The iO West Training Center is a destination for aspiring comedians, writers, and actors seeking to broaden their skill set.

Our classes are designed to provide the tools needed to build your career in comedy and acting, whether on stage or on camera.

As a student you will practice being present, seeking truthful ways to discover comedic moments, and committing to ensemble to unlock the magic of group mind. Regardless of where you are in your career, iO West offers the education, expertise and opportunities needed to learn sought after skills and sharpen your comedic sensibilities.

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Level 1: Introduction to Improv

Students are introduced to the fundamental skills of longform improv and the tenets of iO. You will be exposed to the power of listening and building off of other people’s ideas. Level 1 gives you the foundation for creating well-acted, exciting and hilarious long form improv shows. Great for the experienced actor, students who have trained with other improv theaters, and true beginners new to performing.

Cost: $300

Level 2: Characters in Scenes & Group Work

Focuses on creating and playing characters grounded in strong points of view. You will learn how to identify, create and play comedic characters as we break down the elements of successful improv scenes. This level focuses on demystifying how to make a scene funny, how to make comedic characters believable, and how to approach group work.

Cost: $375

Level 3: Advanced Scene Work

Level 3 concentrates on students developing high degrees of proficiency and consistency in all aspects of scene work–listening, reacting, emotion, heightening, and pattern recognition. You will build the necessary skills to create rich comedic scenes that stand alone and also serve as the substantive material of a long form piece. This level includes a performance on one of the iO stages.

Cost: $375

Performance Levels

Level 4: Intro to Harold

In this level you will learn all of the elements of the world’s most famous longform improv piece (and the form upon which iO was founded), The Harold. Elements of the Harold include openings, beat structure, non-scenic group games, organic group work, advanced support moves, and theme exploration. This level includes a performance on one of the iO stages.

Cost: $375

Level 5: Advanced Harold

The level where the training wheels come off! Armed with the ability to execute all of the elements of a Harold, you will now learn how to improvise the structure of your shows. Skills learned in this level will lead you to perform wildly inventive pieces that challenge you to express yourself while trusting and building off of the ensemble. This level includes a performance on one of the iO stages.

Cost: $375

Level 5B: Graduate Level - Ensemble

In this final level, the teacher takes on the role of director, turning your class into an ensemble and turning your classmates to teammates. Upon completion, your class will perform a designated improv form in an 8 week run of shows at IO West in the DCT Theater.

Cost: $375

Advanced Levels: Open Only to Graduates and by Permission of Instructor


Ever wanted to do a two-person improvised show but didn’t know where to start, or are you currently doing a two-person show and have discovered obstacles to getting to where you want to be? Would you like to slow down, play with more patience, and show off your acting chops? Are you interested in doing shows that allow you the time and space to create rich characters and relationships?

This intensive workshop will be focused on the building blocks and execution of a two-person show. In this class we will be putting relationship and point of view front and center to build a rich and satisfying longform show. We will start with the basic tenets of a great two-person scene: making specific choices, listening hard for opportunities to react hard, speaking and behaving like human beings, bringing more of our own beliefs and experiences to the stage, knowing your character's point of view, discovering how the characters relate to each other, and playing with emotion.

Then we will tackle how to play multiple characters to heighten the stakes and drive reactions, playing your scene partner's characters by making and recognizing clear physical and emotional choices, making and recognizing internal edits, and heightening and exploring all the true things we have to drive towards a clear and satisfying end to your show. Attendees will receive loads of personal feedback as well as the experience of working long scenes and doing mini shows with notes.

4 weeks starting:
Sunday January 7th at 12:00 PM in Studio 2

Cost: $250

Advanced Scene Work

Expand your scene work tool kit and strengthen your improv craft in this six-week workshop. The class will focus on deeper and more intuitive listening, increased specificity of character and relationship, and ways to find more interesting and grounded scenes. Practice patience and trust with your scene partners, slow down, dig in, and learn to love the ride of the scene rather than working so hard to be funny. In addition to building scene work skills, the workshop will explore tools useful in transitioning between and within scenes as applied to two person and small cast long form improv.

Registration open to students who have completed Level 4 Improv at iO (or equivalent) or by permission of instructor.

6 weeks starting:
Wednesday January 10th at 3:00 PM in The Loft

Cost: $275

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