Student FAQ


How do I get started?

Visit our Take A Class page which lists all of our class options. We have Level 1 sessions starting about every two months. We also have Free Drop In workshops every first Saturday of the month for people interested in getting a taste before they commit to a 8-week class.


How much are your classes?

An eight week session including a student showcase is $225.00. The class meets for three hours a week on the same day and time.


What if I have previous training somewhere else?

We do require that all of our students start from the Level 1 no matter their background experience. Our program is designed as a progression of education and every training center has it’s own voice, style and approach. Starting at Level 1 will allow you to understand our vocabulary throughout as well as build a connection with fellow students as you grow through the program. It is important to know that as a longform training center we focus much of our education on ensemble and building a longform performance. We do allow students from other training backgrounds to take workshops that apply to your particular improv or longform experience. If you have additional questions about this policy contact us.


What are the class policies?

Please see our Student Policies.


What is my student ID for?

Your student ID is good for unlimited free shows on stand-by, excluding special engagements. There are also credits on the back that add up to discounts on additional classes. You can receive up to $40 off  your next class by getting $10 discounts. The incentives on the back can be fulfilled anytime between your first day of class and your showcase. Discount opportunities are: see four shows (two opportunities for a total of eight shows), perfect attendance, volunteering and/or performance.


How do I get my show credits?

Every time you take advantage of catching a show (any show) – you can present your ID to the box office and they will mark your card. Keep in mind that if you catch every show on a Friday or Saturday it equals three shows on your card.


What does stand-by mean?

Stand-by means that you will get a seat depending on the attendance of paying audience members. The stand-by list goes into affect when 1/3 of the audience is full. The list is released at 5 minutes prior to the show start time for the remaining seats unsold.


What if I want to guarantee a seat?

You can always purchase a ticket to any show for $5 and still get your show credit.


What if I want to bring friends?

All your friends will get $5.00 tickets regardless of the show.


What are considered special engagements?

This would apply to shows that are special guests and/or fundraisers. Examples would be the Ghostfest marathon & Cerberus Cups.


How can I get the performance opportunity?

You would participate in a performance opportunity by playing in any one of our jams and/or other open opportunities that come up throughout the year. As a Level 1 student the jams are the most recommended, but as you progress through classes more opportunities may look appealing. These include:

Bingo Jam — Every 1st Saturday of the month — 6:30pm to participate, 7:00pm to watch. everybody plays!

Flash Jam — Every 4th Friday at 11:15pm – everybody plays!

Gemini Show — A predetermined one off show of duos to celebrate the twin in June. Every year we hold an open submission process to determine the duos.

GGGGhost Jam — The featured jam in Ghostfest – all performers in costume get to play!

Third Wheel — A show in February featuring real improv couples who get a random third wheel performer picked from willing participants.

Cagematch – see below

….0ther scheduled performances


How do I get perfect attendance?

I think this is pretty self explanatory – however a good time to remind students that we have a two absence policy for every level. More than two absences is subject to dismissal.


How do I volunteer?

There is a form to schedule a training shift. We always start our trainees on cleaning first then Box Office, as you get familiar you can move on to tech training – which includes pulling black outs for shows. Every shift you volunteer outside of your training gets you a volunteer credit on your ID as well as entry into our volunteer incentives.


How long is my ID good for?

You can use your ID and receive credits from the first day of your class up until the date of your showcase.


Does my showcase count as a performance credit?

Unfortunately, no. We encourage our students to get out and explore opportunities outside of class as watching shows & performing are part of the education and we hope you use your ID and performance opportunities (specifically Jams) to get the full experience.


How do I find these opportunities?

Our website stays up to date with shows and workshop opportunities. We also have a community mailing list that you can sign up for when you register that is full of information about what opportunities The Torch Theatre has coming up. There is a facebook group page where the community is linked together that has a great wealth of information. This community is a private group so you will have to request to join. We only add Torch students & performers to the community page.


What if I want to start performing more?

Awesome! – First step is to find some folks you like to perform with, it can be any number of people. Second step is to submit for Cagematch. The shows are Saturday nights at 10pm and where we send all of our new teams to get started. After which – if you wish to keep working as a group you can start rehearsing as a group – find a coach and start submitting for The Torch Theatre schedule. There are also competitions throughout the year such as Cerberus Cup, PIP Tournament – as well as one shot opportunities that may pop up.


