Youth Performing Arts Training



Acting Conservatory for Teen Students talk about the

Improv Playhouse Community &Training:

Happy holidays! I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your involvement in creating Ryan's passion for acting. Not sure if you were aware but his school's performance of Addams Family the musical was awarded the opportunity to perform down at Theatre Fest in January. They will be performing on the main stage on Friday night and rumor is that's the hottest ticket there. I know Ryan wouldn't be a lead as a Sophomore (playing Uncle Fester with a shaved head none the less) if it wasn't for Improv Playhouse. Thanks again for teaching Ryan to be an actor and I hope you have a great 2015!  J.Krewer

Register today for Spring Sessions!

Registration forms are available here:

Complete and return to:

snail mail: 116 W. Lake Street

email: info@improvplayhouse.com

fax: 847.968.4530

Or call the office today and complete over the phone! 847.968.4529

(Class Descriptions at Bottom of Page)


(scroll down for Highland Park classes)

The I.P. Studio - 116 W. Lake Street

Black Box Theatre - 735 N. Milwaukee

Click here for Libertyville Youth Schedule & Registration



Winter Term:  11/22/15-2/21/16 

Spring Term:  2/28/16-5/29/16 

Instructor Approval, Referral or Audition

Participants at National Teen Comedy Fest Spring 2016 (Additional Charge - must be enrolled in Spring Term to attend)

4th-7th: IP-Junior Improv Ensemble: Sundays 3:00-4:30pm

8th-12th: IP-Teen Improv Ensemble: Sundays 1:00-3:00pm





All Levels of Improvisers are invited to join the Improv Classes

4th-7th: IP-Junior Improv Class: Wednesdays 6:00-7:30pm

8th-12th: IP-Teen Improv Class: Wednesdays 7:30-9:00pm



1st-3rd: Broadway Bound

Dr. Dolittle Kids    

The famous Doctor from literature and film lights up the stage in this magical tale of adventure, unlikely friendships and animal communication. 

Click here for cast list


Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30pm

Thursdays, 6:00-7:30pm

First Rehearsal: Tuesday, 3/15, 6:00-7:30pm

Performance: Thursday, 5/19


4th-7th: Showstoppers                    

Grease Jr.

An ideal version of Grease for youth! This age-appropriate version retains the fun-loving spirit and immortal songs that make Grease a favorite among rock and roll fans of all ages.

Click here for cast list


Fridays, 4:00-6:00pm

Saturdays, 1:00-3:00pm

Tech Week Rehearsals:

Monday - Thursday, 5/16 - 5/19, 5:30-8:30pm

Lincoln School, 200 W. Maple Ave, Mundelein


Friday, May 20th, 7:30pm

Saturday, May 21st, 2:30pm

Saturday, May 21st, 6:30pm

Lincoln School, 200 W. Maple Ave, Mundelein


7th-12th: IP Elite

The Exceptional Level for Intensive Theatrical Experiences

Grease: Teens

Previous musical theater experience required

The classic rock 'n roll musical about Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl in town, and Danny Zuko, the school's coolest greaser. A teen-appropriate version featuring the infectious tunes and dance moves of the original!

Click here for cast list


Wednesdays, 7:00-9:00pm

Sundays, 4:30-6:30pm

Tech Week Rehearsals:

Monday - Thursday, 5/23 - 5/26, 5:30-8:30pm

Lincoln School, 200 W. Maple Ave, Mundelein


Friday, May 27th, 7:30pm

Saturday, May 28th, 2:30pm

Saturday, May 28th, 6:30pm

Lincoln School, 200 W. Maple Ave, Mundelein



7th-12th: Acting Conservatory for Teens

A Thousand Cranes

Click here for cast list

A Thousand Cranes is the true and poignant story of Sadako Sasaki, a young victim of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Sadako was only two years old when the bomb fell and seemed to be unharmed, but at twelve she was diagnosed with "radiation sickness" an aftermath of the bomb's effects. With boundless optimism, she takes an old story to heart: If a sick person folds a thousand paper origami cranes the gods will grant her wish and make her well again.


