Jonathan Pitts: Improv Chicago-style – Nov 2018

This is your chance to work with one of the big names of the Chicago improv scene – Jonathan Pitts.

Chicago is the Mecca of modern improvisation, home of the famous Second City, a place that has been one of the main sources for an entire generation of America’s best and brightest comedic entertainers for over 30 years, and Jonathan Pitts has been right at the centre of that for much of its history. He is a co-founder of the Chicago Improv Festival, which he has produced for 20 years. He taught at the famous Second City training centre for 18 years.

Here in New Zealand for the New Zealand Improv Festival, we are very lucky that Jonathan has agreed to take a side-trip to Christchurch! Come and upgrade your improv with one of the world’s best teachers!

The workshops – One weekend, Two classes

To give people options, and also for those who work Sat or Sun, we’ve split the weekend into two distinct classes. If you really want to make the most of working with a world-class teacher, you should do both days if you can!

Finding Strength in Vulnerability: Saturday, 3rd November

Openness on stage is a choice, a powerful choice that makes any scene more grounded, intuitive and vital. In this workshop, you will learn techniques to help you develop and heighten your artistic and scenic openness, and then apply these in scenes with a heightened awareness of the strength of choosing to be open.

Scene-work, The Chicago Way: Sunday, 4th November

Chicago is famous for grounded, honest, relationship-based improvisation scene work that produces deep laughs and deep sighs as the audience is moved to both. This style of work requires acting, listening, openness, patience, and responding through a shared process of give-and-take. Dive deep into the process of two-person scene-work that will bring you discovery upon discovery. As those shared discoveries pile up, the improvised scene becomes deep, full and funny. It’s the Chicago way.

About Jonathan Pitts

Jonathan Pitts is an award-winning international improv theatre artist from Chicago with over 30 years’ experience. He’s a creator, director, improviser, producer, and teacher, and he’s also the Founder and Executive Director of Chicago Improv Productions and co-founded the Chicago Improv Festival, which he has produced for 20 years. He created and produced the College Improv Tournament for 10 years. He was Teen Comedy Fest’s executive producer for 7 years. He’s also the founder and producer of Chicago Podcast Festival for the past 2 years.

He has taught and performed internationally in 12 countries, as well as all over America. He’s performed in over 1,250 improvised shows. He has created the improv shows, “The Make ‘Em Ups”, “The Oracle”, “The Silent Movie”, “Solo Plus One”, “Stopwatch”, and “Storybox Unscripted Theatre”.

He taught at The Second City for 16 years and is a contributing writer to their book on improvisation. He taught story-based improv at Piven Theatre Workshop. He’s also taught at 25+ American cities at regional improv fests and improv theatres.

Notes for Participants

  • To get the most from this masterclass it is recommended that you already have at least some training as either an actor or an improviser. If you are unsure whether the class will suit you, please get in touch using the Contact Form.

Workshop Details and Booking Form

Dates / TimesSaturday 3rd November: 9 am – 4 pm (1 hr lunch break)
Sunday 4th November: 10 am – 5 pm (1 hr lunch break)
(please note the EARLIER start time on Saturday)
LocationOriginal Scripts Theatre School
Common Room Building
Christchurch Arts Centre
2 Worcester Boulevard,

Participantsmaximum 16 (each day)
Cost1 day = $120
Both days = $200
Booking Formbookings are closed


If you have any questions about this workshop, including applying for a cost reduction, please send a message using the contact form.