Workshops and Programs

Come watch a class for free! Message us for details.

Improv Foundations Drop-in Tuesday

Ideal for first-timers or folks who have been away from improv for a while. You “adult” all the time—make time for play. Courage is provided. If you are new, we'll ease you in. Or maybe you did improv years ago and you want to shake out the cobwebs.

Improv is a great way to get courageous and have fun making stuff up with other people. You don't need to be a fast thinker to do improv; doing improv will help you think fast!

Don't miss out on all the laughs, insights, good feedback and creative skills that you can use every day. Go with your gut and grab your spot now!


WHO: Adults 18+. 14 students max.

WHEN: Tues 7:30-9:30p ongoing

WHERE: West End Studio Theatre, San Rafael-map HERE.


RSVP VIA EVENTBRITE: CLICK HERE. Enter promotional code "CASH" in the checkout screen if you’re a member or to pay at the door.


COACH: Drew Merit or special guest coach

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
— Maya Angelou

Level Up Drop-in Sunday

Ideal for improvisers who ready and eager to go a little deeper into the practice of improv. Come discover something new and get your weekly workout.

We'll cover character; being changed; where work; space-object work; vulnerability; starting scenes; theater skills; and much more!

Register for 1 night…

…or become a member and get a deal!


Who: Adults 18+. 16 students max.

When: Sun 2:30-4:30p (ongoing) EXCEPT for June 30th change: 10a-12p

Location: West End Studio Theatre, San Rafael-map HERE.

Cost: $20

Enter promotional code "CASH" in the checkout screen if you’re a member or to pay at the door.


COACH: Drew Merit or special guest coach

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
— Anais Nin

Improv Behind-the-Scenes Performance Workshop

It’s an improv show with real-time Director comments and coaching. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how improv shows work: the history, the formats, and how to make this practice fun for players and audiences alike.



Who: Improv Marin community-members 18+. 10 performers max. Students and friends of students are invited to audit this workshop.

When: monthly

Location: West End Studio Theatre, San Rafael-map HERE.

Cost: $5 to play, $10 to watch

To Play: by invitation for active students and IM performers

DIRECTOR: Drew Merit and special guest coaches

Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.
— Erica Jong

Ensemble Intensive 2021

10 improvisers; 3 months of training. This program will hone your current skills; equip you with loads of new skills; and build your creative courage.

We'll cover:

…and more.

We will go on a field trip!

Are you interested in a growth spurt as an improviser?
Are you interested in consistent, personalized coaching?
Can you commit to regular, on-time attendance for 3 months?
Do you want to feel what “ensemble” feels like and experience the benefits of ensemble work?
Do you want to explore your courage and push your comfort zone?

Um…we’re looking for “yes.”

Apply with an email. Tell us why you are interested!

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Who: Adults 18+. 10 performers max.

When: Sun 2:30-4:30 Feb 2020-Apr 2020

Location: West End Studio Theatre, San Rafael-map HERE.

Cost: $289 1-time OR $100/monthly


COACH: Drew Merit and special guest coaches

3 Students Max Intensive

Ideal for improvisers who want to go deeper with lots of opportunities to play with lots of direct feedback. Come learn to trust new tools and start new habits.

This class is personalized to each player. We'll go where the work and the play take us!

As you may have guessed, this class is limited to 3 students. Reserve your spot NOW.


WHO: Adults 18+. 3 students max.

WHEN: 3 meetings in December, TBA

WHERE: West End Studio Theatre, San Rafael-map HERE.


TO APPLY: email

COACH: Drew Merit

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
— Dorothy Parker



Drew Merit is an improvisational artist, facilitator, and coach. Before founding Improv Marin, he the co-founded and currently performs sometimes with Secret Improv Society, now in it's 10th year (winner of SF Magazine's Best Comedy in 2016). Drew's performance credits also include Big City Improv, The Reactors, Meanwhile in Marin, and 5-speed Overdrive, and BATS Improv. Drew loves theatrical improvisation--improvisation that is free to go deeper than jokes and explore emotions and themes that are grounded in human truth, of course, raw hilarity is great too!

