The Brody Theater offers a full course of study in multiple fields, including public performance opportunities for dedicated students. Whether your goal is to perform on the improvised stage, improve spontaneity in your scripted acting, learn the ropes of standup comedy, Become a sketch writer, or simply find a new creative outlet - or inlet - these fun, challenging and rewarding classes are for you.

Students receive free admission to our shows, an important and enjoyable adjunct to class work.

Register online, at the theater, by phone, or by mail. If you need to discuss prerequisite experience for upper level classes or have other questions, email, or phone us at 503.224.2227.

We also teach creativity and team-building workshops for non-performance/business applications, and can design a program to suit your needs and goals. Contact us if an improv-based experience for your business interests you.

Our teachers: Marilyn Divine, Tom Johnson, Kerry Leek, Domeka Parker, Jess Lee, Chris Williams, Scott Engdahl, Anatoly Brant, Whitney Johnson, Neven Mrgan & Caitlin Kunkel .

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One-Time Intro Improv Workshop

Improvisation for teens

Level 1 :: Fundamentals of Improvisation

Level 2A :: Intermediate: Scene-Work

Level 2B :: Intermediate: Ensemble

Level 3A :: Advanced Scene Work

Level 3B :: Long Form Improvisation

Level 4 :: Performance Lab

Storytelling/solo performance

Improv w/ visiting artist Gerald Weber

Special Summer Intensives


Introduction to Standup Comedy

Advanced Standup Comedy


Sketch Writing 1

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If you cannot pay in full now, you can reserve a spot with a deposit, which wil be credited toward your full fee. Select class you want to reserve. Balance is due at the beginning of the first class meeting. DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. If you enrolled with a deposit and want to pay your balance here, you can also do that (use the pulldown menu).

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Address for enrollment by mail:

The Brody Theater
PO Box 3835
Portland, OR 97208

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Current Class Offerings

One-Night Intro Improv Workshop

Monday June 23 7:00-9:00pm

Tuesday June 24 7:00-9:00pm

This "one-shot" workshop, designed for the beginner or someone who just wants to dip their toe into the waters, will include lots of fun improv games and exercises. No previous theater or improv experience required! This class fills up so grab your spot now!

Prerequisite: None, beginners welcome!

Fee: $40.00

(nominal online service fee applies)

Intro Workshop

Improvisation for teens

Saturdays from 11:00am-1:00pm starting July 19

Open to ages 13-17: an introduction to group improvisation covering spontaneity, group focus and ensemble building, narrative skills, and ways to identify and exploit the patterns and connections between ideas and experiences that help power and integrate our work. Ideal for teens with some improv or theater experience, as well as total beginners. Over the years The Brody has presented numerous workshops and classes in Portland schools, and we're happy to now offer the full course of study at our facility, with a final class performance on the stage of the city's finest improv theater! The same quality and attention to detail and incremental learning as our adult classes, but tailored for the teen-aged participant.

Instructor: Whitney Johnson. Whitney is an ensemble member of The Brody Theater and Brainwaves. She has a BA in Musical Theater/Opera and an MS in Performance Studies. Whitney has taught theater, communication, and improvisation classes for ten years, including The Young People's Theater Project, The Madeleine School, Sunnyside Environmental School, Stagecoach Inc., Trackers Earth, and is currently Drama Director at Village Home Education Resource Center.

Prerequisite: None, beginners welcome!

Fee: $190.00 for seven 2-hour class sessions plus class performance

(nominal online service fee applies)

Enroll Now -- Select Date & Time

Level 1: Fundamentals of Improvisation

Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting July 1

Wednesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting July 2

Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting September 8

Wednesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting September 9

Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting September 12

This class is an introduction to group improvisation covering spontaneity, group focus and ensemble building, narrative skills, and ways to identify and exploit the patterns and connections between ideas and experiences that help power and integrate our work. This is our entry level class, and is prerequisite to further work in the training program. Open to ages 17 and up. We also have a teen class for ages 13-17. (see above)

Instructors: Marilyn Divine (Tuesday), Kerry Leek (Saturday), Scott Engdahl (Wednesday)

Prerequisite: None, beginners welcome!

