Richard Bennett

Richard has a diverse portfolio of skills and experience, including film, radio, music and theatre production, as well as directing, producing, performing, and teaching improvisation. He’s been the driving force behind Chicago method long form improvisation and the understanding of it in Australia for over ten years, and he’s directed, produced and performed in countless comedy shows for over 20 years.

After a ten year stint writing, producing and improvising for panel and sketch comedy radio, Richard started performing Theatresports® with Impro Australia and turned their training show Scared Scriptless into one of their most successful regular shows, as well as producing and directing other main stage shows.

In 2005 he switched his focus to long form improvisation with shows such as: The Late ShowThe Fourth Wall (integrating live video into improv), Backstreet Stories (extended long form), A Night at the Improv (showcasing troupes), and Arthur B’s Fringe Affair and Erskineville Tonight (improvised tonight show). He was the first to regularly use Chicago method improvisation and long form improv in Australia, and created the first shows using that method.

When Laugh-Masters Academy started teaching the Chicago method in Australia, Richard was brought in for a year to advise and build the school. Building and consolidating the curriculum, building a teaching faculty, defining and creating the house team program, and creating, producing and directing professional quality shows in various theatres.

As an early videoblogger and Internet video pioneer, Richard invented many of the techniques now used for improvised video, including in projects such as 2006’s ground breaking Bonny & Clyde web series and live show, and various improvised short films. His long running podcast Improv Insider interviews artists using improvisation outside mainstream improv, he’s co-devised several new long form formats including What IfSpotlight/Psyched and Duncan, and was once the Australian license holder for Keith Johnstone’s Micetro format. He’s also a musician and has degrees in audio engineering.

Richard’s been called the Archive of Improv Knowledge and The Keeper of Chicago Long Form in Sydney. Whether true or not, his passion for and knowledge of Chicago style improvisation is unrivalled in Sydney, and he is one of the very few Sydney improvisors regularly performing and teaching it. You can see him regularly performing with Pete Lead as the duo Dumping Julie, or with Tony Starr in Hootenanny.

Considered one of the best improvisation teachers in Australia, his school Academy of Improvisation teaches improvisation and improv, based on the research and techniques in his long awaited book Inside Improvisation, which is due for publication in March 2018.

Train with Richard, and you’ll never look at improvisation the same way again.


“I’ve been to second city, I’ve had a lot of training. I rate Richard as one of the best coaches I’ve had [..]” – Brett Jacobs

“Richard is a great instructor and brings a lot of heart to what he does. He is also a walking encyclopedia of improv terms, and is passionate about the art. If you want to learn to cut the bullshit in your improv, you should do his class.” – Karena Thomas


Please use the contact form to contact Richard.