Whether or not you think you might be raising the next Saturday Night Live star, there are big benefits for your babe in learning the art of improv. They’ll build up basics like active listening, verbal communication, collaboration, idea generation, and techniques to thinking on the fly. These three local classes—from one on one instruction to birthday parties—work on laying the foundation for some standing ovation-worthy performances.

Halloween show

photo: Now This! Improv

Now This! Improv
Offering single workshops (for both kids and adults) Now This! introduces students to the skills of improve on Saturday afternoons at the Riot Act Comedy Theater (801 E. St., NW).  If you’re thinking bigger than just a couple of hours for your child, the group also does birthday parties and workshops for schools, community groups and camps. Finally, if your little one isn’t quite ready to take on a class, Now This! is one of the few improv groups in the area that puts on shows and interactive storytelling productions designed for kids. Check their site for upcoming performances.

Online: nowthisimprov.com

Baltimore Improv Group
Though a bit of a drive north, the Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) imparts the basics of improv—scene work, characters, formats, structures, and games—to both kids and teens. Starting at age 7, the kids’ week-long class concludes with a performance for family and friends while the one-day teen workshops (beginning at age 13) focus on building skills and helping teens find their voice. The group also does school programs, camps, and birthday parties. And, BIG puts on a family-friendly show on the second Saturday of every month at the Mercury Theater in Baltimore.

Online: bigimprov.org

Improv 4 Kids
Based in New York City, Improv 4 Kids takes its act on the road to more than a dozen states across the country (including DC, MD, and VA!). Like the local groups, Improv 4 Kids also does school programs and birthday parties in addition to its traveling shows. Contact them for booking info.

Online: improv4kids.com

Have you or your kids taken an improv class in the area? Tell us about it in the comments!

— Tricia Mirchandani