Fee: $190.00 for seven 2-hour class sessions

(nominal online service fee applies)

Enroll Now -- Select Date & Time

Level 2B: Intermediate: Ensemble

Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting July 1

Wednesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting July 2 (CLASS IS FULL)

Level 2A: Intermediate: Scene-Work

Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting Sept 9

Wednesdays from 7:00-9:00pm starting Sept 10

Saturdays from 1:30-3:30pm starting Sept 13

Level 2 (intermediate) is a 2-class sequence. Level 2A focuses on scene work and 2B focuses on ensemble improvisation. They are offered on a rotating basis, and can be taken in any order. Topics will include scene work, ensemble play, narrative skills, scene-editing and connecting, introductory long form concepts.

Instructors: Kerry Leek (Wednesdays), Jess Lee (Saturdays) Chris Williams (Tuesdays

Prerequisite: Level 1 or Equivalent Training and Permission

Fee: $190.00 for seven 2-hour class sessions.

Students Level 2 and above are eligible to play in our student performance "Fire Drill" on Sunday nights.

Nominal Online Service Fee Applies / For Deposit Info, Click Here

Enroll in Level 2 -- Select Date & Time

Level 3B Long Form Improvisation

Mondays from 7:00-9:00pm starting June 30

Level 3A: Advanced Scene Work

Sundays from 1:30-3:30pm starting Sept 7

Mondays from 7:00-9:00pm starting Sept 8

Advanced level work in various aspects of improvisation. Level 3A focuses on advanced scene work and 3B focuses on longform ensemble play. They are offered on a rotating basis, and can be taken in any order.

Instructors: Kerry Leek (Sunday), Domeka Parker (Monday)

Prerequisite: Both Brody intermediate sessions 2A & 2B

Fee: $190.00 for seven 2-hour class sessions, plus performance

(nominal online service fee applies)

Enroll in Level 3

Choose Sundays or Mondays

Level 4: Performance Lab

Sundays from 4:00-6:00pm starting July 6

Workshop and performances in long form improvisation

Instructor: Tom Johnson

Prerequisite: Level 3 improvisation and permission.

Fee: $185.00 for seven class sessions, plus multiple performances

(nominal online service fee applies)

Improv workshop with Gerald Weber: Characters, Figures & Archetypes

Thursday, June 19, 6:30-9:30pm

Characters, Figures & Archetypes: are they all the same? No! Characters are based on archetypes, which play their role as figures in a scene or story. In this workshop, take a look at which is which and how can you use and create them. Learn techniques for creating characters from physical decisions, archetypes, and from what has happened so far in the scene.

Gerry is an actor/trainer/director at Theater Anundpfirsich and artistic director of Harri Olli in Zurich, Switzerland, and has taught improvisation in Zurich and around the world. His show, "Your City, Our Eyes" will play at the Brody on June 21.

Instructor:Gerald Weber

Prerequisite: Completion or current enrollment in our Level 2 classes, or instruction elsewhere at the intermediate or advanced level, and permission (contact us prior to enrollment if you have not taken the prerequisites at the Brody Theater)

Fee: $45

(nominal online service fee applies)

Thu. Sept 19

Special Summer Intensives

#1: Sundays from 12:00-3:00pm July 6 29-July 20

#2: Saturdays from 12:00-3:00pm July 26-August 9

#3: Sundays from 12:00-3:00pm August 10-24

This summer we're offering, in addition to our full schedule of regular classes, a series of special intensive workshops in various areas of interest to improvisers and other performers. If you want to continue your work at the Brody during the summer but don't have time for a full-length weekend class, or if you want to double-up and focus on these specialty areas, these are a great opportunity! We're offering master improvisation classes with Brody faculty, and specialty workshops by some amazing guest teachers. Each intensive meets for three 3-hour sessions. Instructors, fees and prerequisites vary--see workshop descriptions.

$10 discount for students who concurrently enroll in one of our regular, full-length summer classes. If you register online you'll be charged full-price, but we will issue a refund. If you pay at the theater just let us know you are in another class to get the lower price.

