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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • General FAQ
  • Training FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are most shows?

Typically, shows are 75 minutes. The Wednesday Comedy Lab Show runs 90 minutes and the Sunday Open Comedy Jam can run to 2 hours.

What is the age limit at ImprovBoston?

We are a traditional theater and we have no minimum age requirement. We recommend that audience members be thirteen or older for the 10 PM shows. Some shows have recommended age restrictions due to content, but in those cases, the restriction is listed on the webpage for the particular show. For families with children under ten, we recommend the ImprovBoston Family Show.

Do you serve alcohol at ImprovBoston?

We have a beer and wine bar and also sell snacks and soda. Outside alcohol is prohibited, of course.

Why are your ticket prices so low?

It is part of ImprovBoston's nonprofit mission to keep our show prices accessible to audiences of all different backgrounds - and for 27 years, that mission has been supported by the generosity of our community. If you believe in this mission, help support our efforts by making a donation.

What is your ticket purchase policy?

Tickets purchased are non-refundable and non-transferrable.  If a show in canceled due to weather we will gladly exchange your purchase for another show.

What T stop are you close to?

Take the Red Line T to Central Square. Walk half a block down Prospect St. to ImprovBoston. For directions click here.

How far from Boston are you?

Central Square is three stops on the Red Line from Park Street.  From downtown we are a 10-15 minute drive, depending on traffic.

Where can I park?

There are a number of public lots around Central Square. There is also a city-run (inexpensive) garage and ample street parking. There is a map to recommended parking areas here.

Are there any restaurants near the theater?

Loads. Central Square is one of Boston's dining and night life destinations with over 45 restaurants representing tastes from across the globe. For dining suggestions, see: www.centralsquare.com.

Does ImprovBoston offer group rates?

We do not offer discounted tickets for a group. If you have a group of ten or more people we would be happy to help you lock those tickets in and recieve personalized attention from our Group Sales Associate.  Please call the theater at (617) 576-1253 and ask to speak with MaryBeth or email her at marybeth@improvboston.com, if you would like to book a group of tickets.

Will I be forced to participate in your shows?

No. While most shows at ImprovBoston are based on audience input, participation is not required. Audience members who do participate may do something as simple as shout out the name of object to as complicated as getting up on stage and joining the actors. We hope you will consider contributing to shows as that is one of the many wonderful components of improv!

For regular weekly shows (not the $7 shows), do I need to purchase tickets on-line with a credit card?

Advanced tickets are available at www.improvboston.com or by calling The ImprovBoston Box Office at 617-576-1253.  Service charges may apply. You may also buy tickets in person at the box office.  Unpaid reservations are no longer accepted.

What is the ImprovBoston incelement weather cancellation policy?

ImprovBoston values our patrons, students, cast members and instructors.  In case of inclement weather ImprovBoston will remain OPEN for classes and shows so long as the T continues to run.  That said, if a State of Emergency is declared, or the Mayor or Governor asks that businesses close we will honor that request whether or not the T is running. If you would like to call ahead to make sure we are open, please call our box office at (617) 576 1253. In the event that we are closed for snow, and you have purchased tickets online in advance, you may use your tickets for a future performance.

 

 
ImprovBoston will change the website homepage with a cancellation alert.  We will also change our voicemail to reflect the cancellation alert.

 

For students:

In the event that classes are canceled students will be contacted via email by our Admin Staff. When possible we will also attempt to contact students directly by phone. Once a student has been emailed by our Staff we will consider a student notified. Please be sure your instructor has your current email and phone number. If class is canceled we will schedule a make up date for the class.

 

If classes are running and you cannot get to the theater you may make up your class later that same week in another section of that level provided there is space available. To make up a class please contact Deana Tolliver, Director of Education at deana@improvboston.com to make arrangements.  

 

If classes are running and fewer than 4 students are present we will run an abbreviated version of our curriculum for one hour.  Students who miss a class that runs as scheduled can either make up the class or have it count toward their 2 absences. Obviously we want students to use their best judgement about traveling to the theater in inclement weather.

