Yes Yes Y’all (A Freestyle Rap Workshop)

Rhyming off the top of your head can be the most intimidating part of improvising musically, but with practice you can get out of your head and find your flow. Even if you’re a novice, this 3-hour workshop will get you up and rapping in minutes. Third Coast is a safe, creative, and collaborative environment; any behavior to the contrary will be dealt with immediately. Tuition is non-refundable. All sales are final. Sunday, November 12th 3:15-6:15 p.m. at Third Coast Comedy Club. Bio Ross Bryant is an actor and writer in Los Angeles. He’s a regular performer with The Improvised Shakespeare Company (Largo) and Baby Wants Candy (UCB). He also appears often on Dropout.TV. Ross performed for many years in Chicago where he was a member of the resident cast of The Second City Mainstage. He has performed improvisation at The Kennedy Center, The 92Y, Just For Laughs, Bonnaroo, SF Sketchfest, Outside Lands and the Ford Amphitheater. Ross wrote for the most recent season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and has sold original pilots to PopTV, Warner Bros and Showtime. TV credits include The Good Place (NBC), Crashing (HBO), and Wild n’Out (MTV).

Sell it!

Saturday, from 9:30am-12:30pm in The Loft.Energy, confidence and decisiveness are 90% of the battle in improv, i.e. it’s not so much what you say as when you say it and how you say it. How comfortable you are on stage will have a huge impact on how you’re perceived by the audience. Whether you’re a veteran improvisor or new to the artform, this is the perfect workshop for the performer who needs to practice owning their impulses and delivering them with confidence right away. Craig Cackowski is an actor, improvisor and teacher based in Los Angeles. He was involved with the iO and iO West (RIP) theaters from 1992-2018, and was the three-time winner of the Del Close Award as Teacher of the Year at iO West. He has played numerous improv festivals around the US with his long-running three-man troupe Dasariski (with Bob Dassie and Rich Talarico) and his duo Orange Tuxedo (with his wife Carla!). While in Chicago, he appeared in and co-wrote 5 revues for The Second City, and helped create such improv forms as JTS Brown and Close Quarters. As an actor, he has been seen in recurring roles on such shows as Community, Veep, Drunk History, and Mindy Kaling’s Sex Lives Of College Girls. He may be heard frequently on such podcasts as The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Kevin Pollak’s Alchemy This and his own podcast Craig’s List, in which he makes Carla watch his 100 favorite movies.

Dasariski’s Classariskis

Saturday, from 2:30-5:30pm in The Annex.Unveil the inner workings of long-form improvisation through a unique lecture experience led by Bob Dassie, Rich Talarico, and Craig Cackowski. Join us for an indispensable exploration into the heart of improv craftsmanship.Trace the steps of comedy creation as Dasariski dissects a live “as-improvised” transcription of one of their favorite improvised performances. Gain unparalleled insights into their creative process as Bob, Rich, and Craig share candid comments and astute analysis, pulling back the curtain on what makes their improv truly remarkable.Engage in an intimate Q&A session that delves into both the showcased show and broader principles of improvisation. Elevate your understanding, refine your technique, and seek answers to the questions that have been shaping your improv journey.This lecture isn’t just a class—it’s an opportunity to refine your skills, deepen your appreciation for the art, and gain wisdom from the experts who’ve walked the path before you. Secure your spot now and be a part of this invaluable experience that’s tailored for dedicated improv artists like you!

Bring Your Backpack

Saturday, from 2:30-5:30pm in The Loft. Whether you call it mime, physicality, space work, object work or something completely different, it makes a world of difference in a scene. People are designed to understand and connect with physical realities. Physical expression and interaction crosses language and culture barriers, and allows the performer to share an experience words cannot express. This workshop will work solo, in pairs and together as groups to translate our everyday experiences with our bodies and physical objects into your scene work. After all the work, it’s time to play! We will bring the two workshops together for a moderated and coached jam session, practicing how narrative, physicality and our own unique styles come together to create beautiful improvisation. Leon Anderson has lived in all corners of the US; but having been raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida he still considers himself something of a beach kid—social, laid back, and consistently in the moment. He left home and moved to Los Angeles for college, and this is where his love of speech and debate found its home in the world of improv comedy. A second city trained improviser, Leon has been performing and teaching for nearly 2 decades, and proudly brings his physical style to the stage with Broke Gravy.

