Think You're Funny?

Improv Asylum Training Center

Whether you’re trying improv for the first time, or are a professional actor looking to add to your repertoire of skills – Improv Asylum can help you achieve your goals.

Our philosophy on improvisation is simple: we teach you the essentials of good scene work. By learning the essential tools that lead to good scene work, students can apply them to whatever style of improv, acting or writing that they so choose. We emphasize confident choices and unfailing support of your scene partner. And we do this in an environment that is above all fun and accessible to all experience levels.

  • To learn how to think faster
  • To be a better, more confident public speaker
  • To tap into your comedic voice
  • To think more creatively
  • To perform better in auditions
  • To work with top professionals of improv in New England
  • To laugh and have fun

Email us if you have questions about our Training Center and how it can help you reach your personal goals.

**Training Center students enjoy perks such as free admission to shows, buddy passes to bring friends to see shows at our theater, drink passes at our bar, access to exclusive workshops and more. If you have any questions, or are interested in learning about our payment plan program, please email us!**

Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships – Improv Asylum is committed to diversity and inclusion, and keeping things fair for our community. We give out scholarships to eligible candidates on a term-by-term basis. Please email the TC Admin for more information and application requirements.

Classes in 2020 – Safety Guidelines

Our training center has been and will continue to offer virtual classes, but as part of Boston moving into Phase 3 of the reopening plan, we’re also bringing back live in-person classes — with limited class sizes and social distancing measures in place!

We are excited to get our students back into the classroom and start honing their improv skills once again. We will be doing this with the utmost care and diligence with regards to cleaning and keeping students socially distanced to ensure your safety.

Here are some of the safety precautions we’ll be following:

  • Students will be required to wear a mask during class.
  • Students will keep a distance of 6-feet from one another at all times and refrain from any physical contact.
  • Hand sanitizer and handwashing facilities will be available in all classroom spaces.
  • Classrooms will be disinfected between each class. Chairs and surfaces specifically will be wiped down consistently.
  • Students will be asked to wait outside of the building until the start time of their class in order to reduce the number of people in the classroom spaces and waiting areas.

Any questions about classes, safety protocols, or anything at all, email!

Upcoming Classes

This is the class that kicks off your journey! It’s the perfect first step if you’ve never taken an improv class before. Over the course of eight weeks, you and your class will be led through games and exercises that will loosen you up, having fun and getting comfortable being creative on-the-spot and eventually… doing your own improv scenes!


No classes being offered at this time. Please check back soon!

Intro to Online Improvisation – Join us in this 4-week intro course that will go over the basics of online improvisation while also providing you the fundamentals for IRL classes with Improv Asylum. Students will learn improvisation techniques through a series of exercises and games that will be played online through Zoom. Students will finish the course with the tools and knowledge necessary to be able to play short comedic scenes through Zoom or at home.

Taught by incoming Artistic Director, Will Luera.

Class meets once a week on Zoom on Wednesdays nights on September 30th, October 7th, October 14th, & October 21st. Zoom link will be emailed to registered students 24 hours before the class begins.

No classes being offered at this time. Please check back soon!

Liked what you did in Level 1? Or maybe you’ve done improv somewhere else and you’re ready to jump in (if so, let us know) Either way, our Level 2 class builds off of the fundamentals introduced in Level 1 and gets you playing right away with more scenes, introducing a bunch of different point of view tools to encourage you to tap into your greater comedic potential.

You’ve done some great work in the earlier levels and now you want to play and push yourself a little more? Well, this is the mid-point of your journey. You’re doing scenes, you’re playing games, but now you’re focusing more on being able to play different characters and not just yourself! We play with how you walk, how you talk, and all sorts of other ways to quickly generate characters for improv and beyond. Also, hey — Now you can audition for House Teams if you want!

Wednesdays | 5:45pm - 7:45pm

9/16/20 - 11/4/20 | $325

It’s “Big Picture” time. You’ve been doing scenes in all the previous levels, but in Level 4 you start to think about how to play the scene over the top. Figuring out with your scene partner what the game of your scene is and how to build it to a satisfying climax is one of the most useful skills in comedy — ask anyone, they’ll tell you: “Endings are hard!”

