We’re COVID Safe!Academy of Improvisation (AOI) is a NSW government registered COVID Safe business, and the health safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. We returned to face to face classes for fully vaccinated students starting Monday 25 October 2021. COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Our People

Our improvisation teachers have been performing theatrical and comedic improvisation for over 20 years, have been teaching professionally for more than 15 years, and are professional trainers and practitioners utilising improvisation in both corporate work and the performing arts.

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

School Principal

Richard Bennett

Richard Bennett

Richard Bennett is a long time improvisor, producer, director and improvisation innovator, in radio, video and on stage. He has an even longer history of innovation using lean/agile processes and methods, including spontaneity, divergent thinking and creativity, in the corporate and tech startup spaces, including management and technical roles with KPMG and IBM.

Richard’s worked with most of the other improvisation schools in Sydney, including many years producing and directing shows for Impro Australia, including their training show Scared Scriptless, and as an integral part of the initial development of curriculum, faculty, house team program and show production at Laugh-Masters Academy, including training many of their early teachers and coaches.

Richard’s often been called the “Archive of Improv Knowledge” and “The Keeper of Chicago Long Form in Sydney”, and his knowledge of Chicago method improvisation is unrivalled in Australia. Richard is also author of the book Inside Improvisation, a definitive text on improvisation theory, which details the differences between the various improv methods and how to best learn improvisation based on science, history and arts theory and practice.

After 20 years performing and teaching in Sydney’s inner city, Richard opened AOI in Chatswood, bringing the highest quality improv and performance training to Sydney’s north shore, and subsequently expanding back into Sydney’s inner west, Parramatta and online.

Advisors

Our advisors and executive staff are Sydney based veteran performers and professional practitioners, using improvisation in both theatre, the entertainment industry and in their specific domains of expertise.

Tony Starr

Tony Starr

Senior Advisor and Head of Comedy Writing and Sketch.

Peter Lead

Peter Lead

Senior Advisor for Improvisation and Corporate Education.

Cindy Tonkin

Cindy Tonkin

Senior Advisor for Curricula and Corporate Applied Science.

School Aministrator

Rena Starr

Rena Starr

Rena is a communications & marketing professional, having worked in a wide range of industries and roles, ranging from high school educator, to sales & marketing, to corporate travel management and in the performing arts.

She’s a long-time active supporter of improv in Australia, Chicago and L.A., and loves going to live performances (comedy, music, theatre, improv etc.). In her free time, she loves singing in her local choir, playing ukulele and harp, baking fancy cakes for friends, and spending time with her senior dog Wilbur.

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 that brings them to Sydney.

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