Modern Day Longform: Origins

3-Week | 6-Session Intensive

Take as a whole package or ala carte. Meets on Saturdays & Sundays.

Coming to Second Beat this Summer

This three-week intensive is a crash course in Modern Day Longform. Learn some of the early formats of the art form that got us to today so that we may continue to build an incredible tomorrow. Experience the origins to continue the evolution.


Week 1Harold: The Beginning

Enjoy this intensive look at what is considered the first “modern-day” (non-linear) longform structure. Inspired off of organic improvised play, after finding what worked and what didn’t, the Harold was designed as a way to teach folks this modern form of collaborative improvisation. Using the three beat structure, folks learn strong scene work, finding patterns (“game”), heightening, building worlds & making connections. This format is incredible practice for comedy writing and with the emphasis on ensemble, demands that you check your ego for success.  

Week 2Deconstruction: The Anarchy

The story I heard, well there is two, one: The form was created as a way to get rid of the group game. re: Harold, but also as an alternative to the Harold as the “only” format. Two: The Deconstruction evolved into the Miles Stroth philosophy of position play, where folks who think more analytically, can define for themselves the type of scene they are in, and therefore, know better, what moves to make on order to be the most successful & supportive. In a nutshell, Deconstruction is a strong focus on the relationship of two characters, & then, deconstructing their relationship to determine their arc in this world.  Outside of the focus on the single scene, the ensemble uses these different “types” of sceneplay to pull out themes, premises for instant satire and lots of delightful ways to comment on the world of the characters we are following. On order to do all these things, you need a whole tool kit, including a lot of stamina, focus, tempo, pacing, editing and no holding back. This format is an excellent intensive to kick your longform skills into mega high gear. 

Week 2Slacker & Armando: The Evolution

Modern Day Longform is a living thing, and modern improvisors are forming all kinds of “structures”, “formats”, “openings”, to set them apart, challenge themselves, & ultimately, hopefully, put on a great fresh new show. These two formats, Slacker & Armando, were created by our, still living, 2nd generation forefathers of improvisation. The Slacker (created by Beer, Shark, Mice) utilizes the awesome editing mechanism, the tag, and forces the players to think about the worlds potential connections from every scene to the next. Learn how to fold time in, out, over and under itself. The Armando (created by Armando Diaz) was meant to feature a single storyteller and their stories inspire the improvisation. Over the years, much like the creation of the Harold it evolved into an identifiable unified structure to aim for that is sure to jam. We’ll talk about this simplified three beat structure and how to utilize source material to create awesome content, while also maintaining a cohesive show. The two structures paired together really boost your longform! 


Jacque started improvising in 2005 by attending the iO Chicago summer intensive. She returned to Phoenix and started improvising immediately locally. Eventually co-founding the Torch Theatre in 2007 where she contributed to the curriculum and instruction of their program for 10 years. Currently, Jacque is the Improv Instructor at Arizona Actors Academy, as well as Associate Artistic Director. She is also the Education & General Operations Manager for Camp Improv Utopia. Jacque has taught all over the country, in Washington DC, San Diego, Tucson and has taught at Camp Improv Utopia East. Jacque performs at Second Beat every third Friday with Skewed News Hour and Birds & Broads on third Saturdays with Liz Hutchman.