BIG University

Curriculum

“It will change your life!” That’s what we hear most often about taking improv classes. You’ll work with the best improvisers in Baltimore. You'll learn to create original, honest, and funny scenes & ideas through games, exercises and performances.
 

Congratulations: you are ready to start and/or continue your improv journey in earnest! BIG's seven-week class sessions let you dig deeper into the art of improv with talented teachers and our evolving curriculum. Your improv class might just become the best part of your week as you build up your confidence, spontaneity, and communication skills in the midst of supportive and hilarious friends! Best of all, each 7-week class culminates in a live student showcase on the BIG stage, giving you the chance to show off your newfound skills to a crowd of loved ones!

BIG classes are leveled and build off of each other chronologically, getting more challenging (and exciting!) at every new interval. Our core curriculum includes Level 101 (Intro to Improv), Level 201 (Intro to Improv Game), Level 301 (Scene Work), Level 401 (Group Games), and Level 501 (The Harold). New improvisers should start at Level 101 but experienced improvisers may email the Education Director for information about skipping a level or two ahead. Elective courses are also available but may require certain prerequisites for entry.

 

Read below for more information, including prerequisites, on each specific level. And click the link below each entry to be taken to a booking page.

LEVEL 101: Intro to Improv

Students will explore the fundamental principles of improvisation through exercises in agreement, commitment, spontaneity, and listening. No prior performance or improv experience are necessary. Classes build upon one another, allowing novice improvisers to grow and be challenged at a comfortable rate. Sessions are designed so students will build a strong foundation as a confident performer. You will amaze yourself with your newfound skills at the last class performance in front of your friends and family!

LEVEL 201: Intro to Improv Game

Apply what you’ve learned in Level 101 to focus on "the game of the scene". This class is heavy on exercises in the structural components of game-based, longform improv: zeroing-in on one idea at a time and playing them to their comedic high points. Students will emerge from Level 201 with the tools necessary to stage longer, intertwining scenes with recurring themes, rich characters, and fun relationship dynamics. 

Prerequisite: Level 101 (or permission from Education Director)

LEVEL 301: Improv Scene Work

You’ve learned the basics of longform improv, now get focused on making your scenes smoother and more innovative. This class will give you an opportunity to tighten up your longform skills by building stronger comedic ideas through a deeper understanding of character and game among your team. Heightened game moves, backline support moves, second beats, callbacks, and advanced edits will all be practiced and utilized to clean up, fill out, and innovate scene work. 

Prerequisites: Level 101 and Level 201 (or permission from Education Director)

LEVEL 401: Group Games

Two characters standing on stage: the most common improvised scene. But how do scenes change when a third, fourth, fifth or ninth player is thrown into the mix? And how do you build those group games within a Harold into more than just a palette cleanser? In this advanced improvisation class students will learn pertinent skills for scenes in which every player is involved. Special emphasis will be placed on agreeing, finding the game, and sharing focus while heightening emotionally and physically. The class will explore working as a group through openings, walk-ons and backline support, and numerous approaches to organic and structured group games. The class will culminate in a long-form performance which emphasizes the awesomeness of group dynamics. 

Prerequisites: Level 101, Level 201, and Level 301 (or permission from Education Director)

LEVEL 501: The Harold

In the final class of BIG's Core Curriculum, you'll combine all the elements of Levels 101-401 into the most quintessential of longform improv formats: The Harold. This legendary format was created by Del Close and used as the foundation of improv theaters such as Improv Olympic and The Upright Citizens Brigade. The class will focus on all elements of a successful Harold, including the Pattern Game opening, scene work, beat structure, group games, memory, and premise. Students will be taught to utilize variety, texture, and group dynamics to bring complex, hilarious ideas to life on stage. 

 

Prerequisites: Level 101, Level 201, Level 301, & Level 401 (or permission from Education Director)

Baltimore Improv Group (BIG)

Emailinfo@bigimprov.org

Phone: (888) 745-8393

We offer free admission. Why? We believe improv comedy should be accessible to everyone. Your donations help keep our events free. If you give, you help give back to Baltimore. 

Every penny helps! As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, your donations are tax-deductible.

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The BIG Theater
1727 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Parking: $3 at the lot across the street if you say you are there for the theater.  
​AccessibilityWheelchair ramp access and priority wheelchair space in theater.

© 2020 by Baltimore Improv Group (BIG). Website proudly created by Morgan 'Moe' Griffin |  Last Updated: 8/05/2020

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