The Coalition Theater is Downtown RVA’s Home for Live Comedy Shows, Classes & Other Fun Stuff.

Live Comedy, Every Week.

Tickets available online and at the door.

Doors open half an hour before showtime. All shows are intended for mature audiences, unless otherwise specified.

Learn improv from some of the best instructors in Virginia

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR OUR WINTER 2017 SESSION OF IMPROV, STAND-UP & SKETCH CLASSES.

Want more info about all our upcoming classes and shows? Sign up for our email list.
Have any questions? Make sure to first read over our Class FAQs / Policies.
If your question still remains unanswered, use the contact form below to get in touch.

IMPROV 101: Intro to Improv (SOLD-OUT)

August Butler

When: Sundays, 1 – 3pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan 15th.

Instructor: August Butler

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: None. No comedy or performance experience necessary.

Class Description

Have you always wanted to try improv? Are you looking to use the fundamental lessons of improv to improve other aspects of your life?

If you answered yes to these or any other questions, then our Intro to Improv is for you. In this first level of our training program, you will learn the fundamentals of improv from saying “Yes, and” to listening and being more spontaneous.

Intro to Improv is an eight-week course that is taught in a very supportive, fun environment that allows you to feel comfortable taking risks. All experience levels are welcome!

Instructor Bio

August Butler started taking improv classes at the Coalition in the fall of 2014, after NPR told them to get a hobby and suggested adult spelling bees. August is now a member of the Coalition’s newest house team, BearHug, and is involved with a number of shows at the Coalition. When August isn’t on stage, they are a PhD candidate in history at the College of William & Mary.

IMPROV 101: Intro to Improv (SOLD-OUT)

David Pijor

When: Tuesdays, 7 – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan 17th.

Instructor: David Pijor

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: None. No comedy or performance experience necessary.

Class Description

Have you always wanted to try improv? Are you looking to use the fundamental lessons of improv to improve other aspects of your life?

If you answered yes to these or any other questions, then our Intro to Improv is for you. In this first level of our training program, you will learn the fundamentals of improv from saying “Yes, and” to listening and being more spontaneous.

Intro to Improv is an eight-week course that is taught in a very supportive, fun environment that allows you to feel comfortable taking risks. All experience levels are welcome!

Instructor Bio

David Pijor is a founding member, teacher, coach, performer and Creative Director at the Coalition Theater. He started improvising in 1999, but got his start in Richmond with ComedySportz in 2005. You can see him regularly on stage with Horse Apples, Big Bosses, RVA Tonight, Short, Fast & Furious, and in Pijor+1, where he performs an entire show with a random audience member. He’s also the proud coach of the Coalition houseteam, Da Vinci. And boy does he love a good sandwich.

IMPROV 201: Character & Relationships

Jessi Schmale

When: Mondays, 7 – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 16th.

Instructor: Jessi Schmale

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: Intro to Improv
Email us if you have any questions.

Class Description

Good scenes are the bedrock of improv. In our second level, you will strengthen the skills you built in our Intro class and focus on creating sustainable scenes based on strong, deep relationships and honest emotional reactions.

Great if you want to dig deeper into improv or if you need to interact with other humans in your day-to-day life.

Instructor Bio

Jessi has been improvising with The Coalition Theater since January 2014. She is proud to perform with The Johnsons (houseteam), and is an ensemble member in “Musical! The Improvised Musical” and “The Hand That Guides Us: Puppet Soap Opera”. She has instructed group fitness classes for 10 years, and works full-time as a nonprofit Trainer/Facilitator. She really, REALLY likes cats and sharing the joy of improv with others.

IMPROV 201: Character & Relationships (SOLD-OUT)

Grace Manno width=

When: Tuesdays, 7 – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan 17th

Instructor: Grace Manno

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: Intro to Improv
Email us if you have any questions.

Class Description

Good scenes are the bedrock of improv. In our second level, you will strengthen the skills you built in our Intro class and focus on creating sustainable scenes based on strong, deep relationships and honest emotional reactions.

Great if you want to dig deeper into improv or if you need to interact with other humans in your day-to-day life.

Instructor Bio

Grace has been formally practicing and performing improv comedy for 5 years, although she’s been a make-believe-er her whole life. She performs with the house team Da Vinci, serves as a producer on the staff of RVA Tonight with Beau Cribbs, and can be seen in other temporary shows and performances. Outside of performing, Grace enjoys visual arts, food, and travel.

IMPROV 301: Patterns and Games

Lauren Serpa

When: Mondays, 7pm – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 16th.

Instructor: Lauren Serpa

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: 101, 201
Email us if you have any questions.

Class Description

In our third level, we explore creating patterns and discovering games to propel your scenes forward. You’ll get out of your head and into the show by focusing on your team and what they need.

You’ve contracted the improv bug, you may as well accept that you are now beyond the help of medical science.

Instructor Bio

Lauren Serpa has been a performer at Coalition Theater since 2013. She is a member of the house team The Johnsons and is a writer for RVA Tonight with Beau Cribbs. Lauren’s other passions include photography and teaching elementary school music. She loves Coalition Theater and hopes you will too!

IMPROV 301: Patterns and Games

Alan Vollmer

When: Wednesdays, 7pm – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 18th.

Instructor: Alan Vollmer

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: 101, 201
Email us if you have any questions.

Class Description

In our third level, we explore creating patterns and discovering games to propel your scenes forward. You’ll get out of your head and into the show by focusing on your team and what they need.