When and how do I sign up for Cagematch?

The Cagematch submission open every two months and schedule three months at a time. You can only register one team per submission period but you can perform in up to two (if another member submits the second team).


How do we start rehearsing?

Find out from your group what the commitment levels are. Discuss your group goals. After you settle on a date to get together – preferably on a weekly or bi-monthly schedule. Then you need to find a space where you can meet. It can be someones house – however, should be an area that is open enough to run scenes. In the beginning a lot of time will be spent getting to know each other and should be focused on having fun and finding your shared interest in improv and performance style/structure. You should also focus on doing things together such as miniture golf or seeing a movie, creating shared experiences builds your group chemistry. After which time you should start thinking about getting a coach.


Why would we need a coach?

A coach will be able to strengthen you to a degree that you may not be able to do on your own. They can mediate improv discussion and guide you into directions of a play that you may not be able to find on your own. They will give feedback to the group and to individuals that a group may not be comfortable giving. They will motivate, encourage growth and strengthen skills. Ultimately a coach will help you focus and achieve your goals in a more expedited manner.


How do we find a coach?

There are Torch Theatre instructors and senior performers who have interest in coaching depending on their schedules. You can ask anyone of them to help you – either be your coach or help you find one. If you like any particular performer and think they have insight to give . . . even if they are not currently coaching or ever have, just ask them and see if they are interested. There is a list of active improvisors who are open to coaching, contact us is you want us to provide you that list at


Do we have to pay for a coach?

Most likely yes, especially some of the active coaches in the community – every coach has a different rate. So that conversation will have to be discussed pretty early so you know what your coach expects from you. If you ask a performer to coach who may be new to the process – often they will donate their time for the experience.


What is Cerberus Cup?

Cerberus Cup is a 3 person improv competition. The submissions to perform are open to anyone who puts together a 3 person team at an entry fee of $33.00. There is no experience level required. Often this is an opportunity for students and performers to play with various folks that they don’t usually get to. As a student it’s a good opportunity to play with your dream players. All it takes is an invitation.


What is PIP?

The Phoenix Improv Playoffs is a 16 team single elimination match based on the structure of the college sweet 16 March Madness basketball playoffs. This competition is also open to any team no matter the experience level for a $20 entry fee. Restrictions include that any player can only play on two teams max, also PIP roster changes are not allowed.


What is the Lottery?

Throughout the year – during showcase runs of shows – we may hold a lottery performance. This is a random drawing of interested students to perform a 25 minute set. It is a terrific example of getting extra stage time experience while playing with new people. It leads to stronger confidence on stage and a greater familiarity with the community.


How do I know what additional workshops I can take?

Every workshop or class has a prerequisite. They translate to the class level that you have completed at The Torch Theatre. Some of the workshops are for equivalent experience, if you are new to The Torch Theatre but have experience levels that apply from elsewhere, you can take any workshops applicable.


What is PIF?

The Phoenix Improv Festival occurs every April at The Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix. The Torch Theatre produces this event and we have volunteer opportunities for this event. It is a great opportunity to see what kind of improv is happening around the country and be a part of an amazing event within the Phoenix improv culture. There is a volunteer fair every February where you can sign up to be involved. Volunteers enjoy perks such as free shows and invitations to the after parties.


Again – how do I find out about these things?

The newsletter is the best way to stay clued in. It goes out at least once a month and is always full of information on how to get involved. The Facebook community page can also be a great source. Ask Jacque Arend about getting connected in this way by e-mailing


Do you offer an internship? 

We do have internships for students. You can apply for an internship after you complete Level 1. Internships are dependent on many factors including how many interns are currently staffed at The Torch Theatre. If you’d like to pursue an internship opportunity – please submit here.


If you have additional questions, concerns, need clarification or have suggestions for the Torch Theatre.

Please leave your thoughts in our anonymous suggestion box. It gets delivered to Jacqueline Arend who handles community relations. We are happy to have the feedback and an open forum to express yourself. We are always striving to create a safe environment, continue to grow as an organization and represent the art of improvisation. We welcome your help in doing so. If you’d like a direct response feel free to contact us so we can open some dialogue.

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