In just over two months the Philly Improv Theater will have a permanent home in the Adrienne Theater. With the performance space now moving to the Adrienne it means that for the first time all classes and shows will be in the same building! For me this is especially exciting because students will be able to finish a class and see a show just feet away. That’s a great thing it’s not even the biggest thing I’m looking forward to for the Training Center in the coming year. This move brings many changes – including some for students that take classes. If you’re a student or potential student at PHIT I want to encourage you to keep reading…
Starting in January 2014 the Training Center will move to a system of sessions for all our classes. What this means is that all classes at the theater will start and end in roughly the one-week period, five times a year. Our five sessions will be:
Winter (starting mid-January)
Spring (starting mid-March)
Early-Summer (starting late May)
Late-Summer (starting early-August)
Fall (starting early-October)
Each session will have class shows that all take place in the same weekend, and PHIT will be able to have special activities for all students in a given session together (like end of session parties, field trips, etc.).
We will be offering more classes, electives, and workshops each session. There will be multiple sections for most classes (for example, we will offer five sections of Improv 101 and two sections of Sketch 101 in our Winter Session). This will make it easier for students to find a class that works for them because they’ll have more choices. It will also be easier to continue without a break from one level to the next, because the next Session will start a week or two after the prior session ends.
Some days and times of the week will offer classes in sequence across the entire year. So if you start an Improv 101 in the winter session on Mondays at 7:00 p.m., there will be a Monday 7:00 p.m. Improv 201 in the spring session, a Monday 7:00 p.m. Improv 301 in the early-summer session, and a Monday 7:00 p.m. Improv 401 in the late-summer session.
PHIT will now be offering weekly practice groups matched to your level of experience. These practice groups, called Improv 102, Improv 202 and Improv 302 will be two-hour drop-in classes that help reinforce the concepts you are learning in Improv 101, Improv 201 and Improv 301. And they won’t just be for students in the equivalent levels – anyone who is a current or former student in the matching level can take the classes, so you’ll be free to come back to Improv 102 for a week and brush up on basics if you’ve moved on. Our X02 classes will be free for students enrolled in any class or elective during the current session and students who are between classes will be able to come for a small fee – payable in cash at the door.
Making up classes will also be easier since we will now be able to offer you multiple make-up opportunities in the same week.
All of these changes are in addition to the updates we continuously make to our curriculum based on years of feedback from students, instructors and the many guests we host each year for workshops.
Along with these changes and all the new benefits they entail we are also going to be increasing class prices to $249 for early registration and $299 for late registration. This is the first time we have raised the prices for class at PHIT in 5 years and we will believe it’s a very good deal. A comparable class in town at The Walnut Street Theater (the only training center bigger than PHIT’s in Philadelphia) is $250. If you travel to Chicago for a class at The Second City or iO class prices are $280-$360, and in New York the classes range from $400-$475 at the UCB Theatre.
There’s a lot of work happening at the theater right now to prepare for the switch to sessions and I couldn’t be happier doing it. It’s all very good news for students and for the Philly comedy community overall. Thank you for continuing to come and play, audition and perform, and spread the word.