Located in the Arts District of Downtown Richmond, VA, the Coalition Theater is home to RVA’s best comedy shows and improv classes. Live Comedy. Dead Serious.

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Learn improv from some of the best instructors in Virginia

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  • Improv 001: FREEVIEW

    When: Thursday, January 8th (6:30 – 7:30pm.)
    Cost: FREE
    Prerequisites: No comedy or performance experience (or money) necessary. This class is intended for anyone who has NOT taken a previous Freeview class.
    Email us if you have any questions.

    This free, one-time workshop is a preview of what improv class is all about. We’ll walk through some basic concepts, teach you a few exercises and games, and generally have a good time. This class is intended for anyone who has NOT taken a previous Freeview class.

    Did we mention it’s free?

    Improv 101: Introduction

    Robert Sobecke
    When: Sundays, 7 – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 11th.
    Instructor: Robert Sobecke
    Cost: $185
    Prerequisites: None. No comedy or performance experience necessary. Email us if you have any questions.

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

    About the Instructor
    Robert Sobecke performs regularly with the Coalition Theater house team Dollar Machine. His improv education began as the very first student in the first class ever offered by the Coalition Theater. Almost five years of improv experience have taken Robert to workshops with improv luminaries, and to performances at improv festivals, beerhalls, a country basement, and other sundry venues in the Eastern U.S.

    Improv 101: Introduction

    Grace Manno
    When: Tuesdays, 7pm – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 13th.
    Instructor: Grace Manno
    Cost: $185
    Prerequisites: None. No comedy or performance experience necessary. Email us if you have any questions.

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

    About the Instructor
    Grace began classes at the Coalition Theater in 2011 and now performs with the house team Da Vinci and is part of the writing staff for RVA Tonight. Grace loves the graphic arts, cooking, and travel.

    Improv 201: Character and Relationship

    Patrick Gantz
    When: Mondays, 7 – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 12th.
    Instructor: Patrick Gantz
    Cost: $185
    Prerequisites: Intro to Improv
    Email us if you have any questions.

    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.

    About the Instructor
    Patrick Gantz was first introduced to improv in the seventh grade and, since then, his addiction has spawned The Whethermen of UVA, taken him to Chicago where he performed among iO’s house teams, and scooped him off to Edinburgh where the Guardian called him, “Somewhat overwrought.”

    Improv 201: Character and Relationship

    Matt Newman
    When: Wednesdays, 7 – 9pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 14th.
    Instructor: Matt Newman
    Cost: $185
    Prerequisites: Intro to Improv
    Email us if you have any questions.

    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.

    About the Instructor
    Matt Newman is the Managing Director of the Coalition Theater and coach of the houseteam, Pigeon. Matt has been performing improv and sketch comedy since 1999 and has studied at iO Chicago where he played on their Harold house team, Fat Kid, and performed several runs of shows with the independent ensemble, The Album. He is lucky to have studied under some of the best teachers around. He is a pretty nice guy and serious professional.

    Improv 301: Patterns and Games

    Scott Beckett
    When: Sundays, 1 – 3pm for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 11th.
    Instructor: Scott Beckett
    Cost: $185
    Prerequisites: Improv 101 and 201
    Email us if you have any questions.

    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.

    About the Instructor
    Scott Beckett has been performing improv for four years, including two years with the Coalition Theater’s house team The Johnsons. He has performed in DC, Baltimore, and Charleston. He comes to improv after four years of driving construction equipment for the United States Marine Corps and ten years in health care business analysis. Scott has starred in two Richmond 48 Hour Film Festival runners up for Best Film.

    Improv 401: Long Form Improv

    Katie Holcomb
    When: Tuesdays, 7 – 9pm for 8 weeks, beginning Jan. 13th.
    Instructor: Katie Holcomb
    Cost: $185
    Prerequisites: Improv 101, 201 and 301
    Email us if you have any questions.

    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.

    About the Instructor
    Katie Holcomb is a co-founder and current Artistic Director of the Coalition Theater. She got her start improvising in 2000 with the ComedySportz Improv Theatre where she would later become a member of their coaching staff. Currently, you can see her performing with both Pigeon and Middle Management. She loves what she does an unbearable amount.

  • ** EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Sign-up for class before midnight on Sunday, Dec. 21st and receive $20 off tuition. **

    Stand-Up 101

    When: Sundays, 1 – 3pm for 8 weeks, beginning Jan. 11th.
    Instructor: Jim Zarling
    Cost: $185 $165
    Prerequisites: This class is intended for people who have little to no experience doing stand-up comedy, who have always wanted to try stand-up but don’t know how, when, or where to start. (Hint: It starts here). Email us if you have any questions.

    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.

    About the Instructor
    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 the past year has opened for Myq Kaplan, Jared Logan and Tig Notaro.

    At the Coalition Theater he performs with Pigeon and MEGAPOWER and coaches new house team Clapsaddle.

    Jim Zarling

  • Creating Characters w/ Lyndsay Hailey

    Lyndsay Hailey
    When: Saturday, Dec. 27th from 1 – 4pm.
    Instructor: Lyndsay Hailey
    Cost: $30 (+ $1.74 service fee)
    Prerequisites: Some kind of Improv experience required. Email us if you have any questions.

    This workshop focuses the development of character through environment work, physical changes, emotion, and observation. You will leave this workshop with at least three new characters to add to your improvisation tool belt and a better understanding of how to utilize character work to become more present in your improvisation.

    About the Instructor
    Lyndsay has had the great fortune of performing and teaching improv and sketch comedy all over the world. Her one woman show 30% Chance of Hailey was named Critic’s Choice by The Chicago Reader and was hailed as “one of the best, most inventive solo productions in years.” After retiring from The Second City National Touring Company last February she now spends her time performing at iO Chicago with The Deltones, iO’s improvised musical, Powerball, The Lyndsay Hailey Variety Hour, and Armando. She currently teaches levels 1-5 at iO Chicago and iO West in Hollywood and owns her own production company, Chance of Hailey Productions. Check out Lyndsay’s website chanceofhailey.com or her youtube channel: www.youtube.com/chanceofhailey.

    Emotional Environment w/ Megan Johns

    Megan Johns
    When: Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm
    Instructor: Megan Johns
    Cost: $30 (+ $1.74 service fee)
    Prerequisites: Some kind of Improv experience required. Email us if you have any questions.

    This 3-hour workshop will give you a chance to connect with the world of your scene in real and emotional ways. By focusing on how your character sees the world we can learn to react to and engage with the environment around us in a more powerful way. Environment work can be used to support YOUR ideas and help you take a scene from blah to boo-yah.

    About the Instructor
    Megan is an improviser, actor, teacher, and writer/director who has been living in Chicago for the last 11 years. She is originally from Virginia, where the mountains are blue. In Chicago, Meg has taught improv at The Annoyance for 7 years, and in addition to performing in sketch, improv, and original shows there, she has taught a semester at The University of Chicago, and a year of theatre making to Chicago high schoolers. Meg is an original member of The New Colony, and there has directed, performed and written original devised theatre for the last 5 years. This Fall Meg wrote a play called Whatever We Want that ran in Chicago at the BoHo Studio Space. Currently she can be seen improvising with her female comedy group WiseSnatch, or creating and teaching in any place that has a stage. She loves a dog named Lola and a dude named Ryan.

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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)
  • N (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.