Your Very Own Story

Saturday, from 2:30-5:30pm in The Mainstage. A story is not a rant or a sermon, nor a stand-up set or a Ted Talk. A story is an invitation. It’s a verbal meal meant to be shared, but sometimes it feels like the same perspectives are being served over and over again.  We’ll help you unlock your individual style and complexity, bringing it to life through story, and we’ll explore how we can each pull commonalities and inspiration from each other’s stories. We have a variety of exercises and techniques to support the way you speak, your history, your background, and how you see the world. Through exploration and vulnerability we will help you find your truth and how to bring your true voice to the stage. After all the work, it’s time to play! We will bring the two workshops together for a moderated and coached jam session, practicing how narrative, physicality and our own unique styles come together to create beautiful improvisation. A shy kid born and raised in Michigan, Chris Williams eventually gave voice to his imagination—and has spent the last 15 years living and playing in Portland, Oregon. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest may have won his heart but it’s his community of amazing people that keeps him there.

Comedy Writing for Improvisors

Friday, from 2-5pm in The Annex.Delve into the core principles of sketch comedy writing under the guidance of Rich Talarico, a veteran with three decades of industry experience, including notable works like Saturday Night Live, MADtv, and Key and Peele. This workshop offers an essential opportunity for dedicated writing students to grasp the fundamentals of basic joke writing, brainstorming, pitching, and story structure. Rich’s seasoned expertise will navigate you through the intricacies of humor, breaking down the mechanics of jokes, setups, and punchlines, as well as providing insights into brainstorming ideas, crafting pitches, and structuring engaging narratives. Tailored to both aspiring writers and those new to sketch comedy, this workshop provides a foundational understanding that is invaluable for anyone eager to explore the craft. Enrich your writing toolkit and embark on a journey into sketch comedy creation.Rich Talarico is a Peabody® Award winning, four-time Emmy® nominated writer and producer best known for his work on Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. Rich wrote and produced on TV shows like MADtv, Saturday Night Live, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As an actor, Rich has appeared on-camera on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, MADtv, the feature film High Fidelity and numerous TV ads including A&W Root Beer’s classic commercial, “Mr. Dumass.” Rich is an alum of Chicago’s Second City comedy theater and Chicago’s iO (formerly Improv Olympic). Rich has performed for many years with Bob Dassie and Crag Cackowski in Dasariski and has taught improv comedy for 30 years all over the US and Canada and has led the advanced improv classes at UCB LA. — More at


Saturday, from 9:30am-12:30pm in The Annex.This workshop creates a longform improv style that moves a little faster with shorter scenes. Tag outs and quick edits create momentum that propel this form forward, all the while keeping a strong sense of play. Bob began performing in Chicago at the Improv Olympic and touring with the Second City. He has performed and taught at the Improv Olympic (Chicago & LA), Upright Citizens Brigade (NY & LA) and across North America, the United Kingdom and Singapore. Over the years, he has been involved with several long-form groups including the improvised musical Baby Wants Candy, The Armando Show and alongside Stephnie Weir in the 2-person WeirDass. Until recently, he performed with Dasariski (with Craig Cackowski & Rich Talarico) and Quartet at the IOWest in Los Angeles and has appeared in the fully-improvised play, Stolen House, which premiered in Chicago and had a limited off-Broadway run in New York. Bob has appeared on various screen sizes in shows such as HBO’s Funny or Die Presents: The Carpet Brothers, NBC’s Community, Comedy Central’s Review, FX’s The Comedians, IFC’s The Spoils of Babylon, and in the film Casa de mi Padre. 