Tuesdays, 7:30-9:30pm

Thursdays, 7:30-9:30pm

Tech Week Rehearsals:

Monday, 5/9, 5:00-9:00pm

Tuesday, 5/10, 7:30-9:30pm

Wednesday, 5/11, 5:00-7:00pm

Thursday, 5/12, 7:30-9:30pm


Friday, 5/13, 7:30pm (Cast A)

Saturday, 5/14, 4:30pm (Cast A)

Saturday, 5/14, 7:30pm (Cast B)

Sunday, 5/15, 2:30pm (Cast B)

*Each cast member will be in all four performances!

All performances in IP Black Box Theater: 735 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville IL 60048

FILM INTENSIVE(Libertyville)

Spring Term: 3/10/16 - 5/5/16

Thursdays 6:30-8:30pm

5th-8th: Get hands-on training & learn the process behind the making of a digital film. Create a stop-motion animation or a digital film for final presentation.


COMMERCIAL KIDS: On Camera Acting (Libertyville)

Winter/Spring Terms: 3/7/16 - 4/18/16, 4/25/16 - 6/6/16

Mondays 5:00-6:30pm

4th-8th: Learn the difference between acting for the stage and the camera! Scene work includes a variety of genres, such as commercials, film scripts, and more.


The Highland Park Community House

Lower Level

1991 Sheridan Road

Click here for Highland Park Youth Schedule and Registration Form


Spring Term:  


Instructor Approval, Referral or Audition

Participants at National Teen Comedy Fest Spring 2016 (Additional Charge - must be enrolled in Spring Term to attend)

5th-9th: IP North Shore Improv Ensemble: Tuesdays 6:00-8:00pm


Spring Terms:S

4/7/16 - 5/26/16 (Thursdays)


4/9/16 - 5/28/16 (Saturdays)

All Levels of Improvisers are invited to join the Improv Classes

4th-8th: IP-Junior High Improv Class

Thursdays 6:00-7:30pm OR Saturdays 12:30-2:00pm



Spring Term: 3/15/16 - 5/10/16

Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm

5th-8th: Get hands-on training & learn the process behind the making of a digital film. Create a stop-motion animation or a digital film for final presentation.




1st-3rd: Broadway Bound 

Dr. Dolittle Kids                  

The famous Doctor from literature and film lights up the stage in this magical tale of

adventure, unlikely friendships and animal communication.

Click here for cast list

Rehearsals: Saturdays, 3:00-5:00pm

First Rehearsal: Saturday, 3/19, 3:00- 5:00pm

Performance: SUNDAY, 5/15, 4:00pm

At the Highland Park Community House

1991 Sheridan Road, Highland Park IL 60035


4th-7th: Showstoppers                         

Beauty and the Beast

The Award-winning animated film and stage play comes to life in this romantic and beloved take on the classic fairytale.

Click here for cast list


Saturdays, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Sundays, 1:00-3:00pm

Audition/First Rehearsal: Saturday, 3/19, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Tech Week:

Monday, 5/23, 5:00-9:00pm

Tuesday, 5/24, 5:00-9:00pm

Wednesday, 5/25, 5:00-9:00pm


Thursday, 5/26, 7:30pm

Friday, 5/27, 7:30pm

Sunday, 5/29, 12:00pm 

At the Highland Park Community House

1991 Sheridan Road, Highland Park IL 60035

What do people say about Improv Playhouse?



Fun Times!  Great Friends!

The most comprehensive training program North of Chicago. For the Beginner

to the child who books Shows, Commercials and Film Roles!





Improv Playhouse performing arts training identifies, nurtures and enhances each individual's natural communication ability and talent, while building the confidence needed to apply these skills to performance and real life situations.  Our program for youth includes performing arts training for children from kindergarten to high school with beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Generally, with some exceptions, each class meets once per week for six to ten weeks for both adults and youth.

Hi Mr.Stuart,

I just wanted to shoot you an email to tell you an update on how I'm doing. I went to districts and got a perfect score on our ensemble scene, now we will be heading to states in March. I just wanted to say thank you for all the time you spent helping me and encouraging me. (:

 Sincerely,  Taylor Nicole

"Hello David , I am writing to thank you guys for your wonderful, warm and nurturing school!  Our daughter has not just learned a lot in the last three years that she has been coming there, but also gained a lot of confidence in her ability as an artist.  Your school gives these kids/young adults a place where they can be comfortable in themselves, in their talents without the fear of others 'judging you'.  They don't feel 'weird' about their talent and feel appreciated for what they have to offer.  If we had to do it all over again, we would put her there when she was 7 years old!  The long drive we have had to do two to /three times a week has been so well worth the effort.  Thanks again for everything"!
REENA T.,  Lake Forest, Illinois

"David.... I think  you should know, Jonah was the only underclassman to make his High School's Elite Comedy Ensemble (that still blows my mind).  He also took 2nd place in a humorous duet acting skit at his first Speech tournament. I credit his involvement with the Improv Playhouse with a lot of his recent successes.  Thank you.  Sheila B."