Fee: $100.00 ($125.00 for Kirschner singing workshop

(nominal online service fee applies)

Intensive #1: Improvisation Master Class with Tom Johnson

Scenes are usually made or broken in their opening moments. It might be possible to "save" a stalled scene, but it's better by far to avoid the stall in the first place. In this advanced-level scene-work series you'll improv your skills at finding a productive path from the "git go." You'll see how the second and third moves determine the course of your scene, and that there are no mistakes--only bad follow-ups. Finding "the game" that powers a scene is one important aspect of the work, but we'll also concentrate on making sure that "game," if there's one in play, leads your scene forward toward a story instead of simply becoming a series of clever repetitions. Put simply, this series will make you a better scene-player and help you make your scene partner better when onstage with you.

Tom Johnson is founder and artistic director of the Brody Theater. He has over 30 years' experience as a performer and teacher. After studying at Improv Olympic under Del Close, he was a member of the group "RV" before moving to Portland in 1996. He has taught thousands of students here in Portland, and many more across the country and abroad. Tom is a founding member of the acclaimed international performance troupe "Orcas Island Project."

Prerequisite: Completion of at least one session of Brody Level 3 Improvisation, or advanced class experience elsewhere and permission.

Intensive #2: Improv Singing Basics and Beyond! with Aden Kirschner

Brushing up on your improv song making, or learning how to make up songs for the first time? This playful workshop will help you develop your abilities to create simple repetitive choruses, detailed verses and playful bridges. Learn the most commonly used song structures, lyrical strategies and delightful ways of sharing songs with your scene partners. Also polish up emotional heightening, conducting and song ending skills so that your songs fit seamlessly inside the scenes in which they live! You'll be sure to have a song in your heart and a skip in your step when you're done!

For the last decade, Aden was a fixture in the exploding Austin, TX improv community as a singer, improviser and faculty member of Merlin Works Institute for Improvisation. Called “The funniest person in Austin” by former Second City L.A. Director Tom Booker, she's a cast member of "Girls Girls Girls" Improvised Musical Comedy, and an alum of the vaudeville revue "Esther’s Follies". Her musical improv workshop at the Brody last year was a big hit!

Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Improvisation or equivalent training with permission. **Ability to sing: NOT REQUIRED

Intensive #3: Creating Selves: an Introductory Acting Workshop with Victoria Parker-Pohl

The purpose of this workshop is to stir you imagination, explore you sensibility, and challenge you intellect. Appropriate for beginning actors who will benefit from immersion in Acting Basics and will inspire currently performing actors who seek greater personal connection to the characters they create. Whatever their level of stage experience, you will learn to infuse authenticity and depth into your work.

Renowned for performances that are described as “edgy, vibrant, manic and insightful”, Victoria Parker-Pohl is an actor and comedian who uses personal life experience to feed her ‘ever-present’ muse. During her long career in Portland and NW Regional Theater, Victoria has acted, directed, collaborated, written, and taught within a wide range of theater companies. She is also known as a founding member of "Waggie & Friends", Portland's first established improv group, and "Theater Group for Humanity", a company dedicated to transforming troubled lives through theater intervention.

Prerequisite: None.

select workshop

Storytelling & Solo Performance

Sundays from 1:30pm-3:30pm starting September 7

Explore the art and power of Storytelling and Solo Performance work through facilitated exercises, practice & feed-back. Students of all skill and experience levels are welcome. We will explore various approaches to solo work, using each to develop our storytelling skills and to define our own personal style. We will write, review and edit scripted work. We will develop material through the use of improvisation, free-writing and a variety of other exercises. Students will learn to tap into, trust and follow their impulses to create a body of work.

Students interested in improv, stand-up, storytelling, acting and performance art will benefit from the practice and the collective energy of creating, exercising and strengthening their lone performance muscles in a creative and supportive community of like-minded storytellers.

Instructor:Domeka Parker

Prerequisite: none.

