“Laughter is the glue to loving life.” -- unknown author

Regina Saisi

The Third in Our 2018 Masters Series Improv Workshops

November 3rd & 4th, 2018

If you’ve never had the pleasure of working with Regina Saisi, now is your chance. She’s a gem with an eagle eye. Former Dean of Bay Area Theater Sports and improv legend in San Francisco, she’ll take you on a ride you never thought you could go on. And her feedback is great!

Some improv experience necessary.

More about Regina, in case you’re still not convinced:

Regina Saisi is a San Francisco-based actor and improviser. She is an instructor at the Studio A.C.T., Marin School District where she also directs. She has taught at Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, California Institute of the Art and KAUST in Saudi Arabia. She has has taught internationally in Belgium, Holland, Italy, Finland, France, Sweden and Lebanon. A pioneer in the development of long-form improv, she is a founding member of the improvisational theatre companies True Fiction Magazine and Pulp Playhouse, and is a Company member of BATS Improv.

Workshop Details:

Saturday 9/22/18, 1-5 PM
Sunday 9/23/18, 10-4 PM
The Broadway Playhouse
526 Broadway, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

You can sign up now!                   Register
Cost: $175
A $50 non-refundable deposit holds your spot. Participants must be “Paid in Full” prior to the workshop.
Limited Enrollment.

2017 Master Series Workshops

Tim Orr - February 25th-26th, 2017


Tim showed us the importance and magic of creating and honoring the settings we create on stage as improvisers.

Rafe Chase - April 22nd - April 23rd, 2017
Rafe Chase

Rafe Chase

April 22nd – 23rd, 2017


Through exercises and scenes set up by Rafe, the students will explore the vast emotional possibilities that are available to improvisers when they are truly “pretending” to be someone else.

The workshop will be on Saturday 4/22/17 from 1-5 PM, and Sunday 4/23/17 from 10-4 PM at the Broadway Playhouse, Santa Cruz, California.

Cost: $175
A $50 non-refundable deposit holds your spot. Participants must be “Paid in Full” prior to the workshop.
Limited Enrollment.
Email: topdog@funinstitute.com

Regina Saisi - June 10th - 11th, 2017


“Objectively Speaking”

This workshop, Objectively Speaking, will focus on the power of using an objective in scene work. Knowing what your character wants and finding strategies to obtain it, will flesh out your character and the scene.
Regina is an excellent improvisor, Dean of BATS in San Francisco, and one of our favorite teachers to import for her imparting wisdom. Sign up soon!

The workshop will be on Saturday from 1-5 PM, and Sunday from 10-4 PM at the Broadway Playhouse, Santa Cruz, California.
Limited enrollment.
Cost: $175
Registration OPEN
Email topdog@funinstitute.com

Stephen Kearin - September 9th - 10th, 2017


Building Character

Stepping outside yourself and into a character is one of the true joys of improvising. And lucky us, we have Stephen Kearin, a master at character work, to share some of his tricks of the trade. More specifics as we get closer.

Stephen began his career in 1987 with Bay Area Theatresports in San Francisco, where he was a company member for 14 years. He was a founding member of Improv Theater and True Fiction Magazine. Stephen is currently a member of the critically-acclaimed improv ensembles Impro Theatre in Los Angeles, (where he was nominated for an Ovation Award for The Western UnScripted) and 3 FOR ALL (celebrating their 20th season) Other stage productions include the stilt-walking Iago in San Francisco Opera’s Otello, Sally-Sue Weber in A Weber Family Christmas and he originated the role of Movie Mega-Superstar, Blaine Bustier in An Evening With Dirk & Blaine. Stephen is the co-creator of “Simlish” and was the principal male voice of The Sims, Sims 2 and Sims Medieval. He created the Martian languages for Disney’s Mars Needs Moms and Supergirl. He is featured in the DreamWorks Animation films Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2&3, Madagascar 2&3, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Megamind, The Penguins of Madagascar and Home. Stephen appears as the terrifying ‘Principal Mitchell’ on the Disney XD series Kirby Buckets. He stars in The Bunglers, winner of Best Comedic Short at The 2012 Manhattan Film Festival. He has performed his solo show INSIDE OUT to sold-out houses in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Stephen has been a visiting instructor at Stanford University, Dreamworks Animation and Cirque Du Soleil.

