Im­prov wizard mov­ing adult classes to lo­cal the­ater gi­ant

Mer­lin Works’ com­edy im­pro­vi­sa­tion classes are not just for ac­tors; oth­ers ben­e­fit, too.

Austin American-Statesman - - E LIFE & ARTS - Byari­an­naau­ber aauber@states­man.com Reg­is­ter­ing for classes Mer­lin NEAL Dou­glass / Dolph BRISCOE CEN­TER for AMER­I­CAN HIS­TORY TRIB­UTED CON-

Shana Mer­lin’s im­pro­vi­sa­tion school al­most shut­tered its doors ear­lier this spring, af­ter four years of show­ing lo­cals that any­one could learn to be funny on the spot.

In con­trast to then, the Mer­lin Works In­sti­tute for Im­pro­vi­sa­tion is about to move into a big­ger space with a big­ger spot­light.

The new year will launch Mer­lin Works’ tran­si­tion to teach­ing im­prov com­edy classes for adults at ZACH The­atre, a the­ater com­pany whose grow­ing cam­pus is nes­tled near Go to mer­lin-works.com for a sched­ule of Mer­lin Works In­sti­tute for Im­pro­vi­sa­tion classes and to reg­is­ter. the banks of Lady Bird Lake and whose pro­grams in­clude per­form­ing arts classes for kids. The tran­si­tion be­gins with a big grand open­ing party on Jan. 13.

For­merly housed at the Sal­vage Van­guard The­ater in East Austin, Mer­lin Works’ classes, led by seven teach­ers, will now be at Zach’s Whisen­hunt The­atre, a 130-seat the­ater-in-th­er­ound where the kids’ classes are al­ready held.

Univer­sity of Texas stu­dents (above, left) stud­ied ra­dio en­gi­neer­ing as well as act­ing, speak­ing and writ­ing for the pop­u­lar medium in the 1940s.

Mer­lin Works, pre­vi­ously lo­cated at the Sal­vage Van­guard The­ater, is mov­ing far­ther west to Zach The­atre in Jan­uary.

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