Improv for beginners

Improv (or improvised comedy/theatre) describes a wide variety of theatrical forms, but at its essence is about creating characters, scenes and emotions on the spot without prior preparation. Other than being a ton of fun, this kind of theatre helps develop communication skills, boost confidence and help deal with the unexpected.

Our eight-week beginners’ course is led by our Artistic Director Roni Jortner (biography below). Many of us have taken part in a similar course previously and it was a blast! You can sign up for our next course starting in January/February 2022, here.

The course is competitively priced at £110 per participant for eight 2-hour classes (this comes out at about £7/h) in a small group plus an extra rehearsal and finale performance (optional, but highly recommended!). This is a great way to start off in the world of improv, with more advanced courses, drop-in sessions and workshops in our planning pipeline.

In the past, our members have not paid for the course themselves, thanks to funding from their courses, Colleges etc. So, we recommend speaking with your supervisors, tutors, the College, Department etc. as there may be small sums of money for personal development available. 

This could be you! Image from our sold-out performance at Gonville and Caius College, October 2021.

Advanced courses

For those of with some previous improv experience, we also coordinate more advanced courses that focus on developing a particular aspect of theatre, such as narrative, using space on stage, or building emotion into scenes. These are a great opportunity to work on expanding our theatrical toolkit in a structured and taught way. Our current advanced course is currently full but feel free to email us if you are interested in hearing about future courses.

Dr. Ron Jortner (aka Roni) – Improv Coach

A computational neuroscientist, founder and CEO of Masthead Biosciences, and professional improviser. His academic path included Caltech, Hebrew University, several Max Planck Institutes and the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology. Roni got into improv theatre in 2007 and never stopped since. In 2011-2016 he was a founding member of Bake This, Munich’s first English Improv theatre, performing regularly in front of large audiences. At Bake This he co-started an improv school, teaching beginners, advanced students and corporate teams. He particularly enjoys teaching scientists, engineers and programmers, and has taught improv courses and workshops at the Ludwig Maximilian University, the Max Planck society, and Cambridge University, including putting on shows tailored specifically for scientists. Roni trained with internationally acclaimed improv teachers, including Patty Stiles, Jo Bill, Felipe Ortiz, Dave Razowsky, Daniel Orrantia, Inbal Lori, Jill Bernard, Lee White, Rod Ben Zeev, Derek Flores and others. He is a regular participant at international festivals, including Improtheaterfestival Wuerzburg (Germany), Impro Amsterdam (Netherlands), FiiF (Finland), and Improvember (Munich).