Free Improv Cheatsheets: Games, Theory & Other Student Handouts

Improv 101 – 301 Class Handouts: Shortform Class Series:

Merlin Works Improv Cheat Sheet: All the secrets of improv condensed down into one page. Okay, maybe not all, but most.

Scene Work Cheat Sheet: tips for starting improv scenes, creating characters, doing spacework, edits/wipes, tilts, and basic story structure.

Improv 101 Games: A dozen or so team work games that can get people in the moment and them people be more fun to play with.

Improv Vocabulary Sheet: Find out the words for all the nice and naughty things you can do in improv.

Improv 401 – 601 Class Handouts: Narrative Longform Class Series:

Story Structures for Improv Scenes: Outlines 9 basic story structures that improv scenes can often take.

Narrative Longform Improv Handout: Pointers on how to establish a hero, create secondary characters, transitions, and basic story structure.

How to Save an Improv Scene That Sucks: 15 or so things you can do when your scene is tanking.

Narrative Longform Improv Formats Handout:15 different narrative longform improv formats, with some borrowing from the great people at Improv Encyclopedia.

Other Improv Handouts:

Team Work Cheat Sheet: A few quick tips and tricks for team work.

Improv Singing Handout: Tips for singing, rhyming, song structure and ideas for homework you can do on your own.

Family Improv Cheat Sheet: Tips and games that grown ups can play with their little ones to have fun and build relationships.

.Zip of All handouts

About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.
Replies: 13


  1. Pingback: Merlin Works Newsletter Article: Seven Stages of Leadership for Improvisers - Merlin Works - Austin Improv Classes

  2. Justin said:

    Seems like all these links are busted, no?

  3. Brad said:

    These links don’t seem to go anywhere.

  4. Jane said:

    Are these still available? I’m not able to access any of the resources, despite sharing and then clicking on the links. Goes to an error message on the next page. Thanks!

  5. I believe the links are now all corrected. If you find otherwise, please let us know. Thanks!

  6. Brad Hawkins said:

    I would like to see these, but I must say I have objections to the way this material is presented. You *have* to click one of the social media “share” links in order to even see what you’ll be sharing? Not cool.

    • I empathize with your thoughts, Brad. What if some of the content of one of the handouts were visible? Would that encourage you to then “pay with a click”?

      There’s no doubt that these handouts are worth far more than a single social media share, but I’d like to make sure that the transaction seems fair.

  7. Steven Mohammed said:

    I just want to say as an improviser just starting out that Shana is amazing her Youtube videos really helped me along, and shes easy on your eyes 🙂

  8. Ma Ya said:

    I’m a foreign language teacher. These techniques are great in language teaching.

  9. Eric Caldwell said:

    Shana, thank you for posting these. They give me some great ideas about how to present certain concepts to our performers.

  10. So glad you all find them useful!

  11. Rachel said:

    Thank you so much for these tools!

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