Improv Wins : Master Classes

Improv Wins is coming on January 23rd – January 26th. We are thrilled to announce this years master class teachers, Brandon Gardner (UCB) and Jet Eveleth (iO/Second City). Make sure you sign up today to gain some new skills with two very respected names in improv. Workshop details and sign-up info is below! You can catch them performing on Saturday and Sunday night as well.

Brandon Gardner (UCB)


From Seinfeld to Key and Peele (Saturday 2:30-5:30)

This is an improv workshop that will look to steal from written comedy.  We’ll talk about characters and situations from sit-coms and sketch to talk about what works and why and get up on our feet and use that to make our own improvised characters and scenes smarter and funnier.

Sign up for Brandon’s Saturday Character workshop here

A Good Straight Man Says No Once (Sunday 2:30-5:30)

This workshop will focus on the unsung hero of improv: The straight man.  How can you point out your partner’s absurd behavior while at the same time setting them up for more of it?  How can you frame what’s funny for the audience by reacting to it truthfully while at the same time helping to justify it?  In this workshop we’ll explore what it means to say “a good straight man says no once, then finds a way to say yes.”

Sign up for Brandon’s Straight man workshop here

Brandon has been a performer and writer at the UCB Theater in New York since 2007 and has been an instructor there since 2009.  He has been a member of UCB house teams Bastian, Let’s Have a Ball, Reuben Williams, Improv Nerds and The Curfew and is a regular at UCB’s flagship show ASSSSCAT 3000. In addition to performing in NYC, Brandon is a member of the UCB TourCo All-Stars with whom he performs and teaches workshops around the world.

As a senior teacher Brandon has helped develop the UCB Training Center curriculum and has taught over one-hundred 8 week courses at every level.  He has taught Advanced Level classes in Harolds, Scene Work, Improvised Plays and Improv to Sketch. Outside of UCB, Brandon is an active playwright and director.

Jet Eveleth (iO/Second City)


Playing Honest  (Saturday and Sunday 2:30-5:30)

Love the comedy of Ricky Gervais and Louis CK? Having a difficult time playing clever? Try playing real. Let go of feeling robotic on stage and speaking in unnatural tones. Instead of playing a fairly convincing human, be a human. This workshop will focus on making improv easy by bringing more of yourself to the stage. Designed specifically to help students move past the traps of complicated situations and forced invention. We will focus on techniques that allow your thoughts to descend and that ignite your imagination. We will take a completely unique approach to the stage by using a long-form approach with Lecoq clown and Meisner techniques to discover your own comedic voice.

Saturday – SOLD OUT

Sunday – SOLD OUT

Jet Eveleth has been member of  The Reckoning at the iO Theater (Chicago & Los Angeles) since 2001.  She also tours the shows Adsit & Eveleth and Jet & Paul. She has also toured the original sketch shows, Ted & Melanie, The Barb Lameter Show,  Cafe Noir, Roseville, Touched, and I Live Next Door To Horses (Winner of Del Close Award for Best Scripted Show). She development the television pilots Ditch Mitchem, You Should Be Famous, and Jet Across America.  Her film works include the comedies, American Legacy, One-Small Hitch and Close Quarters.  She has performed at the Andy Kaufman Awards and was included in “Best Of Chicago’s Stand-Up” at The Lincoln Lodge. She was listed as New City magazine’s “Top 50 Players” in Chicago for 2010 and 2012. In 2012 she toured Europe performing and teaching physical theater with The Second City as part of a cultural exchange with the US Embassy. She studied clown with Paola Coletto, Aitor Basauri and Philippe Gaulier, mentor of Sacha Baron Cohen. She is the former artistic director of the Chicago Improv Festival and teaches for The Second City Conservatory Program, the iO Theater and for Columbia College’s Comedy Studies Program, where she received her Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts.

Q&A with Prescott Gaylord, Improv Wins 2013 instructor

Here’s a quick interview with Prescott Gaylord from the Baltimore Improv Group about his upcoming master class at Improv Wins 2013, 2:00-5:00p Saturday February 23rd at TNM Main Stage. Sign up for the workshop here.

Yes, that is Prescott’s torso in the photo above, we promise.

What do you enjoy most about the Improvised Play format?
One of the coolest things to me about improv is pretending to do things that you are not actually doing, in as real a way as possible.  Taken one step further, an improvised play is a whole event (an improv show) that is pretending to be something it is not (a scripted play).  I find this to be badass.  In ‘Unscripted’ we really strive to make the experience as close as possible for the audience as going to a play.  We have one full story, programs, props, costumes, and lighting cues that play like a play.  We just don’t know any of them beforehand. It is like going to an improv show where the input shouted out was “full two act play” and we just play it.

What are the benefits of being able to perform the Improvised Play?
Being able to perform, direct, and produce an Improvised Play hones really important improv skills.  See, we take some of the ‘normal’ improv tools away: mimed environment work, multiple characters, opening input generation.  The improvisers are forced to focus on deep relationships that evolve, strong characters, emotions, tension.  The actors who end up performing in improvised plays – come out superior actors in my opinion.
What kind of improviser should take this workshop?
Improvisers who are interested in story construction, relationships, and grounded acting should take this workshop.  I would also recommend it for anyone interested in directing a production with a large cast.  Certainly coaches will find useful things in this workshop as well. Also – anyone who wants to steal any of my ideas I have developed over the last 4 years of this production.
Sign up for the workshop here.