Chapter 1: Why Now?

There have to be people out there wondering “why is someone opening a training center now?”  And yes, it’s a good question.

There’s one answer:  Because now is the right time.

Now, if you’re a good student of improvisation, you should be asking “But why is now the right time?”

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And there are lots of why’s:

1)   Chicago is the improvisation mecca.  And we want to strengthen that with yet another place of learning—with yet another informed point of view.

2)   Some of us have already done iO, Second City—as well as other places.  We love what we have learned from all of them.  That being said, we also could use another point of view that is different from theirs and deserves its own legacy.

3)   In the last couple of years, I have found teaching to be my passion—It has become an every-moment thought for me:  how to be more effective in my methods/words/exercises; what problems plague improvisers and how can we mitigate those problems; what is the best environment for an improviser?…the questions are endless and I want to make it my job to start figuring out those answers.

4)   Don’t we want a place devoted completely to the notion of ensemble? We are stronger as a group—and the individual is made stronger when it realizes the full power of that group.  It is the principle on which improvisation is built and we can celebrate that completely

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5)   As improvisers, we are always students.—even when we are teaching, we are students.  The Chicago Improv Den promises to continue that idea.


And finally…



Dina has toured with and directed for The Second City National Touring Company and has taught/performed/directed all over the great city of Chicago. In 2011, Dina was honored to headline the Denver Improv Festival as a representative of Virgin Daiquiri; that same year, iO Chicago graced her with the title of Improviser of the Year. In 2012, Dina executive produced Virgin Daiquiri’s first album FOOD BABY, now available on iTunes. Dina now performs regularly at iO Chicago with Virgin Daiquiri at iO - where she also co-created CUFFS & DBAG. She has also had the honor of working at Steppenwolf and ATC.

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