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Master Classes

ImprovBoston regularly hosts nationally acclaimed improv instructors, directors, performers, authors, playwrights, and actors as part of our Master Class Series. Our goal is to provide ongoing opportunities for our students, cast, and wider community to experience a variety of talent and perspectives.


Intro to Music Direction

Saturday, January 30, 2016, 3PM - 6PM : $50

Register now!

Do you play piano?

Are you comfortable playing in different styles?

Do you write songs?

Do you have experience with theater or improvisation?


If so, ImprovBoston’s Intro to Music Direction Workshop is for you. You’ll learn what it takes to be a music director for sketch and improvisational comedy. Topics covered will include essential skill sets, the life of an ImprovBoston musician, current employment opportunities, and an introduction to our Music Director Training Program. Over the course of 3 jam-packed hours, we’ll look at the philosophy of comedy underscoring, the basics of improvised song and the fundamentals of how to support action through music. The class includes plenty of time for answering your questions. Intro to Music Direction is taught by Mike Descoteaux, Artistic Director of ImprovBoston, former head and founder of Second City’s Music Program, and music director of off-Broadway’s BLANK: the improvised musical.

Pre-requisites: Comfort playing in a variety of styles on piano


$50 per person. Maximum: 8 students

Day/Time: Saturday 3PM-6PM

Class Date: January 30, 2016

Class Location: ImprovBoston Studio Theater

Instructor: Mike Descoteaux


Mike Decoteaux

Mike Descoteaux is Artistic Director of ImprovBoston and oversees IB’s Music Director Training Program. With The Second City in Chicago, Mike served as resident music director of the ETC stage and numerous performance-related ventures including the star-studded 50th anniversary. He created and ran the nationally renowned Music Program at Second City. Mike recruited and trained dozens of music directors every year for Second City international and leads music direction-for-comedy workshops around the world. He is music director for the Off-Broadway improvised musical BLANK: The Musical (New World Stages, American Theater of Actors and Stage 773 in Chicago). As Music Director, he has helmed shows at iO, Comedy Sportz Chicago, the Annoyance, the Magnet, the Playground, ImprovBoston and many more. He has “composed” and “conducted” over 1,000 completely improvised musicals with the ground-breaking Musical! The Musical, the nationally beloved Baby Wants Candy (head music director), STACKED, the NYC-based I Eat Pandas, the musical long-form pioneering Jazz Hands Across America and many more including Boston’s BUMP and Hidden Falls.




Writing Truth-Based Comedy with Mike Manship

Sunday, February 21, 2016, 1230PM - 330PM : $65

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Combining elements of sketch comedy, performance art, improvisation, and playwriting, this class will explore innovative ways of translating our beliefs and observations to the stage. Using proven techniques found in many impressive comedy institutions such as The Second City and The Neo-Futurists, students will write and perform short pieces that cultivate comedy through complete honesty. 

No pre-requisites


$65 per person. Maximum: 14 students

Day/Time: Sunday 1230PM-330PM

Class Date: February 21, 2016

Class Location: ImprovBoston Main Theater

Instructor: Mike Manship


Mike Manship

Mike Manship is the co-writer of T: AN MBTA MUSICAL and co-founder and former director of MOSAIC, the unconventional comedy show that ran over 3 years, Saturday nights at ImprovBoston. He has performed with The Neo-Futurists (The Sovereign Statement, It Came From the Neo-Futurarium), and studied with such instructors as Mick Napier, Susan Messing, Michael Gellman, Colleen Doyle, Greg Allen, and Bilal Dardai.



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