You’ve contracted the improv bug, you may as well accept that you are now beyond the help of medical science.

Instructor Bio

Alan Vollmer is Graduate program candidate at VCU and has been performing improv for over 10 years. Coalition thankfully took him in and deals with his crazy in the nicest way possible.

IMPROV 401: Longform (SOLD-OUT)

Shamoniki Ellison

When: Sundays, 1 – 3pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan 15th.

Instructor: Shamoniki Ellison

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: Improv 101, 201 and 301

Email us if you have any questions.

Class Description

In our fourth level, we’ll approach Long Form from the 16-bar blues of improv: The Harold.

Over eight weeks, this survey will strengthen the broad skills you have (two-person scenes, group work, playing from emotion, pattern recognition), and put it all on its feet in a longer, cohesive piece.

Instructor Bio

Shamoniki Ellison is a local improvisor and writer. As a member of the team Da Vinci she has performed and toured for over three years. Shamoniki is an active coach, director and teacher at the Coalition Theater. She loves performing, learning and helping others find the tools they need to have fun when doing improv. You can catch her every 2nd and 4th Saturday performing with Da Vinci at during the 8pm Riot show.

STAND-UP 101 (SOLD-OUT)

Jim Zarling

When: Sundays, 5pm – 7pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan 15th.

Instructor: Jim Zarling

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: None. No comedy or performance experience necessary.
Email us if you have any questions.

Class Description

Over the course of this class, students will work toward writing and performing an original 5-minute stand-up set. Students will begin learning basic concepts of joke writing (premise/set up/punchline). You will look to find premises in your everyday life, then work on honing your material and making it authentic and accessible to audiences.

Later in the session, students will focus on creating, critiquing and workshopping their own material. The class will culminate in a class showcase performance of all-original student sets.

Instructor Bio

Jim Zarling has been performing as a stand up comic since 2006. In 2008 he founded the Comedy Roundtable in Charlottesville which helped countless stand up comics get their start on stage. He has headlined several tours throughout the Southeast and has featured at The Cape Fear Comedy Festival, The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival and The F Bomb Comedy Festival. In recent years he has opened for Myq Kaplan, Jared Logan and Tig Notaro.

At the Coalition Theater he performs with MEGAPOWER and Big Bosses.

SKETCH WRITING 101 (SOLD-OUT)

Matt Micou

When: Mondays, 7pm – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning January 16th.

Instructor: Matt Micou

Cost: $185

Prerequisites: None. All levels of writers are welcome.
Email us if you have any questions.

Class Description

In this course, you will learn the building blocks of writing great sketch comedy. We will look at different sketches from television and stage to see what makes them work and will explore character, setting and the elements of a good scene. By the end of this 8-week course you will translate your idea into a fully fleshed-out sketch.

Instructor Bio

Matt Micou is a writer, actor, improviser, director and producer. Matt moved back to Virginia in 2012 after many years in Chicago, where he studied improv at Second City, iO and the Annoyance theater. After graduating from the Second City writing program, Matt founded the sketch comedy group Grandma June’s Sewing Circle. Together, they performed in front of sellout crowds in theaters across Chicago, New Hampshire, the Quad Cities, Austin, Texas and the 2008 and 2010 Chicago Sketchfest. Matt also performed on Chopper, his improv team at iO, Long Pause, a video/live sketch hybrid, as well as many independent teams. He is currently a writer/performer for RVA Tonight and performs on the house team Da Vinci, as well as Horse Apples and Big Bosses. Yes, he’s the guy in the Virginia Green commercials.

IMPROV FREEVIEW 001 (SOLD-OUT)

When: Sunday, Jan. 8th, 1 – 2pm and Tuesday, Jan. 10th, 7 – 8pm.

Cost: FREE

Prerequisites: None. No comedy or performance experience (or money) necessary.
Email us if you have any questions.

About
This free improv workshop is a preview of what class is all about. We’ll walk through some basic concepts, teach you a few exercises and games, and generally have a good time. Sound good? Please select only one of the below Freeview dates.

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WE’RE SET FOR INTERNS AT THE MOMENT. THANKS TO ALL WHO APPLIED

The Coalition Theater offers internships in exchange for classes as a way of making our training center more accessible for individuals of all financial circumstances.


What are the perks?

Interns get the benefit of taking free classes, seeing free shows, and learning a little bit more about the operations of the theater over the course of their internship. In exchange, interns volunteer their time working at our box office, concessions, and/or tech booth. They may also be asked to help with other tasks such as hanging posters/marketing materials around town.

All class levels are available for internship, which includes Improv 101-401, Standup 101, and Sketch 101 (when available.)

How are Interns chosen?

The Coalition selects several interns per 8-week class session. There is no cap on how many sessions an individual may intern, and current interns are able to re-apply for consideration each session. If you are not selected to receive an internship, we encourage you to re-apply for the next session.

The submissions are reviewed by a board consisting of the Artistic, Managing and Educational Director and all applicants will be notified the week prior to the start of the upcoming class session.

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upcoming shows, classes, and other non-spammy stuff.


Coalition Theater, 8 W. Broad St.

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Contact Us

Have questions about upcoming shows, classes and anything else that the Coalition can help you with? Shoot us a message.

  • 8 W. Broad St, Richmond, VA
  • info@rvacomedy.com (preferred)
  • (804) 332-5857*

* NOTE: We don’t normally keep daytime office hours, so email or the contact form to the left is the best way to get in touch with us and get a response.