These days there’s so much to choose from - if you wanna get into improv comedy in Tampa Bay, you got options. Want to do improv for live audiences in a theater dedicated to improv arts and the local improv community? Want that big-city vibe right in your backyard? Spitfire Theater is the way to go. Here’s 5 things that make Spitfire improv classes unique.
1. Celebrate Fun over Failure
Every moment of the classroom experience is designed to show you a good time. The first step is taking a failure bow and realizing all the other people in the room got your back, no matter how dumb you think you look when you try out a new accent, walk like a different person, or start to heighten the laughter in a scene. Once you realize that everyone is on the same sinking ship - that we don’t treat mistakes as mistakes in improv - you're not only free to do and try anything, you’re free to have as much fun as possible (and it’s alright to show it).
2. Knockout the Negative, Embrace the Positive
While other programs provide “midterm reports” and will even fail students, not letting them move on with their friends to the next level, Spitfire instructors put the focus on what you’re already doing that’s working in any scene and encourages to do more of that. It’s an age-old tradition inherited from some of the best improv gurus, like Del Close & Charna Halpern or iO Chicago. We find truth in comedy by being in touch with our own honest reactions, and top-down criticism just puts you more on guard, silencing that inner-comic. Oh, and everyone passes every level and only ever had to pay for it once (even if they want to take it again!)
3. Get On Stage (Because You’re Already Good Enough)
Some theaters are so worried about the quality of their shows they hold their students back from getting on stage at all. At Spitfire, the weekly Whose Line St. Pete shows proves that anyone can do a simple improv scene with tons of success, no matter how skilled. In fact, most of our ST-1 Students become guest players in that show or get on improv teams before they even finish their first class. It works because in improv (unlike rocket science) you learn by doing. High quality improv involves genuinely discovering what’s happening in every moment. Everyone can do that - classes just teach you how to do it in more refined ways. After just a few class sessions, you’ll have enough skills to win over any audience. And there’s an audience every weekend.
4. Join a Genuine Community
No cliques. No gossip. No bullshit. Spitfire students and performers truly got each other’s backs on and off stage. We’re there when you try that game or exercise for the first time. We’re there when you fall flat on your face and bomb that scene. And we’re also there when you kill it, when you play in your first showcase to a full house and the audience explodes with laughter. Spitfire performers are actually friends outside the theater - they hang out, support each other through tough times, and bring out the best in each other. Someone’s pet dies or they lose their job, fellow performers send a message, buy them a beer, give them a hug, or simply listen without judgement. Because that’s what improv classes are supposed to teach you - how to have a sharp mind, open heart and steady hand when shit hits the fan.
5. Real People, Real Instructors
Spitfire students are the heart of the theater. Our instructors talk to you as people and treat you like an adult with a life outside of improv and your own agency as a comedy-artist. They build a team-mentality in every class so you can get the most out of your experience (and your money). With decades of experience teaching and performing improv all over the country, Spitfire instructors don’t posture as working actors or gurus (although some of them are) - they’re regular people, just like you. They work day jobs, come from different walks of life, and do this because they love it. They’ve got a gift for teaching improv comedy and want to share it. They’re not afraid to grab a bite to eat, hang out on the regular, and perform with you on a team.
The Spitfire Improv Program offers people more than just a chance to learn how to be funny or show off for their friends - it’s a homegrown theater that you can call your own from day one.
Fall Classes begin Oct 8th - ditch the status quo and be a Spitfire this Fall. ST-1 Foundations is less than $200 for 10 weeks and a showcase.
Did you know Spitfire Theater is designated by the St. Pete Police Department as an LGBTQ-friendly business? If you need a safe space, we got your back. Find out more >>