 
 

FAQ's about our Comedy School

 

How much does the program cost?

Each workshop level costs a non-refundable $199.00. Pre-registration is required. Each level has a registration deadline. Please check for the current information on our class schedule, registration, and deadlines. ImprovBoston accepts Mastercard and Visa for online payment. 

How can I register for classes?

You can register for classes on our website or in person at our box office.  All registrations must be made in advance.  Students cannot arrive at the first day of class without prior registration.  We base our decision to run a class on the number of students we have in our system, by registering in advance you can not only ensure your spot, but help ensure the class is running.  Also, in most cases, classes sell out, so if you were to show up the first day without registering, you will likely be shut out of the class. So register now!

The class I want to sign up for is sold out.  Can I still sign up?

If the class you are hoping to take is marked as sold out that means there is no room left in the class.  Most often we have other days & times that the same class is being offered so hopefully another slot works for you.  Classes for the next session usually begin just a few weeks after the start of the current session. While you wait you can attend our Sunday afternoon drop in classes (chekc out the YAP portion of our site for more inforamation). We strongly encourage you to register early to avoid getting locked out of a class.

When does the next round of classes begin?

Classes run in eight week sessions seasonally.  We have session beginning each winter, spring, summer and fall.  Winter classes generally begin in January, spring classes in late March/early April, summer classes in July (after the 4th of July holiday) and fall classes in September.  Registration generally opens the month prior.

For the 6 Level Improv Program, do I have to start at the first level (101)?

The 101-601 curriculum has been specifically written to provide students with a sequential learning process based on ImprovBoston's philosophy, the program builds on itself and therefore must be taken in order from the beginning. We have folks with years of training and performing experience start at 101 each session. Even if you have had training in college, or at other improv schools, it is important to begin our program at 101. 

Can I take two different classes at the same time?

You are free to sign up for two different programs at once - take an improv class and a stand up class or comedy writing class. Lots of students do this and have great results.

 

Students may not take two different levels of our 6 level improv program at once. We have given this careful consideration and realized that this would dilute, not enhance, their learning experience. Each level focuses on a particular skill set while developing the student's confidence and knowledge on an ongoing basis throughout all of the levels. Trying to learn two different sets of skills as well as developing these qualities in a condensed timeframe, hasn't proven at all helpful.

 

I'm looking for some intermediate and advanced training, what can IB offer me?

In addition to our 6 level improv program, ImprovBoston offers classes in Musical Improv, Standup and Sketch Writing. Once you have completed our program through 301, or if you have equivalent experience, the Musical Improv program offers a great way to advance your training. If you wish to learn a new form of comedy try the Stand Up or Sketch classes. We also offer Master Classes (featuring the nation's best comedy instructors) and Elective Classes (environment, character work, physicality, etc.), some of which have been specifically designed to challenge the more experienced improviser. Each session's schedule will make note of such classes, please check our current schedule for details.

For how long does each level run?

Each level comprises of eight classes meeting for eight consecutive weeks. Some Master Classes and Public Holidays effect the weekly workshop schedule, so please check the exact dates of each class for each level.

What size are the weekly workshop classes?

Each class requires a minimum of six students. Due to the ensemble nature of improvisation, we have found that this minimum size for a class exposes students to a myriad of opportunities to develop as a player. Conversely, our classes are capped to ensure that each student receives plenty of attention from their fellow players and the instructor. Due to the narrow bracket of people involved in each class, pre-registration is vital. Please check for detailed information on our current schedule and how to register.

Do I receive free admission while I’m taking classes?

As an active student of ImprovBoston you have standby access to any of ImprovBoston's regularly scheduled shows during the eight week workshop period entirely free of charge. Students will also receive special discounts on limited run or specialty shows. Students wills receive a Student Card and can attend any show that has room.  Certain restrictions apply and there must be seats available (so if a show is sold out students will have to catch the next one). Attending shows is an important part of our program and we encourage students to attend a minimum of 5 shows per session. As we said, Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Is everyone guaranteed advancement?

