Improv Classes for 2021-2022 Season

Welcome back to in-person improv classes!

As we return to in-person classes, we are currently offering one level to all students. If there's a demand for an intermediate level, we will certainly add one! In the meantime, we welcome all levels of students to the invigorating, silly, wonderful experience that is improv comedy!

Proof of vaccination will be requested upon registration.
Improv Comedy classes for Adults & Teens
Early Fall 2021:
Date: Wednesdays, September 8 - October 27 (eight weeks )
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm 
LOCATION: Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ
Course fee: $280 for six classes
(Instructor: Becca L. McLarty)

Late Fall 2021:
Date: Wednesdays, November 10 - December 15, 2021 (six weeks)
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm 
LOCATION: Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ
Course fee: $210 for six classes
(Instructor: Emaline Williams)

Winter 2022: CANCELLED
Date: Wednesdays, January 12 - March 2, 2022 (eight weeks)
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm 
LOCATION: Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ
Course fee: $280 for eight classes
(Instructor: TBA)

Spring 2022:
Date: Wednesdays, March 16 - May 4, 2022 (eight weeks)
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm 
LOCATION: Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ
Course fee: $280 for eight classes
(Instructor: TBA)

IMPROV COMEDY for Adults & Teens


Ever wanted to try improv comedy but never found the time? Dive into improv with our Open Level improv class. This class may be taken as many times as you wish until you feel you've mastered the foundational skills of improv.
Are you ready for more complicated games with wilder challenges? And a public showcase at the end of the session? Then the Intermediate class is for you. Take this class as many times as you like to deepen and polish your improv skills. (This class will be offered by request only.)
All classes are taught by improv professionals Laura Ekstrand and Becca L. McLarty. You’ll learn how to think on your feet by freeing your mind, body and imagination through group exercises and games in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
These classes delve deep into the craft of improv with more complex games as the weeks progress. Improv is great for new or prior students of improv and also for actors who want to add another dimension to their skills. Improv is a valuable skill for auditions and job interviews, too! 
Please note: Because the class has both adult and teen students, it is most comfortable for older teens - but you know your child, so you can determine whether a mixed class is right for them!
If you’ve always been curious about improv, this is your chance! 
  • No experience required to begin
  • Learn traditional improv games
  • Explore your own creativity in a supportive environment
  • Develop spontaneity and learn how to shed your inhibitions
  • Not just for actors, but for anyone who wants to develop these skills
  • For actors who want to try another angle on performing
  • Repeat any level to deepen your understanding and tighten your skills
Instructors • Improv
Laura Ekstrand Improv Instructors

Laura Ekstrand (she/her) was one of the founding members of Vivid Stage's house team, The Flip Side (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder) in 2002. Laura is the Artistic Director and founder of Vivid Stage, where she has appeared in What Stays; Sister Play; Rapture, Blister Burn; Motherhood Out Loud; and Shakespeare in Vegas, among many others. New Jersey Theatre: Bickford Theatre, Passage Theater, 12 Miles West, The Theater Project, Luna Stage, and the Pushcart Players. New York Theatre: Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and New Georges. Film: Fat Ass Zombies; Split Ends, High Art and I Shot Andy Warhol. Television: Hack, Sex And The City, Law & Order, and The Guiding Light.


As a director: Dead and Buried, Every Brilliant Thing, The How and the Why, Things Being What They Are, Next Fall, Distracted, The Pursuit Of Happiness, Melancholy Play, Pride’s Crossing, Full Bloom and many others. Podcast directing: The Weirdness and Young Ben Franklin for Gen Z Media. As a playwright: What Stays (with Jason Szamreta), Whatever Will Be, The Neighborhood (Book and Lyrics; Music by Joe Zawila), Brink of Life (Book; Lyrics by Steve Harper; Music by Oliver Lake) and Astonishment, How to be Old: A Beginner’s Guide, and At Ninety-Three (Adaptations). Laura is a private monologue and public speaking coach and holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Laura is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild.

Becca McLarty, Improv Instructor at Vivid Stage

Becca L. McLarty (she/her) has been a student, performer, and teacher of improv for over 20 years! Becca holds her MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College. Shortly after graduating, she began training with Improvolution, founded by Holly Mandel of The Groundlings. It was there that Becca found her love of character-based improv and she became an instructor there, teaching improv beginners, character and scene development, and both short and long form improv. Becca also took classes at Upright Citizen's Brigade (UCB) and was accepted into their advanced course of study and has taught improv at Pace University and Marymount Manhattan.

As a performer, Becca was a member of the long-running short form improv troupe, ComedySportz Philadelphia and the award-winning touring musical improv troupe, Broadway's Next Hit Musical! She has also performed for years with the house troupes of Improvolution in NYC and with Montclair Improv here in NJ. Becca currently teaches in the BFA Acting program at Montclair State University and is so excited to work with Vivid Stage!


Emily Williams headshot_edited.jpg

Emaline Williams (she/her) was born and raised in Maineville, OH, a small town outside of Cincinnati. She started acting in elementary school and up through high school while balancing softball and lacrosse as well. In 2008, Emaline graduated with honors from Little Miami High and then was accepted into Ohio University's BFA Performance Program. There she studied various techniques such as Meisner, Linklater, Fitzmaurice, View Points, Michael and Anton Chekhov, Shakespeare, Long Form Improv, and is SAFD certified in unarmed combat. While at OU, Emaline did multiple main-stage and studio productions as well as MFA student films while weekly performing in an improv comedy group called Black Sheep Inc.


After graduating Cum Laude from Ohio University with her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, Emaline interned at Monomoy Theatre in Cape Cod, MA. At Monomoy the company performs 8 shows in 10 weeks. Emaline has professional experience in commercials, industrials, print modeling and hand modeling. She is an ensemble member at Vivid Stage, and a member of the house improv team The Flip Side.