April 30 to June 18
Eight weeks, three hours per class, two class shows. $220 (+HST)

Early Bird prices until April 9!

Instructor: Dani Alon
Sketch Comedy Writing
Not offered next term.

From Saturday Night Live to Kids in the Hall to Key and Peele, sketch has been one of the most vibrant avenues for comedy. Students will learn how to generate ideas from real life and current events, how to structure their sketches for maximum payoff, and how to polish their work. Warning: Weekly homework will be assigned to give you the excuse you’ve been looking for to start writing!

Next dates coming soon!
Classes are eight weeks, 2.5 hours per class, one or two class shows. $205 (+HST)

Instructor: Deborah Ring

The Improv Embassy is very excited to welcome veteran comedian Kevin McDonald for a special workshop. Kevin will teach over two days (10 AM to 5:30 PM on Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10). You can register for one day or both. Students of the two-day workshop can perform their sketches at a show on the evening of Sunday, June 10 (as part of the Improv Embassy’s Anniversary Show).

Workshop description:

“Join Kevin McDonald of the Kids in the Hall for a one- or two-day workshop to learn how to write sketches through improvisation – just like the Kids in the Hall used to do. Kevin will talk about the secrets of writing comedy sketches (hopefully they’re secrets and not lies) and teach you the Kids in the Hall process of coming up with an idea and turning it into a sketch through improvisational rehearsal. You will be performing and writing with Kevin supervising, all weekend. All you have to bring is pen, paper and your bodies. Kevin promises bathroom and lunch breaks and if you ask him, there’s a good chance Kevin will tell stories about the Kids in the Hall. Lots of stories about the Kids in the Hall. You might actually have to ask him to shut up and stop telling stories about the Kids in the Hall.”

How about some discounts?

  • Sign up before April 9 to get our 10% Early Bird discount!
  • Sign up for an Intro to Improv class with a friend and save $20! Just purchase more than one at a time and enter the coupon code “FRIENDS” at checkout. Email us if you have any questions.
  • Want to retake a class? You can take a class again and meet a new group of students, all for 50% off the regular class price. Email us for more info.
  • Our Inclusion Scholarship lets students from underrepresented communities and/or those with financial need to apply for subsidized classes. Deadline before the next term is April 20.

And some class policies:

  • In general, we require a minimum of 6 people registered to run a class.
  • Participants should be 18 or older to sign up; interested parties under 18 should have a parent or guardian contact us.
  • Students who miss more than two days of a class may not be eligible to advance to the next level.
  • Refunds: in fairness to others who couldn’t secure spots, full refunds can only be made before the first class. After the first class and before the second you may get a 50% refund. If you register for a class but find your availability changes, you can defer a class till the next term only.

Improv breathes light into your life. Learning to express yourself truly and honestly is a wonderful feeling.

Chrys M.
Intelligence Analyst

It was a great experience and a chance to let go of the mundane, and meet new people.

Michelle S.

The Embassy is a warm and welcoming community. They provide a great space for learning and performing improv.

Jesse H.

I have taken multiple public speaking workshops and I found the Improv Embassy to be the most helpful and practical. My ability to speak publicly with confidence has dramatically improved.

Ranna B.

Improv is the funnest hobby I’ve ever had. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a state of laughter-filled free-fall that’s honestly addictive. Best decision I ever made.

Elena P.

Fabulous opportunity to … learn new skills, be expressive with only powerful move me forward comments and encouragement. This style created a better result in my day to day speaking.

Yetta D.
Business Owner/Realtor