The Nerdist opens its improv school with a 12-hour performance event

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School is officially in session after a 12-hour improv kickoff event at the Nerdist School, a performance school offering classes in improv, sketch writing, and storytelling in Los Angeles.

L.A. is home to various improv-focused juggernaut programs like the Groundlings and the Upright Citizens Brigade that serve as training grounds for comedy hopefuls who often go on to massive mainstream careers. Nerdist Industries, which spans a popular YouTube channel, website, and podcast network, is expanding its brand with the new class offerings.

“The Nerdist Showroom has spent the last several years cultivating a wonderful community of performers and comedy fans to become one of the top venues in Los Angeles,” Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick told the Hollywood Reporter. “The goal of the school will be to broaden that community to give young comedy minds the tools they need to leap from audience to stage!”

The school, which is adjacent to Meltdown Comics, which already hosts Nerdist’s NerdMelt Showroom for performances. However, the new improv theater is a sparse space next door with just a few rows of chairs and a small stage. Still, the performers who took to the kickoff events filled the space grandly. 

Various teams joined in over the daylong event, showcasing their own styles and promoting the Nerdist School’s classes and weekend performance schedule. They even opened the stage up to the audience, starting improv jams with various groups in which different teams and unaffiliated viewers could try their hand at performance. 

Visiting the #nerdistschoolassembly and witnessing a very full stage right now!

A photo posted by raevotta (@raevotta) on

If the low-key carnival atmosphere continues, the Nerdist School might be a welcome alternative in an L.A. scene flush with super serious comedy training grounds. From this early look at things, fun comes first at Nerdist. 

Screengrab via NerdistSchool/Instagram

Rae Votta

Rae Votta

A former YouTube reporter for the Daily Dot, Rae Votta has more than a decade of experience in the digital and entertainment industries. Her work has appeared on AOL, Huffington Post, Out Magazine, Logo, VH1, Current TV, Billboard, and NYMag. She joined Netflix in 2016.