The Teen Comedy Program

In January 2020, Blind Tiger Comedy is thrilled to launch The Teen Comedy Program. This program features the same core elements that make our adult classes the best in the city. Every teacher is a professional comedian actively creating great work. Every class comes with feedback. Every class comes with a show or shows to hone your skills.

This is the program our co-founders wished they’d had when they were improv nerds in high school over 100 years ago – cool, fun, and focused on practical, high-level comedy training.

The program is the only comedy training in Vancouver that offers classes for two distinct age ranges of high school students. Classes are offered for grades 8-9 and grades 10-12 are focused on skill development in a very fun, safe, community-oriented environment. The TCP also comes with its own Teen Diversity and Teen Financial Need Scholarships, so…yeah. It’s sweet.

Whether you’re a teen or a parent, you might have questions. Get at us at directors@blindtigercomedy.ca or contact our Teen Program Director Allie Entwistle at allie@blindtigercomedy.ca. Otherwise, keep reading, there’s a lot more cool stuff to cover.

JUMP TO:

CURRENT CLASSES

COURSE INFO

THE ACADEMY

WHY TAKE AN IMPROV CLASS?

WHY BLIND TIGER COMEDY?

SAFE SPACE POLICY

TEEN DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP

TEEN FINANCIAL AID SCHOLARSHIP

UPCOMING TEEN IMPROV COMEDY CLASSES

GRADE 8-9

Improv 1 – Saturdays, January 18 – March 7
Improv 1 – Wednesdays, January 15 – March 4
Improv 1 – Spring Break Intensive, March 23-27

GRADE 10-12

Improv 1 – Saturdays, January 18 – March 7
Improv 1 – Spring Break Intensive, March 23-27

Want to take a class but can’t make the time listed? Join our mailing list and you’ll find out when we add classes (don’t worry, we average less than an email a month!).

THE IMPROV SERIES

Improv 1 – Springboard

Eight Classes. 16 hours. One Show. $450.

In this class, you’ll dive into the sweet deep pool that is improv. You’ll learn to make and accept offers, say yes, play characters, and find the fun in every single improv scene. Your class will end with a final showcase where you will confidently throw down everything you’ve learned in a delightful, hilarious show. This class is your first step to becoming a confident long form improviser, whether you’re new to improv or have done it before.

GRADE 8-9

Wednesdays, 4:00-6:00
January 15 – March 4

Teacher: Allie Entwistle

register now

Registration for this class opens Tuesday, November 19 at 7am PST.

Saturdays, 11:00-1:00
January 18 – March 7

Teacher: Allie Entwistle

register now

Registration for this class opens Tuesday, November 19 at 7am PST.

Spring Break Intensive

Monday to Friday, 12:30-4:30
March 23-27

Teacher: Taz VanRassel

register now

Registration for this class opens Tuesday, November 19 at 7am PST.

GRADE 10-12

Saturdays, 1:15-3:15
January 18 – March 7

Teacher: Allie Entwistle

register now

Registration for this class opens Tuesday, November 19 at 7am PST.

Spring Break Intensive

Monday to Friday, 12:30-4:30
March 23-27

Teacher: Taz VanRassel

register now

Registration for this class opens Tuesday, November 19 at 7am PST.

Improv 2 – High Dive

Eight Classes. 16 hours. One show. $450.

In this course you will learn how to dive into the most interesting part of the scene. You will be able to create entertaining, funny scenes by playing with character, status, and finding the fun every time you step on stage. You and your group will learn to fully commit to your characters while creating truly collaborative scene work. Plus, you and your classmates will throw down in a comedy show at Little Mountain Gallery. 

You will move onto Improv 3 with the steady ability to create compelling, fun scenes with your scene partner as well as a tool kit of useful improv skills to play with. 

Pre-requisite: Improv 1

Class is not currently open for registration (it will be in later 2020 though don’t you worry). To be alerted when it is, sign up for our mailing list.

Improv 3 –  Bronze Medallion

Eight Classes. 16 hours. Two Shows. $450.

This course is where you will earn your improv Bronze Medallion. You will dive into more complex scene work, group scenes, game, and continue to hone your comedic voice. You will learn how to create detailed and believable characters that can drive a scene and entertain an audience. You will become a full-time, open concept mischief maker as you learn to find and add to the most entertaining parts of scenes, learn to host your own shows, and feel confident in any scene that comes your way. Oh and did we mention you’ll have two shows per course in Improv 3? Yeah. Heck yeah.

You will move on to the Academy with the ability to play characters, find and play games, and make and receive great offers in scenes; in general, with the ability to handle any kind of scene. Note: students may be asked to repeat Improv 3 in order to hone their skills in open scenes before moving on to Academy Ensembles. Trust us: that’s a good thing. Improv is best when you’re comfortable, and getting comfortable with the skills solidified in Improv 3 is essential before moving into the more complex worlds of long form improv.

Pre-requisite: Improv 2

Class is not currently open for registration (it will be in later 2020 though don’t you worry). To be alerted when it is, sign up for our mailing list.

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The Academy

Welcome to the Blind Tiger Comedy Swim Team. 

The Academy is the ensemble-based long form program for students grade 8-12 who have completed the Improv 1-3 classes and demonstrated the versatile range of skills needed to tackle open scenes of all kinds. 

Starting in late 2020, Academy ensembles will be cast based on performance skills and schedule to work with specific teachers on long form improv forms and skills. Each ensemble will work on specific long form and mid form formats like Harold, Armando, Tap Out, Cut To and beyond. Each course will have a specific set of skills and goals, and will focus on training students to find their next level as confident, versatile comedians.

