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Our Classes

Improv Level 03 (Tue)

$265

with Kristin Henn

Calendar Oct 17, 2023 at 8 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Advanced Scene Work

Prerequisite: must have taken a Level 2 improv class at ColdTowne

Strong group work, or “group mind,” is the focus of Level 3, where students take a deeper look at their scenework and begin to create shows that are more than just a montage of disconnected scenes. While continuing to strengthen and build on the lessons of past levels, various storytelling techniques and other skills are introduced to help students go from improvising a single scene to creating an entire longform improv show. This class includes a student performance!

KRISTIN HENN is a proud graduate of the ColdTowne Conservatory. Committed to continued training, she has taken additional classes and attended intensives regularly since 2009, including with The Annoyance Theater, IO Chicago, Improv Utopia,  and visiting performers  and practitioners from around the country. She holds a BFA in Directing and an MA in Theatre History and Criticism, both from Texas State University.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $71.66, paid weekly. Final payment of $71.68.

Improv Level 05 (Tue)

$265

with Mike Ooi

Calendar Oct 17, 2023 at 8 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 05: Advanced Forms

Prequisite: must have taken a Level 4 improv class at ColdTowne

Students will build upon their knowledge of the Harold by exploring other improv show formats and structures. These structures include The Deconstruction, Close Quarters, Spokane, and other popular forms. Through practice of these structures, students will hone their abilities while also gaining an understanding of the various parts and workings of an improv form. Understanding how to produce the kind of show you want to put up by creating your own form will be essential for the final level. This class includes a student performance!

MIKE OOI is delighted to be part of the ColdTowne teaching team. A Texas native, Mike earned his BFA in Theatre just up the road at Southwestern University. Most of Mike’s professional career has been spent in Chicago, where Mike worked with several companies as an actor, director, playwright, and technician. Before leaving Chicago, Mike turned his attention to sketch, improv, and on-camera work, graduating from the Sketch Writing Program at The Second City. Since moving back to Texas, Mike continues to work professionally in theatre, improv, and on camera. Currently, Mike teaches younger students at ZACH, and performs with the ColdTowne house team, Dr. Jack. Mike’s credits include NBC’s Chicago Fire as well as several commercials, voice overs, and industrials. Mike is represented by Pastorini-Bosby.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $71.66, paid weekly. Final payment of $71.68.

Improv Level 02 (Wed)

$265

with Anthony Ellison

Calendar Oct 18, 2023 at 6 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 2: Scene Work Strategies

Prerequisite: Must have taken an improv class at ColdTowne or elsewhere.

Strengthen your two person scenes using characters, relationships, and finding & playing “The Game.”

Building on the fundamentals from Level 01, students will begin to practice skills and techniques that strengthen their scenes and characters. Concepts will be introduced to help create deeper characters and relationships more quickly, while keeping things fun! Students will learn how to identify patterns within their scenes to create “The Game”: the engine that drives comedy in an improvised scene or sketch. This class includes a student performance!

ANTHONY ELLISON spent 9 years in Chicago writing, performing, teaching, etc. After dozens of sketch shows at Second City, Annoyance, CiC, he began to seek guidance in longer comedy within structure. He received an MFA in “The Art of Dramatic Structure”, and won the Scott McPherson Playwriting Award, while also directing for the OU Comedy Org - Black Sheep/Six to Midnight.  His plays have been produced in Chicago, NYC, Austin, Liverpool, Athens OH, Muncie IN, and a lot more.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $71.66, paid weekly. Final payment of $71.68.

Improv Level 05 (Wed)

$265

with Drew Wesely

Calendar Oct 18, 2023 at 6 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 05: Advanced Forms

Prequisite: must have taken a Level 4 improv class at ColdTowne

Students will build upon their knowledge of the Harold by exploring other improv show formats and structures. These structures include The Deconstruction, Close Quarters, Spokane, and other popular forms. Through practice of these structures, students will hone their abilities while also gaining an understanding of the various parts and workings of an improv form. Understanding how to produce the kind of show you want to put up by creating your own form will be essential for the final level. This class includes a student performance!

DREW WESELY graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2008, started as a Teacher’s Assistant in 2011, and became an improv teacher in 2015. He graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory’s Advanced Graduate Improv Studies program in 2016. He hosted the ColdTowne Theater monthly improv jam, and currently hosts his independently operated weekly drop-in improv class/jam. Instructors from UCB, iO, The Annoyance and The New Movement have either coached or taught him in classes or workshops.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $71.66, paid weekly. Final payment of $71.68.

Improv Level 01 (Wed)

$265

with Tiana Stuart

Calendar Oct 18, 2023 at 8 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 1: Intro To Improv

Spontaneity. Playfulness. Listening. Trust. Honesty.

Learn the basic fundamentals of improv comedy and meet cool new people in the process! Our courses are designed to help students unlock their inner creativity in a fun and supportive environment. Whether you want to learn more about the comedic process to become a better writer/actor/performer, or you just want to loosen up and improve your communication skills while becoming more comfortable in your own skin, the lessons of improv we teach work to build your confidence both on-stage and off. This class will teach you how to celebrate who you are and to find truth in comedy through a series of improv and acting exercises that focus on honesty, spontaneity, playfulness, and saying “yes, and.” Find out when the next classes begin by clicking register!

