Rocket Improv Introduces ‘Give a Penny, Take a Penny’ Financial Assistance Program

by Rocket Improv
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From Rocket Improv

Rocket Improv, New Jersey’s only performing arts school dedicated solely to the teaching and performance of comedic improvisation, has announced a call to action with their financial assistance campaign “Give a Penny, Take a Penny”, which provides families the opportunity to attend the renowned local improvisational training program. The program offers four different coupons that vary in amount–from 25%, 50%, 75%, or the full 100% of tuition–and can be applied as a promo code when parents register their child for classes. The assistance is available immediately for all winter classes beginning January 19th at the DeHart Community Center. Financial aid will be available for upcoming spring classes as well. 

Founded in 2018 by director Lulu French, the Maplewood based Rocket Improv provides kids, tweens, and teens with a wide range of classes focused on comedic improvisation. Instructors have been trained at reputable improv schools from New York City to Chicago. “The students learn not only how to improvise, but they learn improv as a philosophy,” says French. Each class focuses on the tenets of improvisational training, guiding students to be in the moment and engage in the creative cooperation of “Yes, and…” with their scene partner. Learning to be spontaneous and listen to their scene partner requires a bit of “un-training”, a term French coined that describes the practice of releasing control. “Rocket Improv is very much into letting kids be kids, to be themselves and express their unique awesome self, and be loud and wild and silly. It’s all encouraged so that they feel comfortable being themselves.”

For parents searching for engaging activities for their children, improv is a wonderful option, whether their child gravitates to performing or not. This is because Rocket Improv remains committed to an inclusive approach that “fosters self-confidence and helps with social skills,” says French. “We teach our students that it is very important that we support each other, because when we feel supported, we feel like we can take risks.” The lively classes run eight weeks and culminate in performances in front of their friends and family, with the younger kids doing informal “shares” and the tweens and teens performing a showcase at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts.

For kids and parents who are interested in expanding their creativity but are concerned about cost, Rocket Improv will continue to offer robust financial assistance in the spring and their forthcoming summer camps. French is committed to providing creative opportunities for a wide range of students to ensure the demographics of the improv community reflects the wider community at large. “I wanted to create a very simple way for families to sign their kids up for improv without money being an issue,” says French. “A lot of opportunities cost money, and sometimes it’s only families that can afford enrichment activities who participate in the arts. It should be anyone and everyone–a good spectrum of people from different backgrounds and economic classes.”

For families interested in signing up for winter classes at DeHart Community Center, go to www.rocketimprovcomedy.com and select “Classes for Youth”. To utilize the financial assistance, there is no need to submit a separate request–simply input the promo code that best suits your family’s needs at the time of registration. For anyone interested in supporting the ‘Give a Penny, Take a Penny’ campaign, there is also an option to donate to the fund. With this program, French is determined to ensure the arts are not a luxury. “I would like Rocket Improv to be available to any kid who’d like to give it a try,” says French. “We’d love to have them!”

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