5 Funny Videos And 1 Boring One: The Merlin Works May Newsletter: Classes Start Sunday! Big Show this Week! New Article and More…



Merlin Works

Summer 2014 Classes

Start Sunday!

Improv 101 Sundays Noon – 2:30pm | May 11 – July 6th (No Class May 25th) | with Shana Merlin

Improv 201  Tuesdays 7:30 – 10pm | May 13 – July 8th (No Class May 27th)

Improv 301  Mondays 7:30 – 10pm | May 12 – July 7th (No Class May 26th)

Improv 401 Tuesdays 7:30 – 10pm | May 13 – July 8th (No Class May 27th)

Improv 501 Wednesdays 7:30 – 10pm | May 14 – July 9th (No Class May 28th)

Improv 601 Mondays 7:30 – 10pm | May 12 – July 7th (No Class May 26th)

Improv Singing 201 Wednesdays 7:30 – 10pm | May 14 – July 9th (No Class May 28th)

Improv Singing 301  Sundays Noon – 2:30pm | May 11 – July 6th (No Class May 25th)

Improv at ZACH

Second Sunday Comedy Showcase

Get your tickets for this Sunday’s Improv at ZACH May 11th, 2014:

–FREE Merlin Works Improv Jam at 6:30pm

–Full Bar open at 7pm

–Show at 8pm

–Free Parking

–Reserved Seating

–Professional Tickets, Ushers, and Bar staff

–Clean Comedy and Even Cleaner Bathrooms

This month’s show features Merlin Works Student Showcase, My Best Fiend and The Known Wizards on ZACH’s 230 seat Kleberg Stage.

Buy tickets now. RSVP on Facebook and spread the word

Free Merlin Works Mixers

Now at ZACH Third Sundays!


Starting in April, The Merlin Works Improv Mixers moved to ZACH’s Kleberg stage. Easier parking! More stage time with theatrical lighting!

Third Sundays 3pm – 5pm:

  • Sunday May 18th
  • Sunday June 15th
  • Sunday August 17th
  • Sunday September 21st
  • Sunday November 16th

A teacher will lead everyone in warm ups, then break them up into smaller teams to perform improv scenes. Come to play or watch or both! RSVP Now.

Merlin Works Newsletter

Improv in The Internet Age

by Shana Merlin

“Subject Line: Improv Singing – Ever wake up with a song in your head?”

That’s what the header in the email from Merlin Works student Doug Pendergras read. And when I clicked on the link, this hilarious one-man-acapella-homemade-music video starting rolling.

No one in class was expecting the video, but in excellent Yes And form, they started posting response videos on the Merlin Works Student and Alumni Page on Facebook. In a few hours there were five soulful, improvised tributes to Doug and his broken heart from teachers and students, including one filmed while driving! Join the group to watch them all.

It was a wonderful way for students to improvise with each other in between classes. And with an even bigger audience.

The whole thing made me think about how the relatively new tools at our fingertips–video cameras in our phones, social media, and internet everywhere–are changing how we can do improv.

For example, the corporate wing of Merlin Works has started leading virtual trainings for Dell. In the past couple of months, Aden and I have taught people in Malaysia, Australia, Italy, England and many places in between. Although the in-person thrill isn’t there and the format has real limitations, it’s amazing to get to lead a Yes And Brainstorm or play Guess My Story simultaneously with people all over the globe. We use video, polls, slides, and mainly chat to engage the audience. Here’s a sample of one of our videos we use in our trainings:

And it’s not just Youtube and Webinars. Here’s a few ways people are using technology in improv:

  • A new website http://e-mprov.com/ has popped up, where people are doing improv shows in a Google Hangout
  • Theaters are live streaming their shows online to open up their audience to anyone with an internet connection
  • Troupes are Skyping in improvisers to appear in live shows
  • There’s apps for your smartphone that can generate a scene suggestion, explain an improv game, or even create a story collaboratively online.
  • Say the Same Thing is a great example of an improv game that’s just as fun to play virtually.

For Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals 9th annual Boys of Summer, we are planning on doing our online contest for our guest star, “Pick-A-Boy.” Last year it was so fun to get input from so many people– over 1000 votes, I think. This year we hope to up our game with video submissions. Watch out American Idol, scoot over The Voice–improv has gone digital!

Shana Merlin

Founder, Merlin Works



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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.

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