WHY STUDY IMPROV?
It’s fun! And improv skills are life skills: listening, connecting and collaborating with partners, maintaining flexibility, telling a story, embracing risk, building resilience. Whether you dream of the spotlight or just want to get more comfortable making small talk, you can develop your skills, and we can help you. We offer one-off classes or a series of classes culminating in a public show in Shibuya with your fellow classmates.
Launched in 2016 by Mike Staffa and the members of the pioneering bilingual group the Pirates of Tokyo Bay, our comedy 'juku' aims to produce improvisers who are quick-witted, spontaneous, character-driven, fearless and support of others around them both on and off stage.
Our instructors (David Heston and Mike Staffa) are all members of the Pirates and have between nine and thirteen years of experience performing improvisation, highlighted by representing Japan at festivals in Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and New York City.
TWO TYPES OF CLASSES:
a) Month-long courses: Levels 1, Level 2 and Level 3 can take you from novice to the stage in your own class show in Shibuya!
b) One-off classes: Improv for Everyone, Improv for Business, (and coming soon Improv for Smile) each give you a quick and unique tasting of improv! And as your improv skills grow, so will you as you become more confident, carefree, and comfortable in your own skin. We can think of no higher form of education.
Why Pirates' Improv Classes? . . .
Our teachers represent Japan improv
No group in Asia has toured as much as the Pirates have. 10 tours to cities like NYC, Manila, Shanghai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Osaka. We have put our style of improv against groups across the world and have the 1st place awards to prove it! We are proud to represent Japan every time we travel.
We tell stories, not jokes
We don’t teach you to “find the funny” or give you a bag of one-liners. When you learn the Pirates style of improv, you’ll learn to connect with your partners (and make them look good), listen hard, and say yes to what comes next. By focusing on the story, and the all-too-human characters in it, Pirates-style improv delivers a rich humor that is naturally hilarious and funnier than a joke ever could be.
Our broad curriculum covers all levels of study
Pirates improv classes empower you to focus on the areas and levels that you find most interesting and valuable — from beginner to advanced, and including individual skills such as acting, status, stagecraft, physicality, and singing.
Pirates give back
We feel strongly about giving back to the broader community that sustains us as we do our part to grow the improv scene from the grassroots. Through our annual cancer charity show in support of Over Cancer Together or other special shows like our Fukushima show or US Embassy shows or Japanese students, the Pirates bring the skill and delight of improv to people throughout Japan.
FAQ . . .
Minimum Class Size
There must be at least 5 students registered for a level for it to proceed.
Maximum Class Size
No more than 10 students per level.
Do I have to be bilingual?
Nope. If you sign up for a class in English, the course will be conducted in English.
When do I pay for classes?
Payment for a Level course can be paid in advance if you attend one of our regular monthly shows or you can pay in full for the Level on the first day of classes. If you are taking one-day classes like “Improv for Everyone”, “Improv for Business” or “Improv for Smile” you can pay the day of the class. Special corporate training packages will be invoiced and sent to the company for payment 30 days after the training ends.
Where are classes held?
All classes are held in Shinjuku, minutes from the station.
Can I skip a level?
Special exceptions can be made by the level instructor about skipping level(s). Please email us here.
What is your refund policy?
No refunds are given if there is less than 24 hours before the first class of a level.
If I take classes will I get to be a Pirate member?
Taking classes or completing Levels with us does not mean you are a member of the Pirates of Tokyo Bay. But the experience you gained with us will prepare you well if and when you decide to audition for the group when we hold auditions.
I still have questions!
Contact us here.