TRAINING CENTER

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PHILLY IMPROV THEATER TRAINING CENTER

WE KNOW IMPROV. WE KNOW PERFORMANCE.

FUN • LAUGHTER • CREATIVITY • IMAGINATION • COMMUNITY

 

Philly Improv Theater (aka PHIT) is one of  the longest running improv training centers in Philadelphia. Our community of students, instructors, performers and staff is diverse and full of fun and interesting people from all walks of life who share the joy of improv and performance together.

 

What is improv?  Glad you asked! Improv is the art of creating a spontaneous character, situation, scene, or even an entire play from a single word, phrase or idea provided by an audience, based on a prompt from the performers. That doesn’t mean the actors are just “winging it” Improvisers use a very precise set of techniques that focus on communication through observation, listening and reacting in the moment to a given situation. It is these exact skills that make it look like the actors must have been preparing for weeks!

 

 

Should I study improv?  YES! Whether you want to be a comedian, actor for stage or screen, write the next great novel, lead a team of executives, or have fun and enriching experiences with friends, you’ll discover taking an improv class provides a platform for better problem solving, communication, developing and maintaining trust, and rock-solid confidence. Sounds great, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Best of all, learning improv is FUN! Like all performing arts there are elements that seem challenging at first and then one day you can’t recall a time you didn’t improvise. Think of it like learning to ride a bike.  At first you might fall down, then you are a little wobbly, but with a little help and support you keep doing it, and one day …. wooosh! You’re off and flying! Improv is just like that. You never forget the wooosh! of that first big laugh from an audience!

 

 

PHIT’s improv program starts with level 101 where students learn basic, foundational improv skills– working from a positive state of mind, practice listening, true collaboration with Yes And!, creating an environment out of thin air, and performing scenes based on a single suggestion. Each week builds on the skills learned in the previous week. And each level builds on the previous one, adding skills like emotional range, relationship, patterns, group games, as well as developing essential performance skills like learning how to use your body, voice and imagination. Everything leads towards our level 501 where students learn and perform a full HAROLD.

 

OK…but I want to learn how to act with a script!

Fantastic! Our Acting program is great for anyone who is brand new to performing as well as advanced level actors and improvisers seeking to hone their techniques.  Throughout the program, students develop their confidence to perform in front of others, build their ability to memorize text and present it to an audience, learn how to use their voice and body to be more persuasive in their communication. We don’t follow a specific, prescribed philosophy (Method, Stanislavsky, Meisner, Classical). Instead, we pull the best concepts from many approaches to create the best training and tools that work for the individual.

 

What about Stand Up or Sketch and Comedy writing?  It is true that in the past, PHIT offered classes in both stand up and comedy writing. Many comedy theaters offer these courses, in addition to teaching improv.  When we re-opened, we thought long and hard about what we wanted to offer. Our name is PHILLY IMPROV THEATER.  We made a specific choice to focus on improv and theater. Our training center is not the “jack of all trades” school of comedy. We focus and excel at what our name states, improv and theater.  Taking a class at PHIT means you are learning the best improv and performance techniques. Students who complete our program leave with enviable and highly desired skills and experience.

 

When you choose to start your improv or acting journey with Philly Improv Theater, you will find our instructors “walk their talk.” They are all experienced teachers AND highly trained performers.  They actively perform in improv, cabaret, live theater, television, and film. Our instructors are on staff, not independent contractors. They are invested in your learning and progress, to guide and support you every step of the way from your first class warm-up to your final class showcase and everything in between.

 

Classes meet once a week for eight weeks. Classes are two hours.  There is generally a class showcase offered the week after your class ends so you can show off your new skills to your friends, colleagues, and family.  All our programing is intended for adults age 18+ We do not currently offer programing for kids or teens at this time.

 

Whether you are someone looking to try a new activity and meet new people, a business professional looking to improve your presentation skills, an amateur or advanced performer interested in sharpening your stage techniques, Philly Improv Theater is the place to be.

 

We know improv. We know performance.

 

 

All students are required to be fully vaccinated in order to participate in classes/workshops/drop ins/Skills Lab/Practice groups and any other event. Students will be required to show their vaccination card or clear photo of the card along with ID. in order to participate in class. Masks are optional at this time.

 

 

Please review our health and safety policies. PHIT continues to monitor the guidance from public health agencies and Philadelphia City officials. The safety of all of our patrons, staff, and instructors is a high priority. To that end, all instructors are fully vaccinated.

Since 2005, the comedy classes at Philly Improv Theater have been turning ordinary Philadelphians, from all walks of life, into extraordinary performers, on stage – and off! Whether you’re dreaming of a career in comedy or exploring how comedy can help you in your dream career, classes at the Training Center at Philly Improv Theater are a fun, social way to gain comedic talents that translate to success on life’s many stages!

 

WINNER! BEST OF PHILLY 2019

“BEST CLASS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED” LEARN MORE.

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“There’s quite a diversity in shows and people, which makes the experience all the more fun, real, and inclusive.”

Michael Betterly

“Solid way to meet fun people in the city and to have a great night.”

Emily Moore

“There’s quite a diversity in shows and people, which makes the experience all the more fun, real, and inclusive.”

Michael Betterly

“You don’t have to be pursuing a career in the comedic arts, you just have to enjoy having fun!”

Andrew Whitehead

“I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my confidence and fluidity while speaking at work.”

Brandon Grey

For over 15 years, PHIT has been transforming ordinary people from all walks of life into extraordinary comedians and performers. Our instructors are working performers and experts in improv of all styles, devised theater, acting, story telling, music, cabaret, movement, and digital improv production. They have toured the country, work in Europe, on podcasts, radio, TV, Broadway, and on line. They teach at the university level, train corporate clients, and work with middle and high school performers as well. Using a curriculum developed over 10+ years, classes at PHIT create a fun, welcoming, safe environment for trying something new and sharpening existing skills. It’s no wonder we’ve won Best of Philly and were named one of 20 Best Improv Comedy Schools Around the World by Rant.

Tell your friends about PHIT!