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Merlin Works Institute for Improvisation in Austin, Texas began as a comedy school, founded by Shana Merlin, specializing in the art of improvisational theater. Our teachers have won Best Improv Teacher and Best Improv Class, Austin Critics Table Awards, B Iden Payne Awards, Best of the Fest at Frontera Fest and Best Improv Troupe in The Austin Chronicle.

As the school gained acclaim and our students gave us feedback about how useful their new skills were in their home and work environments, we began to notice an important connection. Improvisers perform quickly and confidently as a team, with incomplete information, insufficient resources, constant change, and high stakes. Our challenges on stage are just like the challenges at most people’s work. Despite the circumstances, we accomplish everything that is expected of us and more while having fun and moving at an incredibly fast pace.

Studies are now finding that the best project managers, directors and customer service agents out there have the ability to improvise; they can think on their feet, adapt to change and move forward through uncertainty. So, in 2003 we expanded to include training in communication and teamwork, to facilitate this skill development for companies interested in moving to the top of their field.