"David and IP Staff, We travel each week from Northbrook and it's the best commute of my week and best program Nora has been in.  You are all so welcoming and supportive."

"David, I just wanted to express our thanks for the recommendation you supplied for Allison last Saturday during the look-see for Jessica Brady of Jennifer's Talent.  That was very kind of you, and very much appreciated.  She just loves your program and is looking forward to participating in many more activities with your organization.  It is a  very nurturing environment, very professional, and a lot of fun! Just so you know, Allison is now signed up with Jennifer's Talent. Thank  you again,  Mary N."

"Dear I.P, Your staff has done a brilliant job in training my child and giving him the confidence we always dreamed he'd gain. Courtney is magnificent and has created the fun, but nurturing environment you assured us you have over there.  M has not only made new friends for a lifetime, but your program has brought him out of his shell, given him new passion and focus, helped him to improve his academics and discover a creative side that has led him to theater (which we never expected).  Improv, your plays, camps...it's all been good for our "improv actor" (now going on 4 years with your program). Thanks! "

"David, I must tell you how much my daughter is enjoying being involved in Pippin!!!

She loves Britta and Colby! And sings and dances ALL the time!"

"Please let everyone know that my daughter LOVES every minute she's at rehearsal.  She's having another great experience with Improv Playhouse.  The notes from the staff are so kind and encouraging that I just wanted to let you know that it goes both ways.  :)  Thank you!" 

"My son loved his first improv class and loved his teacher. He couldn't wait to get back there today!"


Learning how to trust, relax, speak out, work as an ensemble, create improvisationally, theatrically, and to experience real change are all excellent reasons to study at the Improv Playhouse®. Through creativity, imagination and playfulness your personal development as a student OR performer will grow to a level you never dreamed possible.


At IP, our staff stresses the importance of personal integrity, developing personal expression using the best of one's values and character.  We train children and adults in improvisation, acting, music theater, dance, vocal training, on camera, voice over and commercial work among other arts components.


You will experience the supportive instruction of some of the Midwest’s finest arts professionals in a safe, age appropriate environment who comprise some of the most gifted Chicago area actors, directors and facilitators instructing and inspiring with passion and personal integrity.



(Age appropriate resources from the best of Broadway, Disney and World Theater)

IP-ELITE (7th-HS and some exceptions may apply)

The Exceptional Level for Intensive Theatrical Experiences

This new component of I.P. is an auditioned and referred repertory ensemble of outstanding teen and high music theater school students from throughout the Lake County region. Members of I.P.-Elite tend to be triple threats who wish to improve their performing skills while working with other serious musical theater actors seeking the challenge of developing their craft.  The ensemble will seek to provide the highest quality in professionalism and performance bringing various genres to the stage.  I.P. Elite will audition, assess and rehearse full length, ensemble based musicals with those students who have been cast for this challenging training. 

SHOW STOPPERS PRODUCTIONS (4th - 9th and some exceptions may apply)

SHOWSTOPPERS is designed to raise the bar of customized performances that exhibit showmanship,solos, acting, choreography, voice and music theater pieces incorporating developmentally appropriate Broadway shows or films.  SHOWSTOPPERS train toward and IP MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION usually comprising 4th-9th graders or a SHOWCASE TROUPE of 3rd-8th graders energized to exhibit skills nurtured in this advanced program. All children who demonstrate a willingness to engage in this fun, yet focused, environment are encouraged to register. Workshop dedication, rehearsal attendance and commitment is an expectation to remain in this training.  Every participant receives a role apporpiate to their age and performance level.   Parents are also encouraged to volunteer for a modest commitment to each production.  No audition is necessary to register.  Three unexcused absences will result in dismissal from the production and showcase.  Showstoppers productions are performed on public stages at area high schools or similar spaces.

