Go Deeper

Stretch yourself further in these unique classes that are meant to take your improv to the next level.

For our specialty classes, the teachers create their own curriculum based on their passion and experience.

Other Details

  • Each class meets for one or more sessions at the ZACH Theatre
  • Classes have unlimited students, unless noted otherwise
  • Completion of Improv 101 or equivalent is recommended, but not required
  • Each class is taught by a veteran improviser/instructor
  • Instructors have created the class titles, descriptions and curriculums based on their own expertise and interests.

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Improv for Everyone


Improv for Gamers (D&D and Beyond)

Learn the fundamentals of improvisation with gamers of all types taught by a veteran Game Master (GM) with experience running and playing with all flavors of Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Starfinder, Shadowrun, Traveller, and many indie and one-off roleplaying game (RPG) experiences. Using Improv exercises, skills, and techniques that apply to gaming, we will venture into the realm of the fun, funny, and new to find the benefits of Improv for your games.

Are you looking to be more confident and definitive in your characters and their choices in the moment? Are you looking to be able to remember a character with their specific voice, affectations, and their special wants and desires? If so, Improv for Gamers is for you! Our interactive exercises will help reduce your hesitancy, increase your playfulness, and allow you to have more fun with any character, increasing your confidence while ratcheting up your joy. Building on your listening and communication skills while heightening your awareness, we’ll help you be more playful, spontaneous, and flexible. Whether you are performing in Scare for the Cure, running a new campaign, or looking to bring a more playful, fun time to your character at your weekly RPG session, Improv for Gamers will help you.

Parties of adventurers, hordes of friends, or solo players are encouraged to join the fun and make new friends. The curriculum is inspired in part by the book “Improv for Gamers” by Karen Twelves and the current Merlin Works Improv curriculum. No dice, pencils, or character sheets will be needed to play. Just bring your imagination and we’ll all have a great time. (6 meetings. Class size limit=16)

Improv for Gamers | Sundays 1 – 3 PM | Jan. 22 – Feb. 26 | with Paul Normandin | at The ZACH Theatre | 1510 Toomey Road | Austin, TX 78704

Price: $200
$25 Early Bird rate ends Dec. 26.

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Meet the Instructor

Paul Normandin is the Dean of Merlin Works Institute for Improvisation and a veteran roleplaying gamer and GM. Paul is an award-winning storyteller, Improviser, and complete and total Improv and roleplaying nerd who finds no greater joy in life than combining the things he loves and sharing them with others.





Improv for Couples

The couple that plays together, stays together. Being able to laugh, play, diffuse tension and enjoy your partner is one of the keys to successful relationships. Join nationally-known couples therapist John Howard, LMFT and Merlin Works Founder Shana Merlin to explore what improv skills couples can use in their everyday lives. We will all get hands-on practice with improv activities and follow that with a robust discussion of how we can apply those concepts and tools to increase our connection, be a good partner, and grow together.

Email classes@merlin-works.com to get on the email list.

Improv for Better Conversations

What if you could have better conversations? What if instead of feeling awkward and self-conscious, you had concrete tools to make your conversations flow easily? Every conversation is improvised. And the tools of improv can help you unlock better conversations with family, friends, dates, customers, co-workers, networking prospects, and even small-talk with strangers. If you’d like to have more satisfying conversations or just want to brush up on your chatting skills as we re-enter life in person, take this hands-on interactive workshop to get tools and practice you can use in any conversation.

Email classes@merlin-works.com to get on the email list.

Improv for Job Hunting

Career paths are improvised. There is risk-taking, rejection, twist, turns, relationship building, thinking on your feet and the need for confidence that seemingly comes from nowhere. If you’re feeling stuck or disheartened in your job search, this improv class will give you skills for developing resilience, telling your story, and acing that job interview. Join master improviser Shana Merlin with a Career Advice Expert for a hands-on, fun, interactive session that will boost your job hunt.

Email classes@merlin-works.com to get on the email list.

Improv for Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate is about building strong connections, having fantastic listening skills, being a tough negotiator, and being able to problem solve on the fly. These are all improv skills! Join Shana Merlin, master improviser, and
Hannah Williams, Keller Williams Realtor as they co-teach this fun, experiential class.

Email classes@merlin-works.com to get on the email list.

Improv for Financial Professionals

Like improvisers, Financial Professionals must deal with uncertainty, listen deeply to their clients’ needs and motivations, and sell with confidence. In this workshop, we’ll get hands-on practice in the skills of improv that can be used not just on stage but in the office, on Zoom, and in the field.

Email classes@merlin-works.com to get on the email list.

Improv For Therapists

Join improviser and practicing therapist Lacy Alana, LCSW/RSW with Merlin Works Founder Shana Merlin in this engaging and practical session. Improv offers both concrete tools and activities for sessions AND unique frameworks for understanding co-regulation, presence, flexibility, and attachment and meeting your clients where they are. Whether you’re looking for new activities for your sessions, or looking to level up your therapist game – this workshop is for you! This is great for therapists (and related professionals) who work with kids, families, couples, individuals, and groups.

Email classes@merlin-works.com to get on the email list.

Character Masterclass

Finding a character can be tough, sustaining one can be tougher. In this advanced workshop, we will employ physicality, emotion, time and status exercises to outline strategies for fleshing out fun-but-grounded personalities in structured or free-form scenework.

(4 meetings. Class size limit 16.)

Coming Soon!

Meet the Instructor

Arthur Simon graduated in Theatre from Oberlin College, studied improvisation at Chicago’s Improv Olympic and co-founded ColdTowne Theater following Hurricane Katrina. As founder of arts and technology collective Bot Party, Arthur has collaborated through Fusebox Festival’s Machine Shop series with social robotics engineers and programmers from Carnegie Mellon and MIT. His robots Annabelle and Dr. Head have been featured in Engadget, Wired Italy, SXSW Interactive and received Maker of Merit awards from Austin MakerFaire. As a film and television actor, Arthur has appeared in works ranging from Big Momma’s House 2 to Friday Night Lights to Parkland. Arthur has been on the annual East Austin Studio Tour for over a decade and has been a finalist for the Hunting Art Prize for his abstract expressionist paintings. As an instructor he has run improvisation workshops for multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as high schools, University of Texas Fine Arts, the Contemporary Austin and Dell Medical School, where he works as a training specialist.


Interactive Improv

Improvised theater creates a never-before-seen fiction for an audience to sit back and enjoy. Interactive performance breaks down the fourth wall and invites audience members to become protagonists of their own improvised stories. In this course, we’ll learn techniques that draw from improvisation, story craft, directing, and social psychology to devise and perform a piece of interactive theater. This course is perfect for improvisers who want to stretch their skills in new ways or who are interested in immersive events, murder mysteries, simulations, and other applications of improv and interactive performance.

Coming Soon!

Meet the Instructor

Kevin Percival has worked in both New York City and Austin as an educator, producer, and performer, primarily in the field of interactive theater. He’s collaborated with immersive event companies like Journey Lab and Zamchick and Co., and was a company member with Interactive Playlab and Live In Theater, who specialize in fully interactive performance. He is also a co-founder of the Austin-based interactive experience company (ix)plore Lab. Currently he works as an educator, using what he learned in theater to find new ways to engage his learners through play, with a focus on inclusion and addressing students’ functional and behavioral needs.



Have questions about our classes? Email classes@merlin-works.com to contact us or to get on our email list.