Frequently Asked Questions

The DSI Comedy School offers courses in improvisation, standup, storytelling and sketch comedy writing in the heart of North Carolina. Our approach to teaching comedy is unlike that of any other training in the area.

Do I have to start at Level 1?

By far, this is our most frequently asked and most controversial question. The short answer is yes; You do have to start at Level 1, but we have devoted a whole page to answering this question in-depth.

What does DSI teach?

Our improv curriculum focuses on scenic improvisation, longform improv for performance of Harold, shortform improv geared towards competitive shows (Improv SLAM and Humor Games), character, story structure and more. Emphasis is placed on empowering the individual improviser, "finding the game" in scenes, and developing an aggressive sense of play.

What is your teaching philosophy?

DSI does not strive to make you a funny person. DSI will teach you the fundamental and advanced skills of improvisation, making it easier for you to engage in the scene and relationships on stage. As improv becomes easier, you will create more honest and truthful work, and comedy will be the inevitable (and hilarious) by-product. Our approach is very demanding of the student. We tell you what you need to know in order to improve, with no sugar coating. Otherwise, there is little or no growth for the performer, and we would rather not waste your time or money. You will see a change in the way you look at the world; if you're not ready for that, you can take a pottery class.

Why should I only study with you?

You shouldn't. While we have our own style and approach to improvisation, we recommend that you see improv elsewhere and do research to find what style works best for you. However, we firmly believe that, through the use of multidisciplinary theories and modern improv training techniques, the DSI Comedy School will accelerate a student's growth in ways other training centers will not.

Can I audit a class?

No, classes cannot be audited. Improv is a practical craft that must be studied through participation. Also, classes work together to develop trust and group mind. Having people watch while others are working will affect the group's comfort level and ability to learn.

Where are your classes held?

All classes are held at the DSI Comedy Theater on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill. One week of class may be held at a different location than the next, but we try hard to keep all the classes in one location whenever possible, and we always communicate any changes with our students. To find out where each level may be held during a session, check the class listing or contact us at 919-338-8150.

What else can you tell me about the classes?

Classes are usually 12-15 hours; 2 - 2 1/2 hours per week for six weeks.

DSI classes have a maximum capacity of 14 students. Due to limited class size, placement isn't guaranteed until payment has been received in full. Payment for all classes must be received prior to the first day of class.

Registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Please read that last line again. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Your registration and payment are a promise to attend all six classes and to make up any classes that you miss; there are no refunds for missed classes.

Students are not guaranteed placement into the performing ensemble even if they successfully complete the program. Auditions are held twice annually, typically in early September and early March.

How can I ask you more questions?

Send an email to or give us a call.

How to Guarantee Your Spot

Guarantee registration for classes by paying online with PayPal. You can pay with a credit card using PayPal.

Pay using Visa. Pay using MasterCard. DSI Comedy Theater (DSI THEATER INC) is a PayPal verified merchant. Pay using American Express. Pay using Discover.