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Gainesville Improv Guild Academy (GIGA)

Classes for youths, 13-17.

     GIGA holds workshops, classes and summer camps for youth ages 13-17. Improv is the perfect opportunity for young people to gain confidence, learn to collaborate with teammates, express themselves creatively, and think outside the box! And have fun!

     In addition to our work in improv and creative drama, GIGA holds workshops in character creation and stand-up comedy. Our youth curriculum is based on techniques from Viola Spolin and focuses on the process of learning and applying the concepts of improv to our everyday lives.

goal of GIGA is to allow teens to learn and enjoy the art of improv in a safe, positive environment. Whether they've never experienced improv before and are looking to expand their horizons or they're looking to take their craft to the next level, the teachers of GIGA will be there to coach your teen on!

     GIGA offers classes for all levels of improv comedy and a beginner's stand-up comedy class.

All of our classes on this page are for youth ages 13-17,  but check out classes for ages 18 & up here. 

     If a class is noted as "coming soon" and you're interested in taking it, please contact us and we'll let you know via email when the class will be available. 

     Read about our policies regarding classes and students here.

Youth Foundations of Improv I


     If you've ever been curious about performing comedic improvisation or you simply want to get out of your shell and re-discover your inner child, this foundational class is for you.     

     It focuses on the basics of agreeing ("yes-and"), active listening, and supporting others while playing exercises and games so that you can improv your way through every scene or everyday!

Youth Foundations of Improv II


     This class builds on the Improv I class by continuing to play short forms and introduce the Long Form, specifically focusing on edits, tag-outs, time-dash, flashback/forward, etc and game structure.


     Further focus is given to practicing good stage habits, developing stage-awareness, and group mind as well as character building.

Youth Advanced Improv III


     How to find the "game" or what's funny in the scene and then exploring ways to develop the scene around what's funny are the two major points of focus in Improv III.

     Students will explore the concept of game via exercises and Long Form and prepare to practice the Harold.

Youth Advanced Improv IV


     The Harold. Students will focus on everything learned in Improv I-III as they practice performing The Harold.


     Class culminates in a graduation performance in front of their friends and family.

Youth Acting & Improv Camps


     These camps and workshops will focus on various aspects of acting and improvisation depending upon the performance level of the participants. By individually tailoring the practices and rehearsals, the students will be able to develop at their own speed and focus on the areas of their acting they wish to enhance.

Stand-Up Comedy for Youth


     Have you had the itch to try stand-up, but never have? Or are you looking to improve your public speaking skills? Or maybe you just need to do something to charge-up your life? This eight-week class will do all of that as we will teach you  how to create, edit, rehearse, and finally coach you how to perform your own personalized stand-up comedy routine. 

     Heavy emphasis is placed on writing from your own point of view as this will allow you to create your own brand of humor. Editing, stage presence, handling the microphone, and other related material will be covered in this class.

     To graduate from the class, all students will perform their routines in front of a live audience at a comedy show that you can invite your friends. We can't wait to coach you on your adventure!



GIG Academy Student Policy
GIG Academy strives to create a welcoming and safe creative atmosphere for all. GIG does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, sexual preference, or disability. Students with disabilities or any special needs are encouraged to contact GIG before registering for a class, so we can do our best to provide an accommodating class experience. GIG Academy has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind in our programs, and the Teacher or Director has the discretion to remove a student from a class if a situation calls for it. Harassment is unwanted behavior that is experienced as threatening–whether physical or verbal in nature. We encourage anyone who experiences harassment to feel safe talking to GIG staff or performers without fear of negative repercussion. People raising concerns can know that they will be heard, respected, and dealt with according to GIG’s policies. Read about our Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy here.

GIG will strive to ensure that inappropriate, triggering and/or insensitive behavior is omitted from class exercises and scene work. GIG believes that good improv comedy arises when scene partners build funny scenes together, not from one participant inserting edgy, outrageous or shocking subjects from a scene's outset. While it is true that improvising on stage can bring out strange and unexpected impulses in performers, such moments are not to be encouraged or pursued when they cause other students to feel attacked or excluded. Regardless of intent, these impulses cannot be justified as someone "simply playing a character" or "just making a joke". Our priority is to ensure everyone in the class feels safe and respected. Work that consistently skews scenes towards sexual, racial, and/or violent themes is a specific cause for concern. If students aren't able to change their approach after the issue has been addressed by a GIG teacher, they will be asked to leave the program.

Our GIGA Adult Classes are for Adults ages 18+. Our GIGA Youth Classes are for youth aged 13-17.

For our six-week and 8-week classes, we can offer a full refund up to 24 hours before the class begins. Once the class begins, we can offer a prorated refund after the first class. After the 2nd week, we do not offer refunds unless there is an extenuating circumstance.

Attendance and Lateness
GIG Academy classes meet for two hours once a week for 6 or 8 weeks. Please check your schedule carefully to ensure that you can attend all class dates. If you expect to miss more than one of the six classes in the session, you should wait until the next term to take a class. Please email your teacher if you know you will miss a class.

Please email your teacher if you are going to be late. Just like an absence, a teacher might structure their lesson differently if you are going to be late, so this is helpful for our planning! Also your teacher and your fellow students will worry about you!

Release of Liability
You understand that participation in improvisational theater involves the risk of personal injury or loss due to the physical, mental, and emotional challenges in the programs and activities offered by Gainesville Improv Guild. You also understand that participation in these programs or activities is entirely voluntary and requires participants to follow instructions and abide by all applicable rules and the standards of conduct. You are not aware of any conditions that increase my likelihood of experiencing a personal injury or loss while engaging Gainesville Improv Guild’s programs or activities.

With appreciation of the risks associated with Gainesville Improv Guild’s programs or activities, you hereby fully and completely release and waive any and all claims for personal injury or loss, including costs and attorneys’ fees, that may arise against Gainesville Improv Guild, including its teachers, staff members, volunteers, students, or other persons associated with its programs or activities. This release and waiver applies to any personal injury or loss that may occur as a result of any other program or activity of Gainesville Improv Guild.

Weather or Cancellation Policy
If a GIG Academy class must be cancelled for weather or other reasons, the class teacher and/or GIG Director will notify students by 1 pm or as soon as possible. GIG Academy will do their best to reschedule the missed class on the same day of the week and time if possible, and if not at a date assigned by class quorum. GIG Academy will send a substitute if the teacher is unable to attend to class, but the class can continue as scheduled.

Questions? Contact GIG’s Director, Jeff Jurgens

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