Becoming a improv ninja means getting your reps. And we’ll give them to you in the penultimate level where you’ll work with your director to identify your strengths, work on your weak spots and overall work on making you the most versatile improvisor you can be. Notice we said director instead of instructor? That’s because Level 5 is the first-part of the end of our training center. This is where you and your class start to develop your Level 6 Grad Show.

The Grad Show. The finish line is in sight — putting together an Improv Asylum revue with a director that will go up for your friends, family and the general public! If you’ve taken a Sketch Writing or Musical Elective by this time, you may be pitching sketches or musical ideas. If not, no worries — you’ll be showcasing the improv skills you’ve picked up along the way. With an additional rehearsal on the main stage to prep the show with tech and music, you’ll work with your director to create a night you’ll never forget.

Intro to Online Improvisation Level 2 continues to build off the fundamentals of improv from part 1 that can be applied to improvising online or onstage. The class will go further into what it takes to establish a comedic premise for a scene and how to create funny and interesting characters instantaneously.

Prerequisite: Online Improv Level 1

Taught by incoming Artistic Director, Will Luera.

Class meets once a week on Zoom on Tuesday nights on July 14th, 21st, 28th, & Aug 4th. Zoom link will be emailed to registered students 24 hours before the class begins.

No classes being offered at this time. Please check back soon!

Students are introduced to how to use their voice and bodies to create memorable comedic characters. In addition, students will also learn how to use object work to bring the scene alive through movement. With purpose-driven improv games and finely tuned exercises, students will take these tools to develop memorable characters and explore newly imagined environments.

Prerequisite: Online Improv Level 1 & 2

Taught by incoming Artistic Director, Will Luera.

Class meets once a week on Zoom on Tuesday nights on August 25, September 1, 8, & 15. Zoom link will be emailed to registered students 24 hours before the class begins.

Tuesdays | 7:00pm - 8:30pm

8/25/20 - 9/15/20 | $199

Intro to Online Sketch Writing will introduce students to exercises and workflows that will help them develop their own original comedic sketch. Throughout the four-week, once-a-week course, students will work on brainstorming a topic, pitching ideas, writing a first draft, working with a collaborator, and delivering their final sketch. The goal of the course will be for students to gain an understanding of how to transform their funny idea into an original sketch comedy piece.

No classes being offered at this time. Please check back soon!

This 4-week course continues where the Intro Sketch Writing class left off by exploring more advanced Sketch writing formats like Fish out of Water scenes, Parodies, Blackouts and more. Students will be led by incoming Artistic Director Will Luera through a variety of brainstorming exercises that will help students write sketches that will be reviewed with the rest of the class on a weekly basis. Students will finish the course with a deeper understanding of more advanced sketch writing techniques along with a handful of comedic sketches for their portfolios.

This course meets online via Zoom on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-8:30pm on July 23rd, July 30th, Aug 6th, & Aug 13th,This class will be taught by Improv Asylum’s incoming Artistic Director, Will Luera.

Zoom link will be emailed to students 24 hours before the class begins.

No classes being offered at this time. Please check back soon!

The Instructors

Patty Barrett is a two-city renowned improviser, director, coach and leadership development professional. Her comedy career began at Suffolk University as a member of the award-winning improv troupe, Seriously Bent and right here at Improv Asylum as a member of the house team, Leather Gang and the NXT cast. She joined the mainstage in 2011 and never looked back! Well, except for the few years she lived in Los Angeles performing at UCB, iO West, Second City and that one time inside a Von’s parking lot. Outside of IA, Patty lives in Everett, develops leaders at two sneaker companies and has deep conversations with her cat, Ruthie, and her dog, Billie Jean.

