Adult Classes

We are thrilled to announce that ACT will be hosting the Asheville School of Improv for upcoming adult classes. All Asheville School of Improv classes are taught by Tom Chalmers. Tom will also be teaching an acting class for adults, The Essentials of Acting.

Improv I: The Basics of Inspired Improvisation

Incorporating aspects of the top improv programs in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, this course covers the fundamentals of improvisational acting with an emphasis on comedy; such as listening, commitment, adding information, agreement, intuitive reaction over desperate invention, as well as recognizing and capitalizing on emerging patterns. The class is crafted in such a way to have participants gradually gain their improv instincts through enjoyable and achievable exercises rather than teaching them the taste of disappointment and frustration. Students will gain experience in unscripted comedic performance through improvised stories, scenes, games and group structures. The final class will be open to friends and family to attend to give the students a chance to feel the lift of performing for a live audience.

Early Winter 2019 Dates

November 11-December 16, 2019
Mondays, 6:30-9:00 pm
Class dates: 11/11, 11/18, 11/25, 12/2, 12/9, 12/16
Performance: December 20, 2019
Cost: $225

Register Now!

*Registration and Payment in Full should be completed by: October 28th, 2019.*

Improv II: Beyond the Basics – Learning to Fly

Improv II will reinforce all of the skills learned in Improv I by applying those skills to advanced scene work, original character development structures, and intentionally conflict-filled scenarios. Beyond Basic will encourage students to no longer be bound by the rules of improv but to swing freely and see that the strategies are not restricting but sound instincts. Students will gain further experience in unscripted comedic performance through more involved improvised stories, scenes, games and group structures. The final class will be open to friends and family to attend to give the students a chance to feel the lift of performing for a live audience.

Prerequisite: Improv 1 or extensive improv experience (approved by instructor)

Early Winter 2019 Dates
November 12 – December 17, 2019
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:00 pm
Class dates: 11/12, 11/19, 11/26, 12/3 , 12/10, 12/17
Performance: December 20, 2019
Cost: $225

Register Now!

*Registration and Final Payment must be completed by October 29th, 2019.*

Improv III: The Performance Lab

Not seeing improvisation just as a complimentary tool in an actor’s arsenal but also as an exciting and challenging style of live performance, the Performance Lab works with students to take the skills they have learned in the earlier levels and improve upon them by applying them to structures intended for performance, both short form and long form. All aspects of improvisation for performance are considered and covered; how best to solicit suggestions, how to reap the ripe possibilities of any suggestion, and how to quickly and effectively incorporate the suggestions into entertaining and inspiring scenes, stories, and songs. Students will be instructed on how to make “show-worthy” choices, choosing sustainable characters over quick-laugh caricatures, establishing relationships rather than just spouting punchlines, but at the same time developing instincts as to when a scene needs a spring or a solid blackout line. These performance skills will be developed in short-form structures that stress a particular approach: exaggerated physical repetition, stylized theatrical delivery, or triggered exits and entrances, as well as in long-form structures such as The Harold, Meanwhile, and an Armando Diaz. Students will get to experience the pleasures and pains of live improv performance with a public show scheduled as part of the class.

Prerequisite: Improv 1 and II and/or teacher’s approval
Class Size: Maximum of 10 students

Early Winter 2019 Dates
November 3 – December 8, 2019
Sundays, 6:00-8:00 pm
Class dates: 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24 ,12/1, 12/8
Performance: Sunday, December 15, 2019
Cost: $225

Register Now!

*Registration and Final Payment should be completed by October 20th, 2019.*

About the Asheville School of Improv

The Asheville School of Improv has emerged as the central training ground for aspiring improvisers in the Asheville area. Led by esteemed instructor Tom Chalmers, the Asheville School of Improv offers classes that cover the fundamentals as well as the finer points and far-reaching possibilities of performing in an improvised format. More and more people from more and more places are saying “yes” to The House of “Yes And,” from those focused on a future as an improv comedian, to aspiring actors seeking to expand their skills, to interested individuals who are intrigued by the challenge of the sport of spontaneity.

Launched in 2016 , the Asheville School of Improv grew out of the former Asheville acting conservatory, NYS3, which had been offering improv classes since 2012, all taught by one teacher, Tom Chalmers. A graduate of Columbia University, Tom has been absorbing, performing, and advocating improv comedy for over thirty years. While at college, Tom spent summers in Chicago studying with Second City and Improv Olympic, where he learned under improv legend, Del Close. Tom chose to stay in New York where he trained with The Groundlings East / Gotham City Improv. He was a student, performing company member, teacher, and eventually Artistic Director. While in New York, Tom also trained with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and Burn Manhattan. Tom’s former students have gone on to work on such shows as Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and Family Guy, as well as several successful feature films. Tom has been an instructor at NYU, a guest lecturer at Columbia, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Warren Wilson College. Tom takes all the best ideas and approaches from all the people and programs that he has worked with and blends them together to define his supportive yet demanding style of teaching.

The Essentials of Acting

Learn how people see you and what you convey when you are on stage. Armed with that awareness, learn how to best choose and deliver the monologue to land you the parts that are perfect for you. If given material to audition with, learn how to break down the sides, how to discover the beats of the scene, and how to offer varied options. And when you land the part, learn how to attack the script, build the arc of your character, and establish the thoughts behind the lines.

Upcoming dates TBA

Questions about the registration process? Please contact Joshua Runkles at 828-254-1320 ext 21 or at He is in the office from 10am until 4pm Tuesdays – Fridays.