Fee: $190.00 for six class sessions, plus performance

(nominal online service fee applies)

Introduction to Standup Comedy

Mondays from 7:00-9:00pm starting June 30

Mondays from 7:00-9:00pm starting September 8 This workshop will help you develop skills and experience as a standup comedian. We'll focus on writing, performance style and mechanics, point of view, and more in a supportive environment. Performance opportunity in our open mics and a special show by workshop participants. Tom Johnson is artistic director of the Brody Theater, has been a stage comedian for almost 30 years, and has worked professionally all over the country. Several guest comedians will visit classes during the session.

Instructor: Tom Johnson & Guest Comics

Prerequisite: None

Fee: $185.00 for six 2-hour class sessions, plus performance

Nominal Online Service Fee Applies / For Deposit Info, Click Here

Intro to Standup

Advanced Standup Comedy

Saturdays from 4:00-6:00pm starting June 7

So you have gotten your feet wet in standup, done some open mics-- now what? For those who want to get serious about comedy - this class will increase your comedy presence onstage and improve the quality of your material. Learn to shorten the joke "take off" time, speak clearly and from a real place. Take a forward step in writing powerful compelling material that fully expresses you as an artist. Develop strong positive stage habits, learn how to control the room and shoot down your "inner critic". Learn the power of positive critique among peers.

Instructor: Anatoli Brant

Prerequisite: Introduction to Standup Comedy or standup experience and permission.

Fee: $185.00 for six 2-hour class sessions, plus performance

Nominal Online Service Fee Applies / For Deposit Info, Click Here

Advanced Standup

Sketch Comedy Writing 1

Saturdays 1:30-3:30 starting July 19

In this fast-paced class, students will spend seven weeks working on idea generation, character and point-of-view, leaving with an understanding of how to write a well-structured, dynamic sketch. Participants will emerge with three polished sketches that they've rewritten and seen up on their feet. Out of class work is required.

Our sketch program is directed by Caitlin Kunkel. a screenwriter and a faculty member at Chicago's Second City Training Center, where she teaches sketch, tv and film comedy writing. She created the curriculum currently used at The Second City as prerequisite for all their advanced writing courses. Her short plays and sketch comedy revues have been produced at theaters across Chicago. Our sketch writing class teachers are Caitlin, Brody founder Tom Johnson and veteran Brody Theater ensemble member Neven Mrgan, who has written for and performed in numerous Brody sketch shows including Don't Tase me, Brody, How to Age Disgracefully, and Three Buck Yucks.

Instructors: Aspen Farer

Prerequisite: None, beginners welcome!

Fee: $195.00 for seven 2-hour class sessions plus sketch performance showcase

Nominal Online Service Fee Applies / For Deposit Info, Click Here

Class Cancellation Policy & Enrollment Deferral

Delaying or cancelling enrollment:

Please read this section carefully. Our classes fill up and we often have to turn people away. We cannot simply give refunds to people who enroll and then cannot attend the class.

For all multi- week classes:
If something comes up and you cannot join a class, contact us as soon as possible, preferably at least 48 hours before the class starts to defer your enrollment, keeping your payment on account to enroll in a future class. If you contact us at least 48 hours before the first meeting there is a $30 deferrment fee. From less than 48 hours before the first class to two days after the first class the fee to defer is $75. Later than 48 hours after the first class meeting the fee is $100. For the one-night intro improv workshop, you can defer enrollment to a later edition of the workshop if you contact us at least 48 hours before the workshop to make the change. 24-48 hours prior there is a $10 rescheduling fee.

If instead you decide to cancel your enrollment:
Fundamentals of Improvisation & Intermediate Improvisation, Standup Comedy & Sketch Writing: 10 days or more prior to the first class meeting, there is a $30 cancellation fee; 1-9 days prior: $50. No refunds for cancellation less than one day before the beginning of a class.

All other classes and workshops: 10 days or more prior to the first class meeting: $25 cancellation fee; 6-9 days prior: $40 cancellation fee. One to 5 days before the class or workshop: cancellation fee is 50% of the workshop cost. For workshops costing less than $50 cancellation fee is half the workshop cost, if you cancel more than 24 hours prior to the event.

Your payment, less any cancellation fees, will be refunded within 30 days. No refunds for cancellation less than 24 hours before any class or workshop start time.