Electives and other classes

Throughout the year, Dallas Comedy House offers various specialty workshops that cover a wide range of topics. See below for current workshop offerings.

Workshop: Dig Deeper with Missed Connections

Dig Deeper with Missed Connections
Thursday 6:30-8:30 | August 16

A 2 hour workshop exploring character and point of view. Harrisburg Improv Theatre founders Paul Barker and Jake Compton teach you how to create rich, believable characters who are interesting to watch and play. In a single scene, "character" is often a shortcut to game, with a single odd belief or quirk providing the structure. But in a longer format show, characters can be three-dimensional, encompassing multiple games, statuses and points of view. Learn to invest honesty and time into your characters so that the audience will invest in your scene.


From Pittsburgh: "Jake and Paul offer an amazingly patient, poignant and funny show.  I am so happy our students got to see this type of elegant improv comedy."  - Justin Zell, Steel City Improv Theater, Education Director.  

From Improv Cincinnati: "Thanks for bringing "Missed Connections" to Cincinnati. We had a sold out audience who loved your unique concept of being inspired by Craigslist personals. The most common response was, "Where did you find these guys, and how can we get them back? Our students really connected to the "Dig Deeper" workshop. The lessons you taught complemented our existing program, without being too easy or too challenging. You hit the improv sweet spot. Well done!"



Paul Barker has been performing improv comedy since 2005. He studied long-form improv at the Magnet Theater, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and the People's Improv Theater in New York. In Harrisburg, Paul was a co-founder and artistic director of the Harrisburg Improv Theater, the city's first long-form improv theater. He performs with the improv duo Missed Connections and is on the cast of the Magnet Theater's Friday Night Sh*w. A former staff writer for TheBurg magazine in Harrisburg, Paul is now a J.D. candidate at Columbia Law School.

Jake Compton is the owner/founder of the Harrisburg Improv Theatre. Jake started improvising in 2004 taking classes at both the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and the Magnet Theatres in New York City. Jake's musical and prank comedy duo band Anticool terrorized Harrisburg for over 10 years with their live shows, albums, and webshow. Currently Jake is an instructor and performer at the HIT. He can be seen in the popular duo Missed Connections, as well as Hardly Working, Bandito, and Love Triangle. Jake also helps create and shape many forms and themes used by both his teams and others.

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Workshop: Improv for Presenters with Amanda Austin

Improv for Presenters with Amanda Austin
4 Week Course | $195 | Zero Experience Required
Mondays 6:30-9:30 | September 10-October 1

This four-week course is designed to increase confidence and comfortability while giving presentations. By utilizing improvisational comedy and theater skillsets, you will leave each week with the skills to enhance your presentations. Be it a PowerPoint in a board room or a pitch in an elevator, Improv for Presenters will have you ready for your next big speech. 

About Amanda Austin
Amanda Austin has more than a decade of experience in training and has received many accolades in the community for her expertise. Amanda was recently selected as a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2018 and she received the Dallas Business Journal's Women In Business Award of 2016. Amanda was named Best Theater Director in 2017 by the Dallas Observer, 20 Most Interesting People of 2014, and one of the 100 Creatives of Dallas in 2014. She is a board member of the Deep Ellum Community Association and serves on the Deep Ellum Arts Festival Committee.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Minor in Business from Texas A&M University.

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