iO Intensive Course 2018

22687_10153220955329359_4008889518040448261_nThe Nursery’s iO intensive course is a week-long immersion in the performance style and philosophy of the legendary iO theatre in Chicago, one of the most prestigious improvisation training centres in the world today.

During this course, you will be taught how to create fluid, funny improvisation that is instinctive and organic. You will move between group and pair work in an authentic and connected way, exploring how emotion and relationship drive a form of improvisation which is simple and satisfying to do and sophisticated to watch. You will explore how being honest is a great way to be hilarious and how the best way to have a great time onstage is to make your partner look

You will also be trained in the Harold, the father of all long-form improvisation forms. Created as a training form, the Harold is simple to describe and a lifetime’s work to perfect, Based on the simple structure of an opening and sets of three scenes interspersed with ‘game slots’. You will learn to take a single idea or word, expands it into a theme and uses the medium of improvisation to combine and recombine the ideas created to make beautiful, funny and personal shows. The Harold is the signature form of the iO theatre, and a great starting point to explore the Armando, Deconstruction and many other forms.

io-2017-2Founded by Del Close and Charna Halpern, iO has been the training ground for actors and comedians including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Matt Besser, Rachel Dratch and Bob Odenkirk. Bill Murray described the iO training as ‘the most important group work since they built the pyramids’.

This course runs from 10:30-5 daily from the 5th to the 9th February. It costs £349 and will finish with a showcase on the Friday night (listing for the show can be found here).


This course will be divided into two levels, regular and advanced. The regular level will examine and introduce the core principles of the Harold and is suitable for those who have done some improv before, possibly with iO. It will be a revision and deepening of your existing skills or an introduction for those who have not worked with iO before. The advanced level is for improvisers who have been improvising regularly in the iO or a similar style for three years or more. It will use the Harold to fine-tune your skills and involve personal feedback on your improvisation. If you would like to apply for the advanced class, please send a bullet point summary of your training and performance experience to Decisions will be made in consultation with the iO training centre and are final.

Book here!

The Teachers

shottsJason Shotts has been performing improv for audiences since 2003. He performs in the two-person improv show Dummy (winner of the iO Chicago’s Del Award for “Best Improv Show” in 2013 and 2014) as well as the Harold team Sean & Alex and The Armando Diaz Experience. He’s been teaching improv at iO since 2006 and received the iO Chicago’s Del Award for “Best Teacher” in 2011 and 2013.
He’s performed and taught improv in London, Rome, Copenhagen, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, San Diego, Austin, Houston, Washington DC, Phoenix, Tucson, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Atlanta, Traverse City and Gainesville.
For more information, please visit

colleen-doyleColleen Doyle grew up in Cleveland where she wrote greeting cards and was a part of the cast that opened The Second City Cleveland. She has made appearances in the indie features Close Quarters and Open Tables as well as the NYTVF Best Comedy Pilot, Shrink. Colleen taught at iO Chicago for the past five years (Teacher of the Year 2014) and performed with the lovely ladies of Virgin DaiquiriBabymakers, and in the first sketch revue at the Mission Theater, Trap. In LA, Colleen can be seen every week with Dummy and Wheelhouse at iO West where she continues to teach and also serves as the Co-Artistic Director.
For more information, please visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirteen − 12 =