The workshop will be on Saturday from 1-5 PM, and Sunday from 10-4 PM at the Broadway Playhouse in Santa Cruz, California.
Limited enrollment.
Cost: $175
Registration begins 6/12/17
Email: topdog@funinstitute.com


Lisa Rowland - November 11th - 12th, 2017


Workshop details coming soon.

Lisa Rowland

Lisa’s first love is performing. Her background in scripted theater gives her a strong grounding in truthful performance and the allure of discovery and delight that improvisation offers has kept her scriptless since she began improvising professionally in 2006.  Straight out of Stanford University, where she performed with the Stanford Improvisors, she joined the mainstage company at BATS Improv, Northern California’s most acclaimed and longest running improvisational theatre company. She is a founding member of Improv Playhouse of San Francisco and Awkward Dinner Party. In 2012, Lisa was voted Best Actor by the SF Bay Guardian’s Reader Poll.  She has traveled the world to perform on international stages with international casts and finds particular delight in the global improv community.

Lisa is a lecturer at Stanford University in the Theatre Department, teaching the very class that put her on the path of improvisation. Compelled to pass on the joys of improvisation, Lisa began teaching as part of her experience with the Stanford Improvisors, and continued as a member of the faculty of the BATS School of Improv. She has traveled around the country and world, teaching in America, Saudi Arabia (the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Seriously), New Zealand, Mexico and as a two-time guest instructor at the International Impro Festival in Würzburg, Germany. Lisa teaches privately in the Bay Area and was a high school improv coach.

The workshop will be on Saturday from 1-5 PM, and Sunday from 10-4 PM at the Broadway Playhouse, Santa Cruz, California.
Limited enrollment.
Cost: $175
Registration begins 9/11/17
Email topdog@funinstitute.com

Esalen Improv Workshop

Improv: Expanding Yourself with Laughter

Taught by Dixie Cox and Clifford Henderson



Yes! We’re heading back to Big Sur next Spring to teach another 5-day workshop at Esalen Institute. Join us for the ultimate experiential “Personal Retreat. This will be our 10th year to teach at Esalen.

Activate your imagination, creativity, and spontaneity. Just as muscles can tighten with stress and age, so can notions about ourselves. One antidote to this natural process is improvisational workouts. Children stretch their sense of self through the powerful medium of play. Adults often don’t, finding it too scary or foolish. This unwillingness prevents them from experiencing this potent learning tool, which includes the permission to try new ways of being without the serious consequences of real life. In this positive workshop, participants are guided through simple improv exercises aimed at personal expansion. Using the tenants of improv, such as trust and spontaneity, participants are encouraged to say “Yes” to situations offered them by the group. This workshop also explores one of improv’s most compelling tools: status, the human pecking order. Participants familiarize themselves with the subtle clues they send and receive defining their status, and have a chance to try new body language and status choices. Rejuvinate your spirit through experiential play and laughter. Past participants have said. “By stretching myself, I’ve become more than me.” and “It’s more fun than a ride on a fire truck!”

Check out Esalen Institute and all the possibilities. CANCELED DUE TO WINTER DAMAGE AND ROAD CLOSURES

Pamper yourself at this beautiful location on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, with hot mineral bathes, gourmet food, and our 5-day Improv workshop. It all happens May 14-19,2017.
It doesn’t get any better than this!
Rejuvinate yourself with fun and laughter at this world class Retreat Center. Prices start at $650 and go up according to your sleeping accomodations. One price covers everything.