BROADWAY BOUND (1st-3rd and some exceptions may apply)

You’re on your way to the Big Apple Baby! These classes are for kids who love to perform, who want to develop their musical theater skills or the shy ones who may want to come out of their shell.  Age appropriate material is selected for the children who will be guided into solo or ensemble work.  Strengthen skills through exploration of acting technique, storytelling, singing and movement.  Broadway Bound ends with a showcase or mini-junior production performed for family and friends at the IP Black Box or class site of our local Broadway Bound workshop.

EARLY STAGES (Through various Park Districts) (4 1/2 yrs -K and some exceptions may apply)

You’re going to have a fun time acting, making new friends and learning new skills that will make you feel great about getting up on stage, playing characters from your favorite stories and maybe even singing some of your favorite songs!  A final showcase keeps you in the spotlight for family and friends!  Our early childhood drama-cators will create an active and energetic environment for your creative child.



An intensive program designed to challenge, nurture and foster young actors who desire a more focused training and rehearsal regimen culminating in a small ensemble performance piece or production.

SCREEN TEENS (On-Camera Commercial and Film Acting)  (6th-HS)

Improv Playhouse was the first suburban training center outside of Chicago to implement "commercial" instruction in its workshops. You'll work on successful Auditioning skills, the Art of Cold reading, "popping" on camera, learning the secrets of working pros and centering yourself for camera performance.  Our "tweens" and "teens" make it in the business and our superior training is the reason why.

Yikes! It’s opening night! This program has been designed to expose the youthful actor to a nurturing professional theatre experience with an emphasis in practical performance methods. From the audition process, to being cast as a player and crew member, to public performances, get ready for an incredible, dramatic journey! Comedies, dramas and developmentally appropriate pieces are chosen for public performances.

IMPROV & THEATRE GAMES (5th - 8th grade & High School)

A blast for all the students, but more than learning the forms of “Whose line…” our students participate in the games of theater that nurture skills in character development, spontaneity, giving and taking focus and ensemble (team-work) building.     Beginning through Advanced Sections for Junior High and High School. 


Designed to give the Advanced Junior High, Teen & High School improviser expansive opportunities to develop and demonstrate their skills for diverse audiences and events. Students will not only be challenged by pushing the limits of conventional games, but will train in long form, sketch, story theatre and other improvisational forms gathered from earlier training. Audition or instructor approval required for all ensembles. Teen and Junior Improv Ensemble Members must be registered in classes to retain their position for performances. Due to scheduling issues ensemble members may choose to register for intermediate and/or advanced workshops to retain performance eligibility. Our Teen Improv Ensemble has been invited to perform at the nationally renowned Chicago Improv Festival (CIF) six consecutive years (2007-2013).

BIZ KIDZ (On-Camera Commercial and Film Acting) (3rd-5th)

Improv Playhouse was the first suburban training center outside of Chicago to implement "commercial" instruction in its workshops. You'll work on successful Auditioning skills, the Art of Cold reading, "popping" on camera, learning the secrets of working pros and centering yourself for camera performance.  Our "tweens" and "teens" make it in the business and our superior training is the reason why.

FASHION AND PRINT MODELING:  Fashion Week (TWEEN 8-12yrs and TEEN 13-17yrs)

Develop Confidence, Style and the Appropriate Image for fun or as a career.  Do you dream of becoming a model?  Did you know that it’s a fun career and a performing art?!  This is an exciting and glam workshop that will leave you with a ton of knowledge on how to take the next big step.  Girls will be taught everything they need to know about the competitive fashion and print modeling industry in workshops or camps filled with runway technique, role playing, a healthy self concept, visits from pros and a final fashion showcase. Each day will focus on new activities that build upon each other.

Youth Production & Class Policies

PURPOSE: To provide training and experience in the performing of and immersion in Musical Theatre and Dramatic Arts Productions.


  • Fees DO NOT include production make-up kit, costumes, field trip costs or tickets to performances.
  • Fees include instruction/coaching, royalties, script costs, administration, support, facility rental and set-up fees.

TUITION: Participant agrees to pay program fee in full as soon as casting is finalized. Tuition is non-transferable & non-refundable. Parents/Guardians are required to give 6 hours of volunteer time. This commitment can be bought out for a nominal fee.

