The Harold, Our Signature Form

Del Close Del Close

Charna Halpern Charna Halpern

Harold teams are groups of improvisers, setup by DSI Comedy Theater, that perform the company's signature improv form, the Harold. The Harold is a longform improv format developed by Del Close and Charna Halpern at the iO Theater in Chicago.

We like to think of our Harold teams as the equivalent to indie garage rock bands; they work hard to produce some of the most cutting edge improv being seen and performed in the country.

Harold teams are made up of students and graduates of the DSI Comedy Theater and sometimes people who have also studied longform, Harold-based improv at the iO Theater in Chicago or Los Angeles or with one of the many theatres in New York City that teaches the form, such as the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre or the Magnet Theatre or The People's Improv Theatre.

DSI teams are coached by qualified players, provided with rehearsal time and are given stage time and shows in order to perform and demonstrate the skills they have been taught in our classes.

Harold is the most widely performed improv format in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles. Harold has spawned numerous other longform shows. A number of these forms are taught at the DSI Comedy Theater.

While we teach a cetrain structured form of the Harold at DSI, we also teach our students how to abandon the structure and let Harold form organically from the suggestion given at the top of each show. For example, if the suggestion is "palindrome", the Harold that the team performs might itself resemble the structure of a palindrome, ending in a very similar manner to which it began.

If you want to learn how to understand and perform Harold, and eventually end up on an DSI Harold team, your best option is to take classes with us