Our people

Our improvisation teachers have been performing theatrical and comedic improvisation for over 20 years, and have been teaching for more than 15 years. They each have a detailed understanding of the different methods of improvisation, have extensive experience performing both short–form and long–form impro and improv, including Theatresports and Harold, and still perform regularly on various theatre stages across Sydney.

Our people have worked closely with teachers and staff at most of the improvisation schools in Sydney, and our contacts in the Sydney improvisation community are extensive.

School principal

Richard BennettAcademy of Improvisation is owned and run by Richard Bennett, a long time improvisor, producer, director and improvisation innovator.

Richard has a diverse portfolio of skills and experience, including film, radio production and management, and music and theatre production, as well as directing, producing, performing, and teaching improvisation. He’s been the driving force behind Chicago method long–form improvisation in Australia for over a dozen years, and he’s directed, produced and performed in countless comedy shows for over 20 years.

Richard started in radio, with writing, presenting and producing comedy shows and content. Later he joined Impro Australia, performing, producing and directing impro and Theatresports. Highlights include turning their training show Scared Scriptless into one of their most successful regular shows, and directing and performing in many of Sydney’s large theatre spaces.

In 2005 he switched his focus to long form improvisation in both the Johnstone and Chicago styles. He created shows such as The Late ShowThe Fourth Wall (integrating live video into improv), Backstreet Stories (extended long form), A Night at the Improv (showcasing troupes), and Arthur B’s Fringe Affair and Erskineville Tonight (improvised tonight show). And he was the first person to regularly use the Chicago method of improvisation and long–form improv in Australia.

When Laugh-Masters Academy started running improv classes, Richard spent a year advising and building their Chicago method foundations. Building curriculum, advising on teaching faculty, defining and creating the house team program, and producing and directing professional quality shows in various theatres.

Richard’s also an Internet video pioneer. He was one of the first videobloggers in Australia (second after Dr Adrian Miles from RMIT), and has invented many of the techniques now regularly used for improvised video. Some of his work includes 2006’s ground breaking Bonny & Clyde web series and live show, live improvised interact video stage shows, and various improvised short films. His long running podcast Improv Insider interviews artists using improvisation outside mainstream improv, and he’s co-devised many long form formats including What IfSpotlight/Psyched and Duncan. At one point he even held the NSW license for Keith Johstone’s Micetro format, but he doesn’t like to talk about it much.

Richard’s often called the Archive of Improv Knowledge and The Keeper of Chicago Long Form in Sydney, and his knowledge of Chicago style improvisation is unrivalled in Australia. You can see him regularly performing around Sydney, or read about his work in his improvisation theory reference book Inside Improvisation.

Guest teachers

We bring more guest improvisation teachers to Sydney than pretty much any other school. And we believe everyone should get to work with them, regardless of the school.

So if you’d like to come to Sydney to teach, then do it through us.