Patty Barrett

Wow. Here we are, face to face, a couple silver spoons. Brian is tremendously excited for you to be here and to be understudying his second mainstage revue. When not wearing a suit, Brian can be seen wearing a dress at the Asylum’s Saturday night production of All the Single Ladies at Ned Devine’s. You can also see him more casually dressed with the Leather Gang at IA’s House Team night or with Awkward Compliment, his favorite mistake, Thursdays in Davis Square. Special thanks go out to his incredibly supportive friends and family – you know who you are; the unsupportive ones also know who they are and hopefully haven’t made it this far into the the theater. And most of all, thanks to his wife Natalie, whose exceptional tolerance for bad jokes is much appreciated. Together, we’re gonna find our way!

Brian DiBello

Kelly studied Theater at Suffolk University where she got her start with improv as a member of the Nationally Award winning troupe Seriously Bent. Kelly has performed at The PIT in NYC, taken classes with Upright Citizens Brigade, and is an alumnus of IA’s NXT cast and House Teams. She is thrilled to be back for another Mainstage revue! She would like to thank her father for being her rock, her sister for being beautiful, and her friends and roommates for creating the best family a gal could ask for. She dedicates this and all shows to her mother. Let it be.

Kelly Dooley

Matt got his start at Improv Asylum as a wide-eyed usher. He then went on to join House Teams and the NXT cast. He is also a founding member of the Just Suspects. When he is not at Improv Asylum he can be found writing about himself in the third person.

Matt Griffin

Dan is proud to use his prestigious Math degree for two things: Improv. He has applied these skills as a performer on the NXT, House Teams, Lit Night, many one-off indie extravaganzas, and as the producer of the hit show Tight Five. From starting at the box office in 2014 to performing on a resident cast since 2018, Dan is immensely proud of his first 6 years at Improv Asylum.

Dan Hirshfield

Anne likes improv! She started in college, and now she teaches improv workshops in schools and prisons in Boston. She is a Pre-K teacher by day, and enjoys playing pretend with children as well as adults. She is over the moon to be a part of this terrific cast, and is so thankful that at this job people pee their pants slightly less than at her other job.

Anne Krane

Mark is excited to be a part of his fifth Main Stage revue. He is a graduate of Improv Asylum’s Training Center and is a former cast member in IA’s “All the Single Ladies”. Mark performs weekly with Improv Asylum’s House Team, Ghost Factory, and is an alum of Somerville based improv troupe Awkward Compliment. Someday he hopes to write a musical about health care or get drafted by an NBA team. He’d like to thank his family, friends, fellow cast members, and all of the great people at IA for all of their support.

Mark O’Connell

Self-proclaimed Boston’s biggest bad boy, James Melloni, is actually one of the nicest people you will ever meet. The former animation script writer turned improviser is very excited to be a part of the NXT cast and has dreams of one day having a bit part on a CW show. Nothing too big, maybe he owns a shop that the main characters visit from time to time. James is a regular at Chow n Joy in Somerville, where he orders a General “GAO” chicken combo with boneless spare ribs and crab rangoon. It comes with fried rice, of course. His record phone order time is three seconds. He has a problem and he is not willing to fix it.

James Melloni

Sam went out on a limb her freshman year of college auditioning for the school’s improv team and hasn’t looked back since. She’s been performing at Improv Asylum since 2016 on House Teams, NXT, and the all female indie team Trash Birds. She’s made appearances in a variety of other improv and sketch shows around Boston, but is very excited to now call Improv Asylum’s Mainstage her new home! When she’s not in the North End’s favorite basement theater, you can find her eating fancy cheese, kicking a soccer ball, or roaming the frozen foods aisle at the nearest Trader Joe’s. Follow her at @Sammerryland on Instagram for show updates, recaps of “The Bachelor,” and unsolicited life advice.

Sam Merriweather

Steph is an Indiana native—Go Hoosiers! Her tale is as old as Boston time—she left home for grad school, joined an improv troupe, and never looked back. Ok, ahem, maybe not the improv part. Steph is the creator of the Hostel Takeover where she performs with My Dinosaur Life, is a member of the all women’s sketch team Trash Birds, and you can catch her the third Thursday of every month directing, writing, and performing in Lit Night! Steph loves performing and is so excited to be with Improv Asylum’s NXT cast. Big hug to all Steph’s family and friends for their love and support.

Steph Simon

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