Radical Acceptance in Scene Work

Saturday, from 9:30am-12:30pm in The Mainstage. Pushing the boundaries of character creation, extensive world building, and progression of story is achieved through radical acceptance. In this truncated intensive workshop, improvisers will expand their skill-sets by exploring elements of creating character, accepting endowments, driving story, and trust building through consent. Embracing the vulnerability of immediate radical acceptance will help strengthen connection between scene partners and serve the successful forwarding of narrative. If you’re looking to up your improv game, or have been in the game a while and want to explore new challenges, then join us for a deep dive into RADICAL ACCEPTANCE. *Note*:: This is a physical class. Please wear comfortable clothes, close toe shoes, and bring water. Looking forward to meeting you!Whittney Millsap is an actor and improviser from Atlanta, Ga and has been an improv company member of Dad’s Garage Theatre Company since 2010. Whittney’s thirteen year improv career has taken her to festivals, performing and teaching, across the U.S. and Canada. She develops and instructs improv-based content for the general public, improv groups, senior citizens, and corporate training for her business Daring Onward. Whittney’s performance background includes improvised operas with the group ImprOper, being one of four powerhouse females in Sweater Puppies, and a founding member of The Coalition- a female led improv platform that highlights female identifying artists. When not performing with Karen Cassady in The Other Woman, Whittney can be found performing at Dad’s Garage or around Atlanta with her duo show, TackyScraps. Whittney is a excited to meet and collaborate with artists at Third Coast Improv Fest! 

Meisner for Improvisers (2024-1)

Class Description: The Meisner acting technique takes its name from actor and teacher Sanford Meisner who asked performers to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. Improvisation asks performers to create those imaginary circumstances. The two techniques live in harmony. Learn how to utilize the Meisner technique in order to help you get out of your head, activate your point of view, and commit to each moment with your scene partner 100%. In this 6 week course you will be accessing tools to make your Improvisation more authentic, honest, and spontaneous.Pre-requisite: Third Coast Improv Level 2Sundays 12:00-3:00 p.m. starting January 14th**This is a 6-week class** Darci Nalepa Bio: Darci Nalepa is originally from Chicago, IL where she performed and taught for 15 years. She received a degree in Theatre Studies from Augustana College. Darci then continued her education training in the Meisner technique with Black Box Acting as well as completing the acting training program at the world-renowned Steppenwolf Theatre. She has performed on many stages in Chicago including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, and The Gift Theatre Company. Darci can be seen in Stephen Cone’s film Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party and has made appearances on NBC’s Chicago Fire, Amazon’s Patriot, and Showtime’s Shameless. She is the co-creator of the webseries The Force. She has been a Guest Lecturer of Theatre and Performance Studies with The University of Chicago and a Meisner Instructor with Black Box Acting and The School at Steppenwolf. Proud Gift Theatre Ensemble member and union member of Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

Getting Out of Your Head

Does it ever seem as if the more you study improv, the less you know? So many new tools, options, and challenges . . . This 3-hour workshop is all about spontaneity and getting out of your head. Introducing effective techniques and exercises to break out of that negative loop of self-doubt that sometimes drags down your improv work and keeps you standing on the back wall for that one second too long. Third Coast is a safe, creative, and collaborative environment; any behavior to the contrary will be dealt with immediately. Tuition is non-refundable. All sales are final. Monday, October 2nd, 6:30-9:30 p.m. BIO: T.J. Mannix has been performing and teaching improv for over 25 years in NYC, across the U.S. and Canada, and worldwide.   He got his start on one of the first-ever Harold teams at the UCB, studying with Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Armando Diaz.  Along with work at the Magnet Theater and the PIT in NYC, T.J.has toured several times with the Second City/NCL and was an original cast member of the NY Times approved “BLANK: the Musical” Off-Broadway.   T.J.’s one-man improvised musical, LimboLand, has headlined festivals in Paris, Oslo, Vancouver, NYC, Chicago, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Omaha, Tampa, Newark, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Providence, Palm Beach, Hartford, Richmond, and more.     He has appeared in more than 85 TV and radio commercials – along with roles on three different versions of “Law and Order.” He has has recurring roles on “All My Children”, “One Life to Live”, “As the World Turns,” and on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.  T.J. is the Founder/Artistic Director of the 12th annual New York Musical Improv Festival, and teaches at The Circle in the Square Theatre School on Broadway and the Acting for Film and Musical Theater BFA programs at NYFA in NYC.  He admits to spending a very dark year working as a Mouseketeer.

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