ATTENDANCE: Failure to attend 2 rehearsals without an EXCUSED ABSENCE or any other excessive absences may result in dismissal from a particular production. Cast members are expected to notify, in advance, either the Director or the Improv Playhouse™ office if they will be absent at any time. Failure to notify the Director for any reason will constitute an UNEXCUSED ABSENCE. Attendance is mandatory beginning with the Sunday of the last two- (2) weeks prior to any performance. Failure to attend any rehearsal during this final two-week period on stage will result, in most cases, in exclusion from any further productions with Improv Playhouse™.

BEHAVIOR: Continued undisciplined behavior that frequently causes disruptions to the rehearsal process, disrespect towards any adult, parent, volunteer, and supervisors or to other cast members will not be tolerated. Disruptive behavior that is continuous may result in a formal, verbal reprimand and/or a parent/youth conference with the Director and Producer. Problem behavior that cannot be resolved may result in a complete dismissal from the present and future Improv Playhouse™ production and training programs.

CASTING: Roles will be assigned based on demonstrated ability, cooperation, and suitability for the role. Students presently in IP training are given first consideration, but this does not guarantee being cast in productions. Decisions in casting are made by the Director, Artistic Director, Producer and or other staff members. IP Staff will not discuss casting decisions with cast members or cast member’s parents. Every member of the cast is expected to engage in and perform each role received with enthusiasm and dedication within and outside of the rehearsal space. An actor’s role may be substituted or replaced by another actor if responsibilities for their part are not upheld. Consequently, another role may be offered to that actor. Members may be dismissed from their role for uncooperative attitudes or for non-attendance at scheduled rehearsals. Unsolicited stage advice or direction from one actor to another is not permitted.

IMAGE RELEASE: Improv Playhouse will be taking photos and video at our events, classes, workshops and camps and posting them at our website, YouTube and other social media on the web.   If you don’t wish to be included, please inform the photographer or film maker.  With this udnerstanding our families and students grant to Improv Playhouse, its representatives and employees the right to take photographs of its sudents and their property in connection with Improv Playhouse events, workshops and classes.  You authorize Improv Playhouse its assigns and transferees to copyright, use and publish the same in print and/or electronically.  You agree that Improv Playhouse may use such photographs with or without your name and for any lawful purpose, including for example such purposes as publicity, illustration, advertising, and Web content.

CELL PHONES: The use of cellphones is strictly prohibited during class. If you have a cell phone, please turn it off or put it on vibrate during class. Cellphone use and texting is NOT permitted during class time.



Sherry Bell, Photographer. ( 224 ) 513-5650

Sherry's focus is on locational imaging, using the natural light to bring out the best in each subject. She is well known and recommended by Chicago's top talent agencies.   Sherry has extensive experience photographing Actors Headshots, Fashion & Beauty images for children and adults. Many of the children she has photographed such as Danielle Campbell of Disney's "Starstruck", Prom" and the impending "Originals" are enjoying successful acting careers. Others have landed national commercials, TV/Film roles and have performed at some of Chicago's most prestigious theatres such as the Cadillac Palace and Steppenwolf Theatre. Her photo sessions are sceduled at locations in the northern suburbs. Improv Playhouse and our staff is pleased to recommend her services to our students. For further information call Sherry directly at: (224) 513-5650 or email her at: sherrybellphotography@yahoo.com


Zoe McKenzie, Photography. (773 ) 852-1189

Who is Zoe Mckenzie? She is the owner/photographer's daughter and inspiration.   The studio is a team of women who inspire and push each other to produce beautiful photos and wonderful experiences. The owner, SANDY SAGER has been shooting for 30 years and working exclusively with talent for the last 15 years.  JULIA MARCUS started working with Sandy 15 years ago doing hair/makeup and styling and has been shooting at ZMP for the last 8 years. she has worked with some amazing celebrity photographers such as, Jerry Avenaim and Marc Hauser. NATALIE GOLDEN has been shooting with ZMP for the last 5 years and before she came to us spent most of her time shooting products and interiors. Her passion is shooting people and it shows in her work!  Natalie shoots most of child talent these days. The team would not be complete without NANCY VELA, she is our Hair/Makeup Stylist and is the very best in the business, she has worked in the industry for over 25 years. She is a Sassoon trained hair stylist and stays on the cutting edge of what is current in makeup. zmp@zoemckenziephotography.com


office/studio: 116 w. lake, libertyville, illinois 60048 • 847.968.4529 • 847.968.4530 fax •
black box space - theatre:  735 n. milwaukee avenue, libertyville

north shore training space:  1991 sheridan road, highland park, illinois 60035