Intro to Improv

Considered by many to be the best introduction to improv class in Los Angeles, this class will be taught by master instructor Paul Vaillancourt. Paul will teach you the basics of  “yes and…”, giving and playing gifts and using the environment, as you work towards the goal of creating RELATIONSHIP-BASED, GAME DRIVEN, TWO PERSON scenes (the true building block of all improv).

The Class will culminate in a show for family and friends.


  • If you have NO improv experience – this is the class for you.
  • If you’ve had some experience but you’re looking to reconnect to the basics and deepen your work – this is the class for you.
  • If you’re an actor, maybe even an actor who has been working, but improv is the one skill that you haven’t added to your tool belt yet – this is the class for you.
  • If you have had a BAD experience with improv in the past but you’re willing to give it one more try – this is the class for you.
  • If you are terrified of improv but you’re trying to face your fear – first congratulations, that’s awesome, and second, this is the class for you.

Forms and Functions

Long form improv isn’t just the Montage or the Harold. When we learn and perform different forms it strengthens us as improvisers and artists. Each form demands something different from us and we bring a different part of ourselves to it. In this class, master instructor Paul Vaillancourt will lead you through a sampling of his favorite forms:  The Slacker, The Armando (as originally conceived and taught by Del Close), The Monoscene, The Living Room/The Road Trip and The Heritage Deconstruction (the Deconstruction as originally conceived and taught by Del Close) – and maybe a bonus or two thrown in to boot. 

How can the class cover so many forms? Paul will show you that many of these forms have similar and overlapping elements, and by learning them in sequence, he’ll teach you how to stack skill on skill for a better understanding of each form.

This class will culminate with a multi week run of shows at Revolution Theater, where students will get to perform the forms they’ve been working on.

Per the prerequisite, this class assumes a good level of comfort with improv and students must be familiar with improvising relationship-based, game driven, two-person scenes.


  • If you have been banging your head against the Harold for a while and you’re looking for something new or a way to open up your Harold/long form work – this is the class for you.
  • If you were an iO West student about to go into level 5 or 5B – this is the class for you.
  • If you’re an improv nerd and love learning everything about improv that you can – this is the class for you.
  • If you’re thinking about creating your own long form and feel like you want to be inspired by what’s already out there – this is the class for you.
  • If you graduated from a training program but feel like there is still more to learn – this is the class for you.
  • If you’re that person that was “on a Harold team for a while and then just kinda stopped and always wanted to/meant to get back to it” – this is the class for you.

Dark Arts

In this class master instructor Paul Vaillancourt will share skills that he has learned but never had the forum to teach – the techniques that have shaped and made him the improviser that he is today. From short-form games that gave him a leg up when starting long form to the techniques that will teach you to frame scenes in new and interesting ways, this class will take your scene work and long form work to the next level. Students can expect intensive in scenic techniques with lots of individual attention and notes, as well as opportunities to put those notes into action.   This class will culminate in a multi-week run of shows at Revolution Theater, where students will have the opportunity to showcase the skills they’ve been working on.

Per the prerequisite, this class assumes a good level of comfort with improv and students must be familiar with improvising relationship-based, game driven, two-person scenes.


  • If you have been improvising for a while and want to take your work to the next level – this is the class for you.
  • If you have graduated from a training program and you want to keep your skills up – this is the class for you.

  • If you graduated from a training program but feel like there is still more to learn – this is the class for you.

  • If you’re that person that was “on a Harold team for a while and then just kinda stopped and always wanted to/meant to get back to it” – this is the class for you.

  • If you were an iO West student about to go into level 5 or 5B – this is the class for you.


The Spring semester is in session right now, but subscribe to our newsletter to be notified as soon as the Summer classes are ready to begin!