Hot Harold

Full Program Registration opens 11/1

Hot Mess presents 

HOT HAROLD  (November 27th – December 22nd)

This winter intensive is a combination of 15 total classes focusing on longform skills and applying them to the Harold format. Students can enjoy our Skills Classes (10 in total) and our five session Form Class, culminating in a showcase. Each skill contributes to your toolbox and can be taken as individual classes where spots remain. The Form Class will solely focus on the understanding and execution of the Harold and how the skills contribute to all longform performance. The design of the intensive schedules Skills Classes to focus on what is needed by each Form Class so time is spent solely on application within the structure. Hot Mess believes that this structure is of value to understand & create incredible longform performances, while also recognizing that we do not need to stick to norms, traditions or “rules”. We aim to teach this course with the hopes that all of us improvising today can evolve the artform to our voices, instincts, imaginations and our brilliant innovative minds. 

The HAROLD (Form Class)

The Harold is considered the first Modern Day Longform structure. It is the best representation of non-linear longform. It is an organic form of play setting you up to tell stories in unconventional ways. Built around a three beat structure & heavily focused on ensemble, the format gives us a formula to create unrelated worlds and ideas that we can eventually tie back around to each other. The skills applied to achieve this format are valuable to any and all aspects of the artform, it is a formula for improv magic. After years of the Harold being used around the country for longform instruction, you can see elements of the Harold applied to all adaptations of improv performance and in comedy writing found in some film & television.  

Sat & Sun Classes meet from 2:30pm – 5:00 or 5:30pm

Weeknight Classes meet from 6:30pm – 9:00 or 9:30pm

Classes 2.5 to 3 hours in length depending on class size. 


Sat Dec 3rd – Form Class 1 – HAROLD FORM – Intro to Harold & Group Mind

Sun Dec 4th – Form Class 2 – Openings Thru 2nd Beats 

Sat Dec 17th – Form Class 3 – Openings Thru 3rd Beats

Sun Dec 18th – Form Class 4 – Full Run-Throughs

Wed Dec 21st – Form Class 5 – Making Harold Your Own 

The ensemble will explore blurring lines, finding detours and taking more risks down the path of the unknown while making the “Harold” work for you, rather than you work for it. 

Thu Dec 22nd Showcase Featuring Hot Harold & Longform Jam

Let’s make a night of it and feature you!

Form Classes Taught by Jacque Arend


Sun Nov. 27th | Skills 1 (Required for Full Program)

Openings & Deconstructing IdeasTaught by Jacque Arend. Learn the importance of creating source material & explore the multitude of ways to open a longform show. Exercise deconstructing the ideas, from simple to complex, and using them to enrich the foundation of any performance creating compelling characters, relationships & themes. 

Wed Nov 30th – Skills 2 (Essential Form Skill)

Foundational SceneworkTaught by Liz Hutchman. The two person scene is the crux of building a strong foundation for your show. Exercise the skills needed to create a base for your longform performances. Coming at two person scenework brick by brick with strong choices, patience and discovery based presence to create unexpected outcomes that are fun to come back to. 

Thu Dec 1st – Skills 3 (Required for Full Program)

Group GamesTaught by Jacque Arend. Students will focus directly on group games and how agreement is the main ingredient to successful ensemble work. We will practice finding pattern and establishing the rules together in a simple and effective way. We’ll explore the weird organic nature of ensemble work while also introducing some basic structure from common games in the longform arsenal. 

Tue Dec 6th – Skills 4 (Advanced Form Skill)

Characters, Relationships & RunsTaught by Stacey Hanlon. Focus on creating strong characters and relationships that we want to see again. Exercise heightening those elements to build up their realities, finding new and interesting discoveries. Students will be introduced to some editing tools. 

Wed Dec 7th – Skills 5 (Essential Form Skill)

Editing & HeighteningTaught by Liz Hutchman. Using time jumping and a variety of editing techniques, students will exercise how we return to a prior scene/world to heighten or expand in exciting and fun ways. Students will practice sweeps, tags & walk ons to constrict & contract your worlds.

Sat Dec 10th – Wrkshp 6 

Connections & Callbacks – Taught by Liz Hutchman

Practice building strong foundational base scenes that are full of things to callback to. Students will build unrelated worlds & tangential scenes so they can then exercise bringing back ideas, relationships and characters in ways that reveal how everything created is actually connected. This is the improv magic.

Sun Dec 11th – Skills 7 

Expanding Environment – Taught by Stacey Hanlon

Environment is everywhere, let’s keep fighting against two headed talking scenes! Learn how ensemble & sideline support can enrich and build out our environments to support and heighten what’s already there. 

Wed Dec 14th – Skills 8

Mapping, Personification & Position Play – Taught by Liz Hutchman

Let’s advance our scenework and explore all the different ways to play. Going into second beats of any first scene – whether in your Harold, Armando or simple Montage, can be unlimited possibilities when you explore all the different ways to draw from a scene. Learn a little more about mapping ideas, initiating premises and understanding how to support commentaries. How to place thematics onto people & things that personify the message. Gaining these skills of advanced thinking & play can elevate your show beyond a cookie cutter 1, 2, 3 exploration of the worlds we create. 

