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Classes

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.

FRIEND DISCOUNT: Sign up with a friend and save $20 on classes!

Mondays, 7 to 9 pm, October 29 to November 19 (with Krystal Merrells)
Thursdays, 7 to 9 pm, November 1 to November 22 (with Deborah Ring)
Mondays, 7 to 9 pm, November 26 to December 17 (with Krystal Merrells)
Thursdays, 7 to 9 pm, November 29 to December 20 (with Deborah Ring)

*PLEASE NOTE*: The October classes will be taught at Arts Court, on the first floor in the Ottawa Arts Council offices. In the November-December term, Monday classes will be taught on the second floor of Arts Court, in the CourtroomThursday classes will be taught on the first floor in the Ottawa Arts Council offices.

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

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.

Wednesdays, 6:30 to 9 pm, October 31 to December 19 (with Chelsea Fahey)

Saturdays, noon to 2:30 pm, November 3 to December 22 (with Woody McCadden)

*PLEASE NOTE*: The November and December classes will be taught on the second floor of Arts Court, in the Courtroom.

Eight weeks, 2.5 hours per class, one class show. $205 (+HST)

Prerequisite: Prior performing experience or Intro to Improv

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.

Thursdays, 6:30 to 9 pm, November 1 to December 20 (with Deborah Ring)

Sundays, 3 to 5:30 pm, November 4 to December 23 (with Angus MacDonald)

*PLEASE NOTE*: The November and December classes will be taught at Arts Court.
The Thursday class will be taught on the first floor, in the Ottawa Arts Council room. The Sunday class will be taught on the second floor, in the Courtroom.

Eight weeks, 2.5 hours per class, one class show. $205 (+HST)

Prerequisite: Longform 101

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.

Saturdays, 3 to 5:30 pm, November 3 to December 22 (with Dani Alon and Bill Wood)

Eight weeks, 2.5 hours per class, one class show. $205 (+HST)

*PLEASE NOTE*: The November and December classes will be taught on the second floor of Arts Court, in the Courtroom.

Prerequisite: Longform 201

Instructors: Bill Wood, 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, noon to 2:30 pm, November 4 to December 23 (with Chris Hannay)

Eight weeks, three hours per class, two class shows. $220 (+HST).

*PLEASE NOTE*: The November and December classes will be taught on the second floor of Arts Court, in the Courtroom.

Prerequisite: Longform 301

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.

Next dates coming soon!

Eight weeks, three hours per class, two class shows. $220 (+HST)

Prerequisite: Longform 401

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
Stand-Up Comedy
Not offered next term.

How do Maria Bamford, Ali Wong and Hannibal Buress come up with their routines? Lots of different ways! No two comedians are the same, and this class will give you an assortment of tools to find your unique comedic voice.

Students will learn how to structure a joke, mine real life for comedic premises, and develop their onstage persona. By the end of the course you’ll have developed a tight 3-5 minute set!

Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, October 30 to December 18. SOLD OUT

Classes are eight weeks, 2 hours per class, one class show. $160 (+HST)

*PLEASE NOTE*: This will be taught on the second floor of Arts Court (2 Daly Ave), in the Courtroom.

Instructor: Bill Wood

How about some discounts?

  • Sign up before October 7th at midnight 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 October 14th.

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.
  • Please aim to arrive 10 minutes early to ensure class starts on time. If you’re going to be late or absent, email the teacher so they can adjust, as a courtesty to them and your classmates.
  • 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. (For any of the above requests, a $25 admin fee will be charged)

Fun and challenging. Will force you out of your comfort zone and make you challenge you to do your best.

Matthew V.
I was terrified before the first class, but I’m so glad I came. The teachers are great, the environment is friendly, supportive and so, so much fun!
Dave M.
Teacher

This is a great choice if you are looking to be involved in a positive community which allows you to have many laughs and build on your self-confidence.

Stéfanie D.
Camp Manager

The Improv Embassy helped me develop my sense of fun and play again! Thanks guys!

Woody M.
Carpenter

This class will make a butterfly out of you.

C.P.

An excellent opportunity to be my authentic self, 2 hours to be larger than life.

Roz W,
Project Manager

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