Improvisation courses from beginners to advanced
We run improvisation classes for all levels, from total beginners to advanced. Interested? You’ve come to the right place!
And know that you’re in safe hands, as most of our Maydays improv facilitators are enhanced DBS checked and hold up to date QA Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (RQF) as well as Mental Health First Aid Qualifications. If these are requirements you’d like in your improv facilitator, please pop us an email and we’ll let you know which courses are suitable.
Due to the current pandemic, we are currently running all our improv offerings online in collaboration with our friends, The Nursery. As soon as it’s safe to come back out to play, we will! All of our classes have the option for transcription.
You can read our Covid-19 update here. Stay safe and well you creative cats.
We are working hard to try to provide the best quality online courses possible. If you feel you would like to donate to us to help us keep going in these times, please consider using the button below. Thank you.
Improv is a form of comedy theatre where everything is made up in the moment. Unplanned and unscripted, everything is invented on the fly, from the dialogue, action and story to the characters. In workshops and shows, suggestions are often taken from the audience to get the improvisers started. It’s fun, silly collaborative and hugely satisfying!
From short form to long form, to music and performance courses, The Maydays have something for everyone. And if you’re more advanced, we’ve got that covered too. We loosely grade our courses Levels 1-5 (one being the easiest), but this is more of a helpful guide than a requirement.
Have a look below to find out what we’ve got coming up that might suit you. And if you’re still not sure, feel free to drop us a line any time.
Short Form is a style of improv that’s all about playing improvised ‘games’ on stage. Very much like Who’s Line is it Anyway, Short Form games are short, silly and typically unrelated. Unlike stand-up it’s not about cracking jokes. It’s about working together like a bunch of ninjas, to surprise and delight yourselves!
Long Form is about creating longer, more subtle and detailed scenes that often connect, creating a full-length piece of improvised comedy theatre. Just like the Maydays perform themselves. Whole shows are made in the moment, from audience suggestions.
Musical Improv is all about making up melodies and lyrics in the moment. Just like Short Form or Long Form it can be more game-focused or be woven into a full-length show to create an entire musical, depending on the course you take.
POC workshops are an open and supportive creative space for BIPOC performers of all ages and skill levels.
These workshops run once a month, and they are stand-alone, so you can book one or come along every time. Each workshop is taught by a different instructor and focuses on a specific area of improvisation, performance, or writing. We encourage participants to come not only to play but also to enjoy meeting and connecting with other BIPOC performers from around the world.
Women’s workshops are an open and supportive creative space. We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome genderqueer women. We encourage participants to come and be bold and fearless and meet other dynamic women from across the world.
These workshops run once a month, and they are stand-alone, so you can book one or come along every time. Each workshop is taught by a different teacher and focuses on a specific area of improvisation or performance, and we have some exciting people lined up over the coming months!
The Nursery/Maydays would like to thank Jennifer Jordan and Britt Pay for the excellent work that they did running this workshop for the past two years. At a time when the workshop could have fallen through the cracks, they took charge and built a community that helped to foster the talents of over 150 students and gave teaching opportunities to 20 incredible instructors.
In memory of the wonderful and much-missed Jason Chin, The Maydays and The Nursery are delighted to offer scholarships for all online courses in order to make sure that the fun and community of improvisation is available to as many people as possible across the globe.
Up to two places per class are available and you are encouraged to apply if you would not normally be able to afford these courses, or would be unlikely to attend it for any other reason. There are no set criteria, and you can apply for any course that is live on the Maydays or Nursery website. Places will be allocated two weeks before the course begins and all that we ask is that people awarded scholarships attend as much of the course as they possibly can.
Jason R. Chin was the iO Associate Artistic Director, as well as the Director of the Training Center for eight years. He coached the Harold team “Deep Schwa” for 13 years and was a regular cast member of the “Armando Diaz Experience”. He created/directed several longform classic shows such as “Dinner for Six” and “Whirled News Tonight” which is has enjoyed over 15 years of continuous performance.
He has taught and directed improv in the Philippines, Australia, England and even Gainesville, and Florida. He is the author of the book, “Longform Improvisation and the Art of Zen”.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- There are no specific deadlines for application and applications will be assessed as they arrive
- Applications may be made for any course lasting longer than a single session (not international teachers)
- Successful applicants will be notified at least two weeks before the start of any course
- Decisions are made by The Maydays/The Nursery Online Education Team and are final
- Applicants may be asked to record a short testimonial about their experience
The Maydays Improv Cancellation/Refund Policy
- All improv bookings are non-refundable
- We reserve the right to change the instructor of any of our improv events
- If you are unable to make your class due to illness, we will offer to transfer your credit to another session/course. This credit is valid for a period of 6 months for Maydays improv events.