Thu Dec 15th – Skills 9 

Finding the Pattern or Game – Taught by Liz Hutchman 

Let’s return to this idea of pattern & game – not only is revisiting it useful to our group work, but also scenework. Who doesn’t love a little comedic game play from time to time. If you can identify patterns in your characters, relationships, environments, you can establish rules in the moment making it easier to heighten or “play the game”.  

Tue Dec 20th – Skills 10 (Essential Form Skill)

Mastering the UnknownTaught by Liz Hutchman. Otherwise lets F*%k Sh*t Up! Or advanced play. You’ve learned all these amazing foundational skills and your mind is like “whoah” what do I do in this situation, or that one?! If this, then what else?! And Why is my accent changing?! Or Why am I not getting it?! Let go and let yourself free… play like you’ve never played before. Have faith that you’ve done the work & everything you need will show up for you. Don’t fear the mistakes & trust in the magic of improv. Students will also have an opportunity to attempt multiple characters in a scene, playing other ensemble member’s characters, I mean, let’s get weird! 

Elective (via Zoom) To be determined

Marketing & Promotion – Join Liz Hutchman via Zoom to go over simple ways to market & promote your improv shows. Help create a better culture of sharing our performance opportunities with pride! 


Includes access to all 15 classes

Max Students: 8 | Min Students: 6

Cost: $375 ($25.00 per workshop) 

Terms & Conditions

These students are committed to the 5 Form classes 
Sat Dec 3rd – Class 1 – Openings into 1st Beats – Jacque
Sun Dec 4th – Class 2 – Openings Thru 2nd Beats – Jacque 
Sat Dec 17th – Class 3: Openings Thru 3rd Beats – Jacque
Sun Dec 18th – Class 4: Full Run-Throughs – Jacque 
Wed Dec 21st – Class 5: Making Harold your own – Jacque 
Thu Dec 22nd – Harold Showcase featuring Hot Mess. 
Students are also committed to taking a minimum of 5 Skills Classes
Students will have first dibs on all classes in the intensive.
Students are required to attend:
Sat Nov. 27th – Skills 1: Openings & Deconstructing Ideas
Thu Dec 1st – Skills 3: Group Games
Students are highly recommended to attend:
Sun Dec 11th – Wrkshp 7: Expanding Environment 
Wed Dec 14th – Wrkshp 8: Mapping, Personification & Position Play 
Tue Dec 20th – Wrkshp 10: Mastering the Unknown 
Students with 1 year or less of experience & folks doing longform for the first time are highly encouraged to attend:
Wed Nov 30th – Skills 2: Two Person Scenework – Foundational Scenework
Tue Dec 6th – Wrkshp 5: Characters, Relationships & Runs 
Wed Dec 7th – Wrkshp 4: Editing & Heightening 
Sat Dec 10th – Wrkshp 6: Connections & Callbacks 
All Students are encouraged to attend this advanced focus:
Thu Dec 15th – Wrkshp 9: Finding the pattern or game
If the Harold form class does not fill up with full program participants, we will make form spots available to experienced improvisers without the requirement of any skills classes. These spots will be offered by approval only and the 5 form classes with the showcase is a cost of $200.00.


Includes access to all 10 classes

Max tudents: 12 | Min Students: 6

Cost: $300 ($30.00 per workshop) 

For anyone interested in taking all the skills classes w/o the form. Limited number of these packages are available.


Includes access to 5 classes

Cost: $175 ($35.00 per workshop) 

For anyone interested in taking five of the 10 skills classes. Limited number of these packages are available.


Includes access to 3 classes

Cost: $120 ($40.00 per workshop) 

For anyone interested in taking 3 of the 10 skills classes. Limited number of these packages are available.


Includes access to 1 class

Cost: $50 per workshop

For anyone interested in taking just 1 skills class. Limited number of these packages are available.


Students are required to submit their commitment to each class. 
Early registration for the full program opens from November 6th – 13th. 
Students will have until the 13th to submit the skills class they will attend
Students do not have to attend all 15 classes – but are required to attend a minimum of five (including two mandatory skills classes) to qualify for the full program. See the terms above for what classes to be sure you don’t miss.
If students don’t submit their committed dates, your spot in the program is subject to forfeit. 
Spots that are left unclaimed will be made available for ala carte registration of our skills program. 
We will release a few packages on November 13th for folks wishing to take multiple skills classes without the form.
You are required to submit your committed dates to secure your spots in class. Any spots left unclaimed will be made available for single class registration. 
On November 20th we will release any single class spot options that remain. 
This class is included with the purchase of any of our options. Full Program heavily encouraged to take, Single class or skills package, please, join the class & take advantage of it.

Currently Available at Second Beat