Lockdown Update – October 1:  We are still closed due to lockdown. We believe we will be able to reopen for workshops in early November, with performances resuming at some point in the weeks and months after that. Active students will be sent an update about course dates and times once we know a bit more information. Prospective students: if you book for an upcoming improv workshop, please note that the dates will almost certainly be postponed – by booking now you're saving your spot.

Conditions of Participation

We've created a list of conditions of participation to guarantee that you and your classmates get the most out of your Improv Conspiracy experience. Please ensure that you understand all of the conditions before attending your first Improv Conspiracy class.

In summary: fulfill your course objectives while being respectful of everyone's comfort and time — your peers, your instructor and yourself.

Unless explicitly stated, all conditions apply to all students in all classes. However, some conditions may may apply differently for Improv Students Sketch Students and Intensive Students.

Questions? Contact us!

  Before You Register

Initial course placement

We expect that the overwhelming majority of students will begin our workshops program via our Level 1 courses, even if they possess prior Australian acting, writing or improvisation experience. Rare exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Education Director, most likely if a student has prior class experience at one of the big American comedy schools which we've vetted (iO, UCB, etc.). If you think you might qualify for placement into a higher level, please contact us.

Age restrictions

Unless explicitly listed as a youth/teen class, all Improv Conspiracy courses are intended for people aged 18 years and over.

English language skills

Students who aren't fluent English speakers often have a difficult time in our courses. We'd love to work with foreign students as long as you're confident in your ability to communicate.

Refund policy

Course registration fees are non-refundable.

However, if you contact us before the first day of the workshop term we will allow you to give your spot to a friend (if they meet the prerequisites, if any), or to defer your registration to a later term. These options will incur a 5% change of registration fee.

Contact policy

Our teachers and office staff will use email as our primary method of communication with you outside of class hours. You agree to receive a reasonable number of emails from us during the class term, at the email address you provide when signing up. In rare/urgent cases we may contact you via phone or text message.

By registering for workshops you also opt-in for the Improv Conspiracy newsletter mailing list, which you can always unsubscribe from later.

We promise not to share any of your private contact information with third parties. Even if you unsubscribe from our mailing list, you may still receive relevant class-related email from us during the term.

  Attendance During The Term

Workshop attendance

In our normal eight-week courses, you must attend a minimum of six of the eight class sessions you've booked for, with your assigned instructor, in order to be considered for passing the course. Missing more than two of eight sessions in your booked course with your assigned instructor will result in an automatic recommendation to repeat the course.

Sketch Students Physically attending class without bringing your written sketch homework to share with the class will count as an absence.

Intensive Students The equivalent policy is that you must attend a minimum of 75% of your course hours with your assigned instructor.

No guaranteed make-up sessions

In order to limit disruptions in our classes, we are not always able to guarantee "make-up sessions" for students who need to miss a week of class due to illness, travel or other reasons. In exceptional circumstances we may allow students to sit in with other classes, however permission is granted on a case-by-case basis and should not be relied upon. Note that even if approved, sitting in with another class still counts as a strike against your attendance record in your default class, as your assigned instructor is unable to track your progress. Always plan on attending at least six of eight sessions in your assigned class.

Arriving late & leaving early

Arriving more than 15 minutes late to a workshop, or leaving more than 15 minutes early will result in an absence being marked, despite your presence at the class session. No latecomers will be allowed to enter the classroom after 30 minutes have passed.

Student showcase attendance Improv Students Only

All Improv Conspiracy improv courses come with at least one performance opportunity during our student showcase weekend. We strongly suggest that you participate in all showcase opportunities, as they are a major part of the experience we offer. If you know that you can't attend your showcase, please inform your instructor as soon as possible.

Show viewing quota Improv Students Only

One of the best ways to get better at improv is to watch and analyse professional shows put on by experienced performers. For that reason, each of our classes begins with an open discussion of the shows students have seen during the prior week at our theatre.

During the COVID-19 pandemic our theatre is running with a reduced performance roster, and has a reduced maximum seating capacity. As such, we've reduced the number of FREE student tickets to 2 per term, and are not enforcing our viewing quota.

Once you've used up your free tickets, students can purchase standby tickets to any show on the door for a flat rate of $5. If there is room in the theatre after all conventional ticketholders are seated, you can enter via a standby ticket. If we can't squeeze you in, you can save your standby ticket for use at a future show.

All students participating in eight-week courses must attend a minimum of four qualifying premium improv and sketch comedy shows at The Improv Conspiracy Theatre. Premium shows are offered every night we're open — for a full list of which shows count towards your quota, please check our show viewing quota page which allows you to make complimentary reservations.

Only tickets reserved or purchased online will count towards your quota. Door sales or standby tickets do not count, as we're unable to track them.