He has taught applied improvisation and used improv-based training at Google, YouTube, Singularity University, Blackrock, UCSF Medical School, Stanford University, Kaiser, and Hastings School of Law.

In addition to his theatrical improvisation, Drew is an improvisational illustrator. Through his company, Merit Illustration, Drew captures content from speakers, meetings, conversations and ideation sessions in real time through illustrations and text.

Drew's approach to teaching improv is focused on empowering you to feel safe to play and safe to dare. There's more to say on this subject, but Drew tries to avoid over-explaining things.


Melissa Jones Briggs is a performer, educator, and coach with a specialization in theatre as a tool for social change. In her work, she combines research from the fields of social science and the practical application of performance techniques. 

On Faculty at Stanford University’s GSB she works as a Lecturer in Organizational Behavior teaching Acting with Power. She has taught at London Business School in the UK, Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, and the United States Naval Academy.

Jones Briggs also designs, directs & deploys global leadership and inclusion programs as an independent consultant. Client sectors range from the corporate (Intel, Twitter, Cisco, eBay, Ubisoft, Lyft, Mozilla, Dechert LLP) and academic (Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Singularity University, Stanford’s School of Medicine and School of Law), to healthcare (Lorraine Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford Hospitals & Clinics, The Public Health Institute), and nonprofit (Clinton Global Initiative, Watermark, Invoking the Pause Foundation, 52nd Street Project, Williamstown Theatre Festival) among others. 

Melissa serves on the Board of Directors at Youth in Arts, an arts education non-profit with a focus on social justice. An honors graduate of Wake Forest University, Jones Briggs also studied at the Coaches Training Institute, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and the Actors Center Conservatory in New York.


Joël Micucci co-founded Secret Improv Society and has performed with Flash Family, BATS Improv, Big City Improv, and more! The picture to the left is NOT Joel-it’s his brother. Joel didn’t send us a photo in time, but we had a picture of his brother. They aren’t twins, but they do look a lot alike. A strong family resemblance runs through the entire Micucci family…and it’s a big family. Joel has been performing, coaching, directing, and producing improv since 1995-ish. Not sure exactly because Joel didn’t send us his bio in time. I know Joel well, so I’m doing my best. It’s impossible not to like Joel…I hear…

Dr. Laila Ansari is a clinical psychologist at Marin Psychotherapy for Women. She co-facilitates Improv Marin’s Improv for Anxiety workshops. Dr. Ansari has over 12 years of experience working in hospitals, schools and clinics around the San Francisco Bay Area. Her specialties include: anxiety and stress management and obstacles to creativity.

She’s a Ph.D. who knows CBT, ACT, DBT, and she digs Ice T.


Judith Asséo is a performer, educator, and coach. She has been improvising on stage for 25 years (and improvising in life for a few additional ones). She is currently a company member with the Secret Improv Society - San Francisco’s award-winning improvisational comedy troupe. Judy's performance credits also include Big City Improv (Best of the Bay Winner), The Oakland Playhouse, Exxit Only, and The Skits.

Judy is not only an accomplished improviser but she is a veteran of the veterinary medical industry; a graduate of Cornell University; and a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. When not improvising on stage, she provides play-based communication training and team-building for veterinary hospitals and other organizations. Judy is a public speaker and trainer. She regularly presents a “De-Escalation Training for Veterinary Hospital Teams” program that she developed at various regional conferences in the United States.

Judy knows the importance of laughter, lightness and humor in life and hopes to inspire some shared cathartic guffawing in her performances, workshops and classes.


Alex Lerman founded Berkeley Improv in 2008, with the vision that students enjoy greater mastery with a gentler learning curve. He now travels abroad to grow improv literacy and community worldwide. Alex has introduced improv to thousands of students. He had the honor of training and mentoring Berkeley Improv instructors. He founded and directed The Berkeley Players performance ensemble. Alex created the unique class “Improv for Real Life” to help students get the most from improv, on and off stage. In 2010 he founded to offer organizations the benefits of applied improv. He has led workshops at many Bay Area companies and organizations, including UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.