This page contains important and pertinent information regarding The Institution Theater and general policies for our students. All new students should read it thoroughly and keep a copy for their reference. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the office. Every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date. However, things are subject to change without notice.

Here you will find:

Our Philosophy

We celebrate the artist and poet in everyone.

We remove the training wheels from this art-form.

We believe creativity can positively influence every aspect of life. We want you to discover the truth of this for yourself.

You will learn to trust your voice, and to use it to achieve joy and overcome fear.

In our space, mistakes do not exist, only unexpected results. We ask you to embrace them.

We offer a unique viewpoint based on the student developing a stronger sense of self, and drawing from their individual perspective and inspiration to contribute to the creative collaboration of the scene.

PAYMENTS & REFUNDS

Refund Policy

If the class is sold out and we’ve had to turn people away, we will give a 75% refund if we are able to fill that slot. In the event that the class was not sold out (we didn’t have to turn anyone away) you can get a 50% refund within two days after first class. 25% refund two days after the second class. After that, all sales are final.

Tuition Policy

All sales are final. Tuition is non-refundable, non-transferable. The Institution Theater reserves the right to accept or deny any application.

Returned Checks

A $25.00 fee will be assessed for returned checks due to insufficient funds or closed accounts.

Early-bird Tuition Discount

Continuing students who enroll before the early-bird deadline (usually at the end of week 7 of a term) may be eligible for a $10 early-bird discount.

Performance Discounts and Freebies

Institution Theater students receive free admission to Institution Theater shows provided there are seats available when they present their Student ID card at the Box Office. Even at sold out shows, there are tickets that remain unclaimed that can be released to whomever is interested, which happens 5 minutes prior to show time. Treat the box office staff with respect and they will do their best to accommodate you. They work very hard and are good at what they do.

If you would like a guaranteed seat, you can purchase a ticket online in advance using the code “StudentTicket” which will give you a discount. Some shows, however, are co-produced with other companies and as such are more limited in what discounts can be offered.

Students are encouraged to see as many improv performances as they can from the diverse selection of improv theaters/schools in the Austin improv community. The Institution is one of five theaters (“the five families”) which represent a wide range of the styles and are sometimes produced by faculty, guest artists, current students and alumni of The Institution Theater. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you attend as many of these as possible. The students who take the time to see all the shows find that their class work is greatly enhanced. Bring your Institution student ID card with you; some improv theaters will give you a student discount or in some cases allow you in free depending on the availability of seats.

CLASS GUARANTEES & REQUIREMENTS

Class Times & Scheduling

In order to make the most of every moment of class time, students need to arrive on time and be prepared to start warm-up exercises immediately. It is best to arrive a few minutes before class time, in order to select a seat, stow personal items, and have a moment to talk with classmates before class starts. You are also highly encouraged to bring a notebook with you.

We aim to make your class schedule constant throughout each term. Plan to be with the same group on the same day at the same time for the duration of the program. Instructors will strive to give all students as much advance notice as possible should class times/location change or need to be cancelled. A change may be necessary when class schedules conflict with major holidays or improv community events.

Making Up Classes

Students are invited to sit in on any classes of their level or lower as a make-up for missed classes, for additional training or to brush up on certain skills. Friends and guests of students, however, are not permitted as that can create an awkward atmosphere for the other students in class.

A current class schedule is posted on the website homepage at the bottom. If you are uncertain about when you can make up a class, please contact your teacher using the information on the back page. Make-up classes are for your benefit.

During the 6th and 7th week of the term, students are preparing for upcoming performances and therefore students from other classes would not be able to participate. Each instructor has the right to inform any student who is making up a class whether they may participate and to what degree.

Missing more than two of your scheduled class times can be grounds for repeating a term as decided by the instructor. Even though a student may make up their missed classes, the student is also required to be part of an ensemble. Missing their regularly scheduled class jeopardizes their involvement within that ensemble.

Advancement

It is not guaranteed that students will advance to the next level of classes. Every effort will be made to work with students, but in the best interests of the student and the rest of the class a student may be required to repeat a class before advancing. This is not a reflection on a student’s potential; some concepts may just take longer to learn.

Students Returning from Hiatus

Sometimes a student may wish or need to take time off from classes due to personal reasons. Should this occur, please contact The Institution Theater office. Please note that when you return, the instructors reserve the right to place you in an appropriate level at their discretion.

Returning students must pay the tuition rate that is applicable at the time of rejoining The Institution Theater. Any student returning after more than one (1) year of absence is required to rejoin the program at a level determined by the Education Director.

Substitute Instructors

A qualified substitute teacher may sometimes be necessary due to the fact that our faculty is comprised of working artists. When possible, students will be notified by their instructor in advance. However, sometimes advance notice is not possible.

Class Attire & Behavior

Wear comfortable clothing to class — something you can roll around on the floor in and not worry about. Be prepared to make yourself warmer or cooler no matter what the weather may be like outside.

Students will be respectful of the instructors during classes. The instructors have many years of performing and teaching experience and use this experience when giving notes and instructions. When receiving notes from the instructor, questioning for clarification is okay; arguing and whining is not. Students will also be respectful of their classmates. Suggestions and constructive comments are welcome; however criticism of a peer’s work is not acceptable. Leave the teaching to the instructor.

 

Student Showcases

You are in a program designed to teach you how to perform in an Institution Theater company. As such, students are encouraged to perform in a Student Showcase with their class ensemble at the end of the term as long as they are in attendance at the class scheduled before the showcase. Every effort will be made to schedule the Showcase at a time and place that is convenient for all members. Students are encouraged to invite relatives and friends to the Showcase and to publicize it appropriately.

Participation in the Student Showcase is completely optional and is contingent upon the approval of your instructor. Issues with attendance or behavior, onstage and off, could affect your eligibility to perform.

There is a jam every Sunday, The Rubber Room, that is designed to give all levels of students a chance to perform. There are also mainstage shows that you will be invited to audition for.

Listing Your Class Shows on an Actors’ Resume

It is important that for any audition, whether through The Institution Theater or not, you represent your training and show experience with us correctly and honestly. Please list the location or producing body on all your Institution Theater experience as “The Institution Theater, Austin.” After completing a program, list yourself as an “Institution Theater Alumni.”

If you are interested in more information on auditioning or creating a resume, The Institution Theater regularly hosts workshops and events that cover the essentials of auditioning. Check the website for upcoming workshops of this sort.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Valuables

Try not to bring anything of value with you to the theater and never leave your belongings unattended. The Institution Theater may not be held responsible for any lost or stolen articles.

Trust Fall Café

“Fall, and figure out what to eat on the way down.”

Our concession stand in the box office is open to our students who need a snack before ore during class. Payment is on the honor system. Simply place your money in the cup on the door of the refrigerator. Pricing for all items is listed on the refrigerator.