Format Studio: Harold

Format studio: Harold

What is it? Formats (or forms) provide a framework within which to improvise... an agreed-upon set of conventions or rules to guide and focus play, while inspiring invention. Some of them are structurally intricate, while others feature broader concepts and goals. Examples of the sorts of forms that will be featured in the Format Studio include: Deconstruction, PushPins, Close Quarters, The Bat, Lotus, La Ronde, Guest List and - of course: Harold.

Whereas our Ensemble Studio focuses on the development and creation of thematic longform as an extension of the dynamic of a particular group, the Format Studio will celebrate existing models for performance & play within the canon of western improvisation... tailoring each teaching module to the specific needs and areas of specialization of the particular form being explored.


Format Studio: Harold is  (3-level, 8 weeks a levels, 2.5 hrs a week) taught by Alex Tindal. The brainchild of Del Close (and Charna Halpern, documented in seminal improv text: Truth in Comedy), the Harold is probably the best-known and most hotly-debated longform format played today. Traditionally consisting of an opening followed by a series of scenes and group games, the Harold offers near-limitless possibilities for exploration and adaptation.

Who is the Format Studio for? Experienced improvisers with previous stage experience. (Note: while there will certainly be some philosophical and technical overlap with content covered in the Ensemble Studio, our approach is very specific and we are confident that ESS alumni would find the experience both rich and challenging.) 

When? Sundays 12-2:30pm | January 13th-March 3rd


Instructor: Alex Tindal

Duration: 2.5hrs/week for 8 weeks

Price: $250 (+HST)/level

The Levels work as follows:

  • Format Studio: Harold 1 - emphasis: scenework

  • Format Studio: Harold 2 - emphasis: ensemble

  • Format Studio: Harold 3 - emphasis: structure

PLEASE NOTE: Selected participants will need to commit to all three levels of the course as the work is cumulative. In addition to the in-class hours, students will be required to participate in two performance showcases per term (these are held on Tuesday evenings).

Format Studio: Harold
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Instructor: Alex Tindal. Alex is a multiple Canadian Comedy Award-nominated writer and performer. He has showcased at improv festivals across North America including performances at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in New York, the Second City Chicago and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Alex has trained with many wonderful instructors including Jeff Griggs (Guru: My Days with Del Close), Jet Eveleth (The Reckoning), Pat O'Brien (Saturday Night Live) and Christian Capozzoli (Aerodynamics of Yes) and cut his teeth as a sketch performer in Sunday Night Live as one of the writing/performing cast members of the Sketchersons. Alex was the Head Writer and one of the stars of the hugely-acclaimed Henri Faberge's Feint of Hart immersive comedy rock opera spectacular which began as an artist residency at the University of Toronto and concluded in a run at performance lab space Videofag, as part of their inaugural season. He has created video content for the Toronto Star and VICE.



If you have any questions regarding our classes, please don't hesitate to contact our Academy Director at