Pre-requisite: permission from Improv 3 teacher to move into The Academy.

The Academy is not currently open for registration (it will be in later 2020 though don’t you worry). To be alerted when it is, sign up for our mailing list.

House Teams

After demonstrating a strong understanding of long form, it may be that students who have nailed the core tenants of our training program need/deserve/thrive in a more ambitious setting. In that context we imagine our first Teen House Team could be formed in 2021. Mirroring our House Teams for adults, this program would see certain students selected on an invite-only basis create their own shows and comedy projects in collaboration with Blind Tiger Comedy directors, over longer time periods. 

A more versatile, ambitious and more committed program, this is the training our founders wish they’d had when they were in high school (along with, you know, the rest of our program). Stay tuned for more details!

Blind Tiger Comedy was founded and is run by world-class comedians and they are here to teach you the skills you need to create your own shows and create the comedy that you are passionate about making. In the Academy you will take ownership of your skills and perform regularly with an ensemble who is just as passionate about improv and comedy as you are. 

Pre-requisite: application-only.

The Academy is not currently open for registration (it will be in later 2020 though don’t you worry). To be alerted when it is, sign up for our mailing list.

Why Should I Take an Improv Class?

For us, the first and biggest reason to take a class in the Blind Tiger Teen Program is to have a great time. Every Blind Tiger Comedy founder and faculty member found improv as a way to have an extremely fun time with like-minded folks. Improv is fun, and our playful approach, the hilarious working comedians who teach our classes, and our focus on safe spaces make our classes a good time, every time.

Beyond that, improv is good for your brain. Improv is a fantastic way to hone your comedic and artistic voice in a collaborative environment. It focuses on positivity, flexible thinking, and ingenuity. 

Improv helps you to get out of your head and think on your feet- a skill useful not only on stage, but also in job interviews, public speaking, pitching, and auditioning. Improv flexes your creative problem solving skills and teaches you how to work as a team. Just ask basically every major business.

Why Blind Tiger Comedy in Particular?

Our goal with the Blind Tiger Teen Program is to provide the learning opportunities we missed as teens. This is a training program in the truest sense. Students receive structured training, regular feedback and the tools and support to improve. Where other schools might teach a game and leave it to the students to understand why, our teaching focuses on specific (hilarious, playful) learning outcomes and our teachers make sure students can demonstrate them. We also prioritize performance opportunities because there’s nothing like the rush and thrill of a comedy show to battle-test your skills. 

As our already-decorated list of alumni suggests, we foster an environment and playful, supportive classes that produce successful, ground-breaking comedians. 

Safe Space Policy

Blind Tiger Comedy is dedicated to providing a safe space for all of our participants and teachers. We are committed to welcoming a wide range of backgrounds and voices into our classes and to reducing the barriers for entry to improv for all people. 

We are very active in making sure our classrooms are safe spaces. Every student is required to read and sign our Anti-Harassment Policy, which covers very specific expectations and the steps we take to enforce those standards in and out of class.

Every course begins with a detailed breakdown of our safety rules (no swearing, we can only touch hands, content will be kept light), as well as a physical and emotional check in. Students will be given the opportunity at the beginning of the first day to specify the pronouns they identify with/as, and every effort is made to stop scenes that are disrespectful, be it racist, sexist, ablist, ageist, or otherwise problematic. While we can’t guarantee absolute safety in a class setting, our teachers are experienced in diffusing any situations that do arise, and our teachers, staff and directors are active in addressing any concerns from students or parents immediately. 

It is our belief that great comedy comes from students feeling sincerely and routinely safe. When we can be vulnerable, we can be funny and we take that very seriously. 

The Teen Diversity Scholarship

Our Teen Diversity Scholarship mirrors our adult Diversity Scholarship exactly. Each semester (or every three months), we invite students who identify as people of colour, members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and/or differently abled to take our Improv 1 class free of charge. 

While the Diversity Scholarship is not explicitly need-based (our Financial Aid Scholarship below is!), we ask that applicants be mindful of their need when applying so that we can welcome those who might not otherwise be able to try comedy at Blind Tiger Comedy.

We have taken steps to ensure that applying for this scholarship is as easy as possible. To apply, simply fill out this four question application that does not include any sort of essay or long answer question.

Applicants will be accepted first-come, first-serve. We will endeavour to include as many folks as we can, but promise at least one spot per class per semester. Preference will be given to new students to Blind Tiger, so if you are a student who has received the scholarship already you may not be granted it again immediately (though, again, we aim to make sure you do). Applicants will be contacted within a week of their application by BTC staff.

BTC would like to shout out the great work other improv and theatre communities have done crafting inclusive programming like the above, some of the language and ideas from which we’ve borrowed to create our own, including HUGE Theater, Bad Dog Theatre and Rapid Fire Theatre.

The Teen Financial Aid Scholarship

We are committed to limiting barriers to taking classes with us wherever possible. We understand finances can be a burden especially for parents, and as a company founded by a collective of struggling artists we certainly empathize. Our Financial Aid Scholarship is designed to curb that challenge as much as possible.

Submit your application to take an upcoming class here

Scholarship applications will be reviewed by a combination of General Manager Helen Camisa, Head of Teen Programming Allie Entwistle, and Co-Directors Tom Hill and Caitlin Howden. Scholarships will be awarded based on:

  • Financial Need
  • Availability of your class of interest
  • Merit*

*in cases where students are applying for another Financial Aid Scholarship after the first, we will check in with their previous teacher regarding attendance, acumen, and commitment.

As ever, we encourage you to offer your feedback on our inclusion programming by contacting our directors at directors@blindtigercomedy.ca!