The Math of Improv Workshop w/ Bill Binder


Left-brained thinking is great for analytical, logical, critical thinking. But it can also be a bit judgmental, which is why beginning performers turn it off for a while so they can learn to embrace the imaginative, creative parts of their brains without self-doubt. Once that creative part of the brain learns to thrive, however, most of us never allow the left brain to come out to play. That’s only playing with half the tools available to you. Improv – like any art – is filled with beautiful patterns and symmetries; volume, stage position, and status – they’re all variables which can be toyed with in a beautiful equation. This workshop teaches players not to be ashamed of their analytical gifts, but to learn how to apply them in all of their work to build stronger more cohesive shows.


Bill began performing in Michigan in 1994 where he performed for six years. During this time he served as a company player with The Troupe before moving to Phoenix, AZ in 2000. In Phoenix, Bill helped organize the first Phoenix Improv Festival in 2002, spent two years completing training at the iO West Training Center in Los Angeles, served three years as the youth improv trainer for the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company and was one of the founding members of The Torch Theatre in 2007.

Bill began traveling as an improviser in 2004. He has performed at The Phoenix Improv Festival, The Southern Improv Festival (New Orleans), The Del Close Marathon (New York), Out of Bounds Comedy Festival (Austin) The Chicago Improv Festival, The Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival, The Denver Improv Festival, The New Orleans Improv Festival, The Gila Monster Improv Festival (Tucson), The Black Box Festival (Atlanta), Destroy All Improvisors (Atlanta), red Rocks Improv Festival (Cedar City), San Diego Improv Festival, Coachella Valley Improv Festival, Orange County Improv Festival, The Twin Cities Improv Festival (Minneapolis), The Philadelphia Improv Festival, Improvaganza (Honolulu), Toronto International Improv Festival, The Dallas Comedy Festival, Duke City Improv Festival (Albuquerque), Improv Fest Oklahoma, Alaska State Improv Festival, The Detroit Improv Festival, Festivus (Richmond), Improv Hustle (Chapel Hill), ImprovFest Ireland, The Coulee Region Improv and Sketch Festival and performed part of the International Ensemble in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Bill has taught improv in Arizona at The Torch Theatre, National Comedy Theatre Phoenix, Unscrewed Comedy, Tucson Improv Movement, AZ Jewish Theatre and Mesa Arts Center. He has taught workshops at Improv Utopia and in Atlanta, Austin, Detroit, Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Cedar City, Maui, La Crosse, Tampa, Orlando, Vancouver, Baltimore, San Jose, Providence, Hartford, Seattle, Portland, Dusseldorf, Köln, Paris and Gothenburg.

In 2013, Bill launched the National Improv Network and the festival submission tool which allowed improv troupes to build online resumes for submission to festivals nationwide. In 2015, he built the Teacher booking tool on the same site. Bill and the other instructors of The Torch Theatre were nominated for the Big Brain Awards in 2012. In 2014 he received the Coachella Valley Improv Award for Contributions to Improv.

Currently, Bill performs with Apollo 12, Galapagos and The Foundation is an instructor at The Torch Theatre and producer for the Phoenix Improv Festival.

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