Teacher Faculty

The Covert Theatre teach and perform a variety of improvisational theatre - from short form improv games to full length improv plays. 

The first step is to join the Art of Improvisation classes taught by seasoned improv professionals. The teachers are very experienced in creating a safe, non-judgemental environment essential to learning improvised comedy.

 

TEACHERS:


Art of Improvisation & Covert Workshops


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CJ Le Mon

CJ has been teaching people of all ages for over 20 years. She brings a wealth of broad ranging experience and skills, initially as a qualified Sailing NZ coach, then from the corporate arena and now into the arts. She joined the Covert Theatre in 2011 and started teaching improv in 2018.

What do you love about teaching improv? 

“I love helping people realise they can do something that they thought they couldn’t. I am delighted by being an encouraging hand to hold while the team steps out together and into the unknown – and I really love the amazed expression on their faces when they succeed!”

Why do others like CJ teaching improv?

"CJ’s welcoming smile, enthusiasm and humor made class enjoyable as soon as you entered the room. Me thinks she lives Improv 24/7.”  

"She is friendly, encouraging, easy to learn from and I like her presence and how she handles her students.”

"Amazing energy, radiated positivity, felt an instant connection to her warmth. CJ was amazing at bringing people out of their shells to be really energized and open, she was very encouraging and you could see that people in the group felt more comfortable to take risks in front of her and be more open and share more."


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Greg Ward

Greg Ward has been teaching improv for over a decade and teaches across a wide range of the improvisation spectrum. He is a specialist in the disciplines of musical improv and truth in comedy/drama.    

What do you love about teaching improv? 

“I love teaching improvisation because not only does it feel like a natural extension of my own experience, but it is also incredibly rewarding to guide improvisors in discovering new concepts and ability. I also find while teaching, I’m continually learning – it truly never stops!”

Why do others like Greg teaching improv?

“Greg is so enthusiastic and energetic - loved it! A consummate professional that really challenged us. Very personable, he offered good encouraging feedback, great at building energy in the group."

"Greg was highly knowledgeable and used his knowledge as a guide in a very effective way.  He was really fun to work with."

"Cool chill dude who was super passionate and friendly. Enjoyed his teaching style – he had a nice balance of serious critique and encouragement."


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Mark Scott

Mark has been teaching improvisation since 2001 and enjoys a focus on team storytelling. These connections generally continue offstage and have resulted in treasured local and global networks that keep Mark coming back for more.

What do you love about teaching improv?

“I find new insights when teaching that deepens the work for me and I’m always delighted when a group pull a tale together as one mind.”

Why do others like Mark teaching improv?

"I loved Mark’s classes. He pulled the craziest ideas and such out of us but could also get us to focus incredibly quickly."

"Mark is very engaging. I loved the way that he really encouraged us to step away from our fears and really go for it. His playful nature also encouraged us to perform at our best."

"He has a very creative and unique mind! He’s adaptable and took time depending on our needs with his focus always on the students."


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Michael Fletcher

Michael has been in education for nearly 25 years. As an educator and a leader he continues to learn every single day. He enjoys sharing his love of improv and utilising his 20 years of improv experience.

What do you love about teaching improv? 

"I love helping people to develop and grow as they challenge themselves to be ever more present. I also get a huge buzz from the fact that improv skills are transferable to everyday life."

Why do others like Michael teaching improv?

“Michael provided interesting perspectives and approaches to our work. I liked his sense of humour as well as his decisiveness in helping us with what was and wasn’t working.”

"His direction, insight, knowledge and perspective were so helpful. I really enjoyed his classes.”

“Michael gave really insightful feedback and he had witty ideas and good suggestions for how to build a narrative."


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Tom Kane

Tom brings his vast acting experience to all his workshops and is known for his expertise in physicality and accents. He has been teaching improvisation for over 10 years to people of all ages and has also taught improv workshops in the corporate field.

What do you love about teaching improv? 
"I love encouraging people to step out of their fearful comfort zones, and witnessing their development and breakthroughs. I love guiding people to work as a team, and play like no one's watching."

Why do others like Tom teaching improv?

"Tom’s calm and collected demeanour and approach to teaching made his lesson’s fun, insightful and challenging."        

"Tom’s energy was infectious. He was just excellent fun to be around, really supportive and laughed with us all the way."

"He was approachable and open to lots of questions. I liked Tom’s knowledge, he was very detailed in his explanations about things."


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Wade Jackson

Wade Jackson (PG Dip Drama) has been teaching improvisation since 1996. He has worked on four continents and is regarded as a master teacher. Outside of improv he is a high performance coach who works with corporates, militaries, universities, elite athletes and not-for-profits.    

What do you love about teaching improv?

“Improv liberates you and imparts many important life lessons so I love it when people get what they need out of the art form and enrich their lives."  

Why do others like Wade teaching improv?

“Wade is very approachable, has great wisdom and an absolute passion for this improv that comes through; he’s very inspiring.”

"Fantastic presence, very good at creating harmony in the group and getting people’s energies lifted and in sync. He is very skilled in explaining the techniques and why we were doing things in a certain way and I loved hearing the history of improv and background to the art."

"Wade was great at encouraging us to leave our inhibitions and really jump in and participate. He built a very supportive environment and was also able to relate what we were doing back to life outside the class and made us think about how we behave, which was excellent."


Boost! Building Creative Confidence for Kids


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Nik Edwards

Nik joined the Covert Theatre in 2014. He is an experienced actor, singer and dance teacher. Nik is passionate about working with young people and has done so in many guises - as a primary school teacher, on a cruise ship, as a drama teacher for the Tim Bray Productions Youth Theatre and as an educator at MOTAT. He loves sharing the joy of Improv through performing and teaching.

What do you love about teaching improv?

"It's awesome to see students letting go of the thoughts that hold them back, becoming more and more confident putting themselves out there, and just having a really great time together!"

Why do kids like Nik teaching improv?

“Nik is so much fun. And he can do amazing handstands!"

“He’s funny and gets us to do really cool things.”

“Nik is a really good teacher. He’s patient which is good." 


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Jana Hoffman

Jana has worked with kids for over 20 years as a Occupational Therapist, substitute teacher in schools, and as a private tutor for kids with Dyslexia and other learning challenges. She’s been bringing her expertise to the Covert since 2017. 

What do you love about teaching improv?

“I love helping kids realize their full potential, especially through the modality of play. Teaching kids improv skills is a joy because of the potential for growth in a trusting, creative, cooperative and fun environment." 

Why do kids like Jana teaching improv?

“Jana is sooo nice." 

"Jana laughs a lot. She is always smiling."  

“She’s funny and she makes you feel like you’re part of the group."