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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Specialty Improv Classes

Intro to 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. (4 meetings. Class size limit=16)

Intro to Improv for Gamers (D&D and Beyond)
Sundays 6 – 8:30 PM
April 16 – May 7
with Paul Normandin
Balance Dance Studios
4544 S. Lamar Blvd., #200/#300
Austin, TX 78745

Price: $180.  $25 Early Bird rate ends midnight March 12, 2023.

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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.

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. (6 meetings. Class size limit 12.)

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.