Frequently Asked Questions

Which class to take? 101? Real Life? 201?

A: It depends on your goals: Take “101” to play and laugh. Take “Real Life” to improve real-world skills. Take “201” to learn craft for the improv stage. As you can see below, they all overlap in many ways (center) and offer something unique.


Can you tell me more about Improv for Real Life?

A: We learn skills helpful in real world situations: thinking on your feet, interviews, presentations, public speaking, communication, projecting confidence, etc. We include a variety of approaches to empower students: improv theater skills, voice, body language, rhetoric, storytelling, etc.

Why take class at Berkeley Improv?

A: Fun. If you like to laugh and play, you’ll love improv. Community. We emphasize teamwork in all our offerings, which helps create a community of amazing and supportive folks. Our philosophy attracts fun-loving, supportive, and positive people from all over the bay. Growth. Improv can enhance many real-world skills, like thinking on your feet, teamwork, confidence, self-awareness, leadership, and more. Our students cite an amazing variety of reasons for taking our classes:

  • Overcome shyness
  • Creative expression
  • Unwind after a busy day
  • Be playful
  • Laugh out loud
  • Meet fun, friendly people
  • Enjoy comedy
  • Overcome writer’s block
  • Helps with public speaking
  • It feels like a fun party
  • Explore other sides of myself
  • Learn to think on my feet
  • Become more confident
  • Live in the moment
  • Try something new

Who takes improv classes?

A: You don’t have to be an actor or comedian to enjoy our classes. Far from it. Most students come to just play or enhance real-world skills. We are a friendly and welcoming bunch, from many walks of life. Recent students include UC undergrads, grad students, professors, high school students, MBAs, writers, engineers, dancers, doctors, web designers, activists, programmers, teachers, entrepreneurs, actors, artists… Our improv classes attract folks of all ages from around the SF Bay Area, including Oakland, Richmond, Concord, Hayward, Fremont, San Francisco, Marin, San Jose.

I’ve signed up! Should I do anything else to prepare before coming to class?

  • A: Our motto is Don’t Be Prepared. You can learn lots of improv skills by just playing in class! No outside work is required. But you can enrich your experience if you do some reading, which adds context to class activities.
  • Suggested reading for Improv for 101/201/301: Truth in Comedy.
  • Suggested reading for Improv for Real Life: Leadership Presence and/or The Charisma Myth.

I want even more improv! Can I take more than one class at a time?

A: Yes. We often have students that take more than one series concurrently. It’s convenient, since classes are usually scheduled back to back in the same location.

Who teaches?

A: Classes are taught by our talented and supportive Berkeley Improv instructors. Due to changing availability, instructor may vary without notice.

What’s the cut-off time to sign up for class?

A: The cut-off is 1 hour before the class begins.

Can I just show up and sign up in class?

A: To help us simplify registration and reduce costs, we only accept signups online.

Can I sign up my child if he/she is under 18 years old?

A: For youth under 18, we recommend our youth classes. If you feel the adult classes would be a better fit for your child, please contact us first.

Where is the class ?

You’ll find your class location on your sign up page.

Can I buy a class as a gift for someone else?

A: Yes. A number of our students received their class as a surprise gift! So far we’ve had dozens of gifts given with 100% satisfaction rate. Please be aware that class fees are non-refundable.
If you are interested in purchasing a gift certificate, email Heather at heatherberkeleyimprov@gmail.com and she’ll get you set up!

What is your safety and inclusion policy?

A: Berkeley Improv is committed to creating an environment that fosters joyful creativity and that is welcoming to everyone, especially for those who have historically experienced oppression. As a student of Berkeley Improv, you have the right to feel safe, encouraged, and included. You have the right to be treated with respect by teachers and fellow students. You have the right to speak up without fear of repercussions if you experience or see anything that violates these rights.

What if I have a concern or want to give feedback?

A: We encourage you to speak directly to your teacher if you have any concerns about your experience in one of our classes. You are also welcome to contact Heather at heatherberkeleyimprov@gmail.com to report your concerns in confidence, or you may give us feedback here: Feedback Survey

What is the refund policy?

A: All fees are non-refundable, so please plan ahead. We want to be flexible about registration, but we also want to ensure classes are economically sustainable. When you sign up, you reserve space in class that would otherwise go to another student. We understand that occasionally students must cancel or miss class. We do our best to make class affordable, so most folks can still feel good signing up.

What is the makeup policy if I miss a class?

A: We do not offer makeups, refunds, or credit for missed classes due to student absence. Our goal is to make class affordable so it still makes sense to join even if a class is missed.

Is there any fine print?

A: As part of the registration process online, all students agree to terms and conditions which includes a waiver.

Can I arrange private workshops or shows?

A: Yes. We offer private workshops and shows both onsite and offsite. We can tailor the experience to suit your objectives. Contact us for details and rates.

Can I arrange private individual sessions?

A: Yes. Individual sessions can be personalized to help you achieve the objectives you care about most. Contact us for details and rates.

Where can I get more answers?

A: Email!