TIANA STUART (she/her) is an actress, musician, writer, and director hailing from the Chili’s at 45th and Lamar (probably).  Tiana discovered a love for improv comedy when she lived in Amsterdam from 2016-2019 where she studied long-form improv at the world renowned Boom Chicago under Michael Orton-Toliver who combined curriculums from both Boom Chicago and London’s The Free Association. Learning and performing an Armando really helped ease the disappointment of her bike being stolen (even though she totally used two locks)! She then moved back to Austin, TX where she graduated Coldtowne Theater’s conservatory program in 2022. You can now catch her goofing around with Coldtowne's house team Dr. Jack along with her other teams: Switchblade, The Racket, and Big Hug. Tiana co-wrote and directed Twinsies, a comedic short-film that has garnered 19 award nominations and 4 wins, including Best Comedy at the Austin Indie Fest and is still currently making rounds in the film festival circuit. Tiana also recently signed on as a producer of the Lysistrata Women's Comedy Festival, a four-day comedy festival celebrating the collective power of women. She can be seen in HBO's upcoming limited-series, Love and Death, episode 5 (unless they cut her scene which would be an even bigger disappointment than when her bike got stolen).

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $71.66, paid weekly. Final payment of $71.68.

Will run

Improv Level 04 (Wed)

$265

with Dave Buckman

Calendar Oct 18, 2023 at 8 pm, runs for 8 weeks

The Harold

Prerequisite: must have taken a Level 03 Improv class at ColdTowne

If Chicago-style improv were music, The Harold would be the twelve-bar blues, the language that’s shared by all improvisers in this tradition. In addition to being a challenging and rewarding form in itself, The Harold is also a great teaching tool, and the skills learned in mastering it are applicable to almost every other form of improv. This level builds on and challenges all of the skills the students have learned up to this point. Students weave together multiple story lines and characters to create shows that are each a unique tapestry spun from what has come before. This class includes a student performance.

DAVE BUCKMAN has directed, taught and performed at some of the world’s leading improvisational comedy institutions. After several years studying and teaching improv in Chicago, Dave served as Artistic Director of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam for 2 years, where he was fortunate to work with and direct some of the funniest people working in television and web-based sketch comedy today. After Europe, Dave worked as a director and teacher at The Second City in Chicago. He has directed MainStage shows at ColdTowne: Bigfoot, the musical, Austin Translation, Barney Biller Dark Night, The Roast of St, Nick, Eye for an iPhone and Shanty Town Lake. The Second City: Who’s yer Baghdadi?” (Cleveland), World’s Gone Wild” (Touring Company) and Deficit Comedy Jam (Touring Company) Boom Chicago: Your Privacy is our Business, Europe, We’ve Created a Monster, The Future is Here and it is Slightly Annoying. In 2002, he directed “Boom Chicago: RockStars” only the second stage-swap with The Second City’s Main Stage in its 50 year history.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $71.66, paid weekly. Final payment of $71.68.

Improv Level 02 (Sat)

$265

with Anthony Ellison

Calendar Oct 21, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 2: Scene Work Strategies

Prerequisite: Must have taken an improv class at ColdTowne or elsewhere.

Strengthen your two person scenes using characters, relationships, and finding & playing “The Game.”

Building on the fundamentals from Level 01, students will begin to practice skills and techniques that strengthen their scenes and characters. Concepts will be introduced to help create deeper characters and relationships more quickly, while keeping things fun! Students will learn how to identify patterns within their scenes to create “The Game”: the engine that drives comedy in an improvised scene or sketch. This class includes a student performance!

ANTHONY ELLISON spent 9 years in Chicago writing, performing, teaching, etc. After dozens of sketch shows at Second City, Annoyance, CiC, he began to seek guidance in longer comedy within structure. He received an MFA in “The Art of Dramatic Structure”, and won the Scott McPherson Playwriting Award, while also directing for the OU Comedy Org - Black Sheep/Six to Midnight.  His plays have been produced in Chicago, NYC, Austin, Liverpool, Athens OH, Muncie IN, and a lot more.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 4 payments of $53.75, paid weekly.

Improv Level 03 (Sat)

$265

with Will Cleveland

Calendar Oct 21, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Advanced Scene Work

Prerequisite: must have taken a Level 2 improv class at ColdTowne

Strong group work, or “group mind,” is the focus of Level 3, where students take a deeper look at their scenework and begin to create shows that are more than just a montage of disconnected scenes. While continuing to strengthen and build on the lessons of past levels, various storytelling techniques and other skills are introduced to help students go from improvising a single scene to creating an entire longform improv show. This class includes a student performance!

WILL CLEVELAND brings 20 years of theatre experience into his class. He has served as Artistic Director of ColdTowne since 2016 and trained in improv and sketch writing at New York's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He wrote and produced works for UCBComedy.com as well as produced for Above Average, Funny or Die, Official Comedy and more. His show "One Hour Til Air" received the B. Iden Payne award for best Improv Cast in 2019.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 4 payments of $53.75, paid weekly.

Will run





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