Frequently asked questions
Improv Theatre Sydney teachers are proven industry professionals in acting, theatre education, writing and directing all with international experience. Among our teachers and faculty are award winning performers and writers who aren’t just teachers, but also seasoned practitioners of improv, comedy and performance. ITS holds their faculty to a very high standard and we are vigilant in training and supporting continuing education.
Our curriculum is consistent across all levels, so no matter who your teacher is, when you complete a level, you’ll have had the experience similar to anyone else who has completed that same level. This way, if you change nights, delay for a term or even substitute a class, you will have the same expected standard as the reset of the people at your level.
Our curriculum has been formed from years of international industry experience and is also constantly revamped to keep up with the most progressive way of teaching improv, as is indicative of the numerous troupes that come out of ITS and perform in national and international comedy and improv festivals. Improv troupes of ITS graduates have performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, The Del Close Marathon in New York, the Edinburgh Fringe and beyond.
ITS faculty are regarded internationally and have a excellent relationship with the leaders of improv from around the world. As a result, we often have the opportunity to present workshops from those gurus who we call friends. ITS students often have the opportunity to take those workshops at a reduced rate with their ITS student card.
ITS student cards are also opportunities to see shows at reduced rates and find cheaper eats and/or drinks around the Redfern area. Talk to your ITS teacher for more details.
Lastly, ITS has a super cool community. Many ITS grads, as previously mentioned, form troupes but more stay friends and come to shows and ITS events to hang out with each other. We are inclusive, diverse and open to all voices that don’t try to marginalise other voices. You’re very welcome to join us.
If there is the same level of class in which you’re enrolled on offer at the same time, you’re welcome to do one make-up class. That’s limited to classes during the same semester on the same week as the missed class.
ITS has a policy of two absences before considering how you can progress in the following term. It is up to the discretion of the ITS faculty to decide on your progress from one level to the next.
To progress through the workshops, you much achieve a basis of understanding each level is meant to inculcate, as well as show a continued regard for the ensemble and the basic precept of listening positively to the rest of the class. If a student doesn’t show a continuing understanding of the levels, they may be required to repeat a level.
If any participants in the workshop are party to behaviour that is counter-productive to creating a safe and constructive workshops environment, that student may be told that continuing the workshops is not available to them. ITS has no space for jerks.
Term 1: Jan 14 – Mar 3 (grad shows are Mar 10 & 12)
Term 2: Mar 24 – May 12 (grad shows are May 19 & 21)
Term 3: Jun 2 – Jul 21 (grad shows are Jul 28 & 30)
Term 4: Aug 11 – Sep 29 (grad shows are Oct 6 & 8)
Term 5: Oct 13 – Dec 8 (grad shows are Dec 6 & 8)
If one of your classes falls on a public holiday, there will be no class that week and your term one run one week longer i.e. nine weeks with one week off.
Absolutely. People are busy and we get that life can get full. Our normal policy allows for a year of having missed the workshops before possibly being considered by the ITS faculty on what level you should return on.
If you decide not to continue with your ITS improv workshop, you’re entitled to a full refund (minus the 2.9% transaction fee) prior to the week before your workshop started. Once your term has started, you may be entitled to have your fees deferred until the following term if you make us aware you cannot come to the workshop within the first two weeks of the term. We can defer your registration only once. After two weeks, your full fee will be paid towards the term you paid for.
In some special circumstances, we may consider some special deferments, so speak to us about your case.
Our teachers are industry professionals who sometimes become unavailable due to professional commitments and also human beings who, on occasion become unwell or have family issues to attend to. We try our best to avoid conflict in scheduling as best we can, but in the event there is conflict, we will either substitute your teacher for another with comparable skill and experience (which at ITS, all teachers are of high standard) or we will postpost the class and reschedule when appropriate to accommodate as much of the class as possible.
Improv Theatre Sydney strives to make its workshops and shows accessible to people with all abilities. Our home at Botany Rd, Redfern is fully wheelchair accessible for all shows and workshops.
When we have shows in venues that aren’t our own, we always do our best to ensure they are fully accessible but unfortunately we can’t always guarantee this.
If you have any questions regarding accessibility, please email us at the details below.
Yes. You must have completed all six improv levels with us to audition for an ITS house team. There are multiple opportunities to audition throughout the year.
We take any concerns that breach our ITS Student Bill of Rights (a document you will receive upon registration to our workshops) very seriously. The first point of contact should be your instructor either during or after class, face-to-face or over email. If you’re unable to communicate your concerns to your instructor, or it is inappropriate to do so, we have a dedicated position to hear students concerns. The role of the Outreach, Diversity and Inclusion Officer has experience in mediation, and the person in that role is attentive and thorough. They are available at email@example.com. Further to that, should the person in that role not be appropriate, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. This email is directed to the operating directors of the company including the Managing and Artistic Directors.
ITS has very clear policies on anti-harassment, anti-discrimination and anti-bullying and very clear processes on managing them, which are in line with contemporary Australian law and best practice. If necessary, ITS is prepared to use a third-party mediator to manage certain situations.
Yes. On occassion, we take photos in class for educational and promotional purposes. We take educational photos or videos to show the class an example of a certain exercises that we want them to be able to revisit after having experienced. Our photos taken for promotional purposes are only used on our social media and only in relation to the context of the photo taken.
You have absolute license to tell us you do not want your likeness distributed in photo or video on ITS social media, just tell your teacher or contact email@example.com. You do not have to explain yourself, just let us know.
That’s great that you’ve taken workshops before coming to ITS. That experience will only help you moving forward with ITS workshops though it’s important to remember that every improv school has their own philosophy, style of play, level of experience and standard of quality. For that reason, like most improv theatres of repute around the world, we expect students coming to our program for the first time to start at level one.
Our level one is constructed so that the fundamentals of good improv are rooted firmly before even starting with scenes.
We do allow for people to begin in the ITS program past level one, but only upon successful audition (held after our free taster workshops before every term) or by letter of recommendation from an established institution. It should be noted that the rate of success for the auditions is pretty low as our standard is quite high.
We feel pretty strongly about our level one. Our faculty and ensemble players sign up to it quite regularly to get back to the fundamental elements of play, creativity and ensemble work.
We’ve also seen time and again that those who’ve come from other schools and are starting at ITS level one are able to immerse themselves more fully into the ensemble and move forward through the program creating a tight troupe with their peers in the class starting from the beginning.