About the company

Transactors Improv is the longest-running improvisational theater in the south. Our work focuses on emotion, physicality, character, commitment, teamwork, and fun.

Transactor Group PhotoThe company formed in 1983 at The ArtsSchool in Carrboro, N.C., as a children's theater. Much of its work was scripted, but over time the group metamorphosed into a professional touring company performing improvisational theater for audiences of all ages.

Transactors Improv performs primarily in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill although it has appeared coast to coast and from Florida to Canada. The company has been heard on National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Co. Transactors Improv also teaches people of all ages in a wide variety of venues, from corporations and colleges to elementary schools and arts camps.

Members of Transactors Improv have had the opportunity to study individually and collectively with the leading lights of improv, including Groundlings founder Gary Austin, Joe Bill, Del Close, Martin de Maat, Charna Halpern of iO, Keith Johnstone, Annoyance Theater's Mick Napier, Second City, Paul Sills, and Mark Sutton.

Based in Chapel Hill, N.C., Transactors Improv is a not-for-profit corporation and has been supported in part by grants from the Orange County Arts Commission and the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency receiving partial funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

What we offer

Programs for presenters

  • Performances in theaters, including community-based residencies
  • Performances in schools, including school-based residencies
  • Performances at festivals and trade shows
  • Performances at private events: birthday and anniversary parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, debutante balls, work gatherings... (We've done it all.)
  • Workshops and classes for students of all ages, including master classes
  • Contact us at or 919.824.0937 and tell us what you have in mind! We customize our programs to fit our clients' needs and desires.

    Self-produced programs

  • Public performances at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, our home theater
  • Public performances at Common Ground Theatre in Durham
  • Courses and workshops:
  • Applied Improv (FIZ): An exciting, effective, and fun educational/training program utilizing the principles and techniques of improvisational theater in non-traditional venues
  • See our Events Calendar for what's happening now!

    Performance styles

  • Long-form improvisation: One- and two-act pieces 30-120 minutes long, composed of interrelated shorter scenes, in which narrative, characters, and themes arise and evolve--kind of like scripted plays
  • Short-form improvisation: Discrete scenes 3-10 minutes in length
  • The Professors: a new monthly series set at a fictional Triangle-area institution of higher learning.
  • The Musical! : We employ the styles and conventions of post--World War II Broadway to create a big show, replete with overture, show-stoppers, dance numbers, ballads, choral sections, and a rousing finish.
  • Transactors Experimental Theater (TET): Open workshops dedicated to exploring new improv forms and principles and developing company members
  • We don't perform scripted sketches, stand-up comedy, or a lot of theater games (although we are certainly not against any of these things).

    Some Places Where We've Performed and Taught

    Festivals | Educational Venues | Theaters | Corporate and organizational venues


    Artsplosure, Raleigh, N.C.
    Atlanta Arts Festival
    Big Stinkin' Improv Festival, Austin, Tex. (twice)
    Chicago Improv Festival
    First Night (Annapolis, Charleston [S.C.], Charlotte,
    Raleigh, and Winston-Salem)
    Forest Theater Festival, Chapel Hill
    iO South Improv Invitational, Raleigh
    Just for Laughs Improv Tournament, Montreal
    A Love Affair, Tifton, Ga.
    Miami Improv Festival
    Minnesota Fringe Festival, Minneapolis
    North Charleston (S.C.) Arts Festival
    Panoply, Huntsville, Ala. (twice)
    San Francisco Improv Festival
    Spoleto Festival Theatre Fringe, Charleston, S.C. (six times)
    Spontaneous Combustion improv festival, Kansas City, Mo.
    Stoneleaf Theatre Festival, Asheville, N.C. (twice)

    Educational venues

    Augusta State University, Augusta, Ga.
    Averett College, Danville, Va.
    Brenau University, Gainesville, Ga.
    Columbia College, S.C.
    Duke University, Durham, N.C.
    Durham Academy, N.C.
    East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.
    Firespark Summer Arts Program, Gainesville, Ga.
    Francis Marion University, Florence, S.C.
    Medical University of S.C., Charleston
    Morehead Foundation, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    N.C. School of Science and Math, Durham
    N.C. Teaching Fellows Program, Charlotte
    Pfeiffer University, Albemarle, N.C.
    Piedmont Arts Assoc., Martinsville, Va.
    Presbyterian College, Clinton, S.C.
    Princeton Day School, Princeton, N.J.
    Rockingham Community College, Wentworth, N.C.
    S.C. Governor's School, Charleston
    StArts, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C.
    State University of West Georgia, Carrollton
    Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Va.
    Tri-District Arts Consortium, Columbia, S.C.
    University of North Carolina: Asheville, Chapel Hill
    Greensboro, Pembroke, and Wilmington campuses
    William & Mary College, Williamsburg, Va.
    Woodberry Forest School, Va.
    School systems throughout the Southeast


    Andy Griffith Playhouse, Mt. Airy, N.C.
    The ArtsCenter, Carrboro, N.C.
    Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Fayetteville, N.C.
    Cedarhurst/Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, Ill.
    Columbus Area Arts Council, Columbus, Ind.
    Common Ground Theatre, Durham, N.C.
    Gainesville Arts Council, Ga.
    Hickory Community Theatre, Hickory, N.C.
    Manbites Dog Theater, Durham, N.C.
    Paramount Theater, Burlington, N.C.
    Reston Community Center Theatre, Reston, Va.
    Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem
    Sunrise Theatre, Southern Pines, N.C.
    Temple Theatre, Sanford, N.C.
    Tryon Little Theatre, Tryon, N.C.
    Arts councils throughout the Southeast

    Corporate and organizational venues

    CSC Index
    First Bank of S.C.
    Mobius Group
    N.C. Society for Quality Assurance
    Northern Telecom
    Professional Secretaries International
    SAS Institute
    Southeast Public Health Leadership Institute
    Southern Company

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