- If we have to cancel a scheduled improv event for any reason, we will offer you a choice of either a replacement online event of the same value or a full refund.
- If due to covid we can’t run these classes in person, before or during the course, then we will move them online in our improv zoom rooms, with no refunds or credits in this instance.
- Bookings may be transferred from one student to another before the commencement of training, after first notifying us at least 48 hours before training begins. The new student must have the necessary prerequisites for the training.
- To transfer your credit to another class, please send an email to [email protected] with the subject line ‘TRANSFER’ and add the following details:
- Your Full Name:
- Your Booking Email ID:
- Name of Class/Course Originally Booked:
- Name of Class/Course to be Transferred To:
- Any Other Details:
- To transfer your spot to someone else, please send an email to [email protected] with the subject line ‘TRANSFER’ and add the following details:
- Your Full Name:
- Your Booking Email ID:
- Name of Class/Course Booked:
- Full Name Of Your Replacement:
- Email ID of your Replacement:
- Any Other Details:
Want to learn or brush up your improv? Go to their drop-ins, workshops or their improv retreats. It is like learning from your smartest most supportive best friends.
I thought this was a great course - the right length (both the sessions themselves and the 6 weeks of the course), reasonably priced and a really good concept. Having done a few drop in sessions with Jen I was very pleased to discover that she was facilitating it - I thought she did an excellent job in the way she devised the content and used Zoom to deliver it
I rarely write reviews or feedback, but feel compelled to this time. I can't speak highly enough of The Maydays. Every one of their shows is a joy to watch and a real masterclass in improv. I've now completed 4 courses and would genuinely say they've been one of the most enriching experiences of my life thus far. The cherry on the cake is the fact that the teachers themselves are also totally lovely humans. I think you can only do yourself a huge favour by getting involved with The Maydays in one form or another....
Heather and Joe are both so kind and accepting, and also very skilled at what they do. I felt very held in the course and learned so much! You guys have really mastered teaching on zoom - which feels miraculous, really, especially with musical improv. I am deeply appreciative of this experience. I look forward to level 2.
Going to the Maydays improv courses is my weekly dose of happiness....I'm hooked for life! Would highly recommend anyone to try out their classes and the beautiful art form of improv..
Compassionate community, fun social. I enjoyed the focus on improvising together rather than obsession with comedy performance.
Some of the nicest, warmest, friendliest and most talented bunch of people you're ever likely to meet in any size of room.
So much better than anything than that the real world has to offer
I love being able to work with people from all around the world. It feels like a safe place, free of judgement.
Just so comfortable and no pressure. I was very anxious about musical drop-ins, but both these sessions have been amazing. The drop ins are relaxed and fun. The Mondays are a real learning curve but made as light and relaxing as they can.
Well planned exercises. Super fun, totally accepting and supportive vibe. Good at building group rapport and bringing a very broad range of student levels and international styles together. Just challenging enough, never didn’t have fun.
You'll get so much out of it - you'll meet funny people, gain confidence, performance experience, make some friends, overcome inhibitions…
It's definitely boosted my social confidence, made me worry less about 'saying the right thing.' It's also encouraged me to re-open the box marked 'do something fun and creative, just for the sheer hell of it.' It really reconnected me with my fun side. I also really liked the fact that you encouraged people to socialise in the pub afterwards and make little announcements at the end of each session,
ALL the games, exercises, scenes, feedback, and EVERYTHING were WONDERFUL!!! Clear stages and instructions which worked like magic. Marvellous. The pace was perfect, never felt rushed or o'erstuffed! Yet we learned a huge amount, about character and character types, motive, emotion, plot, genre and scene-painting, all in an incredibly skilfully interconnected way. Not so much a toolkit or toolbelt as a great treasure chest, by my troth! I really think that learning through exercises that combine these elements is wonderful, because the words then come from somewhere. I loved the work on names, use of character types and genres. And the work on rhythm and rhyme. Oh, it was glorious!!! Thank you, Rebecca MacMillan, for being fanastic, not only as an excellent teacher but also for sticking around afterwards for some chat and also for sending us wonderful follow-up emails with very helpful things! :o)
A welcome silly break from the trials & tribulations of life
The sense of being in a completely safe space where there was no sense of getting it 'wrong' - just being able to have fun.
I think courses like these are so beneficial to all facets of communication and in building confidence in all areas.
I've learnt a little to let go of wanting to plan everything in advance. Improv has made me realise that sometimes just going with it is not always a bad thing.