Advancement from one level to the next is based on the student’s ability to understand and implement the skills and techniques that are taught in that level. In consideration of the class and the individual, advancement to the next level is not automatic and students may be required to repeat levels when necessary.

Who will be teaching my class?

ImprovBoston instructors teach all weekly workshop classes and they comprise of ImprovBoston performers and directors who have undergone training to teach. Nationally renowned improvisers, directors, and authors are invited to teach Master Classes, and ImprovBoston instructors and other local performers and directors are carefully selected to teach our Elective Class series.

Will I stay with the same group throughout the program?

You can, but it's not neccessary. Improv is ensemble work and a great deal of success and performer satisfaction is gained by working with the same people on an ongoing basis. That said, working with new people challenges us in new ways. The choice is yours - stay in your time slot for each level or jump around.  Each session is a new chance to work on the group mind whether you see familiar faces or not.

What kind of feedback do we get?

During the course of each class the instructor will highlight opportunities to provide specific information, and of course answer any questions that you may have. Your class instructor and the Director of Education are also available via email to address any questions that arise outside of class.

How can I get more practice time?

The easiest way is to attend our YAP classes each Sunday from 4-6. YAP stands for Yes, And Practice and is a weekly drop in session. YAP sessions are a fun, casual drop-in group where improvisers of all levels get together and play.  They are led by our instructors, directors and performers and are a great way to put what you are learning to use and play with folks that have a variety of experience.  YAP sessions are $10 each and are available for purchase online or at the box office the day of the session.

You are also encouraged to play in the Open Comedy Jam on Sunday nights. It’s an 'open mic' opportunity available to any student or member of the public.  Just use your student ID to get your comp, then jump up and play during the Jam session in the last act of the show.

In addition, you can even put together your own rehearsal groups and meet outside of class. We would be happy to provide all the information you would need to put that together. ImprovBoston instructors and performers are also available to hire to specifically work with your group. For information about this please email the Director of Education, Deana Tolliver, at  deana@improvboston.com.

When I graduate, will I be an ImprovBoston performer?

ImprovBoston is incredibly lucky to have a very talented company cast made up of 10 groups who perform at our theater weekly. ImprovBoston holds open auditions once a year to determine entry to those casts. Occasionally a space in our cast becomes available outside of those times and we look first to the talent that we have been encouraging in our workshop program to fill that spot. However, taking any of our classes is not an audition process, and does not necessarily lead to casting. It is our goal to teach you the skills and philosophy required to become a professional performer but we do not guarantee casting opportunities within ImprovBoston. We can, however, introduce you to our House Team program which offers opportunities to audition with established troupes, or start your own.

 

 

What is the ImprovBoston incelement weather cancellation policy?

ImprovBoston values our patrons, students, cast members and instructors.  In case of inclement weather ImprovBoston will remain OPEN for classes and shows so long as the T continues to run.  That said, if a State of Emergency is declared, or the Mayor or Governor asks that businesses close we will honor that request whether or not the T is running. If you would like to call ahead to make sure we are open, please call our box office at (617) 576 1253. In the event that we are closed for snow, and you have purchased tickets online in advance, you may use your tickets for a future performance.

 

 
ImprovBoston will change the website homepage with a cancellation alert.  We will also change our voicemail to reflect the cancellation alert.

 

For students:

In the event that classes are canceled students will be contacted via email by our Admin Staff. When possible we will also attempt to contact students directly by phone. Once a student has been emailed by our Staff we will consider a student notified. Please be sure your instructor has your current email and phone number. If class is canceled we will schedule a make up date for the class.

 

If classes are running and you cannot get to the theater you may make up your class later that same week in another section of that level provided there is space available. To make up a class please contact Deana Tolliver, Director of Education at deana@improvboston.com to make arrangements.  

 

If classes are running and fewer than 4 students are present we will run an abbreviated version of our curriculum for one hour.  Students who miss a class that runs as scheduled can either make up the class or have it count toward their 2 absences. Obviously we want students to use their best judgement about traveling to the theater in inclement weather.