We're reasonable: if you know you'll have trouble hitting your required quota of four premium shows during the 24 nights they are offered, please inform your instructor as soon as possible. In extreme cases alternate assignments may be provided to help you hit your quota.

Intensive Students As your classes take place over a single week, this allows you less chances to attend shows. Your quota may differ from the default policy based on what performances we have available around the time of your course. This will be communicated to you by your instructor.

  Personal Conduct

Drug & alcohol policy

Improvising requires you to have a clear head in order to perform at the top of your intelligence. Do whatever you want after class, but please don't show up to class under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Anyone who is suspected of being under the influence will be asked to leave and will be marked as absent for the day. In extreme cases our Anti-Harassment & Community Safety Policy may come into play.

Food & drink in class

To limit disruptions, please eat all food items before class begins, or during your mid-class break. To limit spills, all drink containers should have lids. At the end of class, please dispose of your rubbish.

Appropriate footwear

For safety and hygiene issues, we require that you wear footwear with a sole during class and while performing on stage. Bare feet or socks are not appropriate.

Violent, sexual, and otherwise disruptive behaviour/content in class

In order to create a safe space, gratuitous sexual or violent behaviour and content will not be tolerated on stage in our workshops. Any other sufficiently disruptive behaviour is similarly forbidden. Students who feel uncomfortable or threatened by other students should inform their teacher ASAP. In extreme cases our Anti-Harassment & Community Safety Policy may come into play.

Other edgy content in class

Other than the aforementioned areas which are not tolerated, we DO support your right to express yourself freely on stage, as long as you aren't endangering yourself, your classmates, or the trust that exists between the group. Desperate to do something edgy and unconventional? Please discuss boundaries and best practices with your instructor first, so you can work out a game plan for how to do it safely. Once you have a bit of experience and guidance there's almost always a way to express yourself freely without endangering that precious trust.

Criticism of other students

Don't provide notes or feedback for your fellow students inside or outside of class. Unsolicited compliments are great, but unsolicited criticism is unacceptable, no matter how constructive the intention.

Anti-harassment policy

The Improv Conspiracy is committed to providing its students and performers with a safe community to train, perform and socialise in that is free from harassment. Sexual harassment, or harassment based on race, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression are all forbidden. Please read our comprehensive Anti-Harassment & Community Safety Policy for more information, including how to report known or suspected harassment.

Dating within the company

Proceed with caution! Not recommended, but if you and another consenting adult insist on dating within the company please understand that this is a small community full of people with whom you'll likely be interacting with professionally and socially for years to come. Please use common sense and treat each other with respect and integrity. There are additional policies in place to prevent people in positions of power in the company from taking advantage of newer community members. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is forbidden, and any relationships between community members with unequal status must be reported to theatre management in order to eliminate bias in teacher assignments, casting decisions, etc.

Reporting misconduct

After reading our Anti-Harassment & Community Safety Policy, if you'd like to report an issue relating to a community member's personal conduct, you should speak with your instructor, a venue manager, a membership of the company's management team or the Company Director.

  Advancement In The Program & Company

Advancement to the next workshop level

Your ability to advance to higher workshop levels is based on teacher recommendation. You'll be judged on your understanding and ability to execute the goals of each workshop level, as well as your attendance (a combination of your workshop session attendance, student showcase attendance, and your four-show quota for ensemble performances). Any appeals will be decided by the Education Director.

Repeating a core workshop level

When repeating most workshop levels (either voluntarily or based on teacher recommendation), you'll receive a 50% discount on course fees. Be sure to ask when registering. Note that there are no discounts offered for our elective courses.

Auditioning for an Improv Conspiracy house team

Completing our public workshops program does not guarantee you a position on one of our house performance teams, or a regular opportunity to perform at The Improv Conspiracy Theatre. Every few months a round of auditions will be held, and only the top performers will be offered opportunities. As these auditions are highly competitive, our graduates are strongly encouraged to start their own independent teams before or after the completion of our program, and to create their own performance opportunities around Melbourne regardless of what we are able to offer them.

Improv Students Auditions for house improv teams are only guaranteed to those students who have successfully completed Improv Level 6 or higher in our core workshops program.

Sketch Students Auditions for house sketch teams are only guaranteed to those students who have successfully completed Sketch Level 3 or higher in our core workshops program.

How do I pass my improv class?

  • Attend minimum 75% of sessions in the class section you signed up for (i.e. 6 of 8 weeks)
  • Meet the objectives of the workshop level during those sessions
  • Visit the theatre to watch a premium show (i.e. those normally priced at $12) on four different nights during the term. These are offered every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

How do I pass my sketch class?

  • Attend minimum 75% of sessions in the class section you signed up for (i.e. 6 of 8 weeks)
  • Miss no more than one homework assignment
  • Submit rewrites during the final week of class that reflect the notes provided to you earlier in the term