"Dan was the teacher who took me aside and taught me that Improvisational Theater isn't about the easy joke or the relatively unearned laugh that comes with it, it's about serving the story. He taught me that the greatest moments and largest, most genuine laughs are found within the narrative. I learned from him when he was my teacher, my scene partner and when I watch him on stage. I continue to learn from him today as I run my own theater. Dan is the teacher that I most want to emulate in my own classes and performances."
Co-Artistic Director Modjeska Playhouse, Artistic Director Modjeska Improv Ensemble, Teaching Artist at South Coast Repertory and Orange County School of the Arts
"Every Australian improviser wishes Dan lived here. We love Dan's style, warmth, intellect and mischief. He directed and performed in our international festival - some of the best improv I've ever seen."
-Russell Fletcher, founder Theatresports Melbourne, director Spontaneous Broadway Australia, director The Decent People
"Dan brings an inspiring combination of skill, intelligence, intuition and kindness to his teaching."
West Coast Improv Legend
“Dan O'Connor is one of my favorite teachers to study with. He excels at creating a safe, warm, encouraging environment in which to play, experiment and fail forward. He is someone that I have consulted with on numerous occasions over the last 20 years in regards to my own teaching, and I consider him a valuable mentor and colleague. He is one of those artists who not only teaches improvisation incredibly well, but also continues to innovate and advance both form and practice.”
Creator of the innovative and groundbreaking international improv show Blind Date
“Dan O'Connor is the best at what he does. Given the tough task of quickly unifying a group of nine actors - strangers with talent, as well as egos and anxieties. He made us a cohesive, trusting unit, ready to go shoot a TV pilot. And he did so with ease. That's what the best do - make the difficult look easy.”
“Dan O'Connor ever so gently nudges his students to open up, be brave, really think about their contributions and to always say, yes, and. He never badgers, never yells, never is disrespectful. Just is always present and watching and encouraging. It is wonderful learning from him.”
“Dan O'Connor was one of the first instructors I ever had, and has been crucial to my understanding of improv since the very beginning. Without his training in our infancy, there would be no improv scene in Austin today.”
"Any class I take with Dan O'Connor feels like I'm taking a graduate course with the Master. He brings a depth of passion to his teaching that is nearly unequaled. I always know I'm going to learn far more than just rules and mechanics when I'm in his class - I'm going to learn about the soul of improv."
"Dan was my first improv teacher. 19 years and many cities and classes later it's clear - he's one of the best you'll ever find. It's not every day you get to learn from such an amazing talent who can reach into your unique personality and pull out the best you've got. If you get a chance to learn from him don't wait. It will change your improv. Heck, it changed my life."
-Alora Dana Cheek
“Dan O'Connor's perceptiveness, gentle humor, and encyclopedic improv knowledge suffuse his teaching and performance work with nutritious goodness for all comers, expert or amateur. Whether training for professional impro stardom, learning better interactivity on the corporate level, or just having fun goofing around in class--which is encouraged--Dan's students come away inspired and improved every time. Sign up with him as soon and as often as you can.”
"Dan has the remarkable ability to nurture the delicacy of a sensitive moment or deepen a funny one."
"Dan O'Connor is an ideal teacher for anyone who wants to study improv comedy.
Not only has he mastered the skills of comedy and story telling through decades of performances and thousands of shows, he remains deeply invested in continuing to learn how to improve his own craft by helping his students grow.
Improv is about listening and this is constantly and consistently demonstrated by O'Connor's keen observation of his students and his ability to make suggesting and improvements that are concise, helpful and always delivered in a positive manner. The highest compliment I ever received when performing improv was hearing Dan O'Connor's joyful laugh from the back of a theater."
"You taught me nothing, except to inspire me to reach further into improvisation than I ever thought possible. That's a pretty big deal to me being a cynic of almost 40 years of improv work, thank you!"
Original Loose Mooser and member of the very first Theatresports Team
"Dan taught 15 members in Palm Springs TheaterSports who were all teachers at a master level who all went back to 5 High Schools and 6 middle Schools and taught students of the Coachella valley for many years. The students thought they were learning improv and acting skills but because of Dan's work with the teachers these young adults not only learned to play Improv and also make better life choices.
It is my opinion that you would be lucky to work and learn from Dan O'Connor."
-Robert J. Teitelbaum
Palm Springs TheaterSports
My very first Improv class at LA Theatersports was taught by Dan O'Connor. I can't believe how much patience he had with me. I was a mom and housewife at the time, and after 3 months of performing, he gently reminded me that not EVERY scene had to open with me washing dishes. It's not always what a teacher says that makes an impression, it's how they say it. Dude, your middle name should have been "fun to learn from this guy"
"Dan truly is a master teacher. He gives specific, helpful direction in a super supportive atmosphere. Add to his virtues patience and a brilliant wit. But more importantly, he can communicate his ideas in a way gets through to his students. I grew so much under his tutelage. He really left a lasting mark on my playing. To this day, I quote Dan (I could never be as eloquent as he is, though, sadly.) The only thing I regret about my years spent studying with Dan is that they had to end. I cannot recommend Dan O'Connor more highly. Working with him would be like hitting the Powerball jackpot. The payoff would last you a lifetime."
“Dan O'Connor taught me how to apply improv principles to my processes as an art director. Learning to say "yes, and" to ideas and learning how to collaborate were byproducts of the improv for writers course I took from Dan 25 years ago. I still use those exercises to run my ideation meetings. His teachings also provided lots of fun word games to play with my kids when they were little.”
Creative Director at BLT and Associates
“Dan O'Connor has been a guest teacher for The Spontaneity Shop on a number of occasions. His master classes are insightful, accessible and enormous amounts of fun. He leaves all our students inspired, excited and wanting more.”
Co-Author the Improv Handbook
“Dan's is the class session you wish wouldn't end. He has a deep understanding of how best to bring stories to life on stage through improvisation and his vast knowledge and appreciation of the history of theatre and acting gives his approach to improvisation an intelligence and richness that is truly exceptional. His impro classroom is a smart, active, positive, supportive environment. Dan keeps students on their toes, without leaving anyone behind. His class is fully participatory; you are learning-by-doing throughout, with his compassionate guidance/direction and backed by his years of practical experience as a performer and director. You count yourself lucky to be in the room with this master teacher.”
President Comedy League of America, founder, producer, performer New York ComedySportz
“Dan O'Connor never teaches "down" to his students; one always feels as equal when working with him. Yet his own proficiency is as present in any given class as are his student's fears, insecurities and inadequacies. In effortlessly manifesting this improbably sense of parity within such a wide range of skill and experience levels, Dan routinely demonstrates one of the most important lessons he seeks to impart upon his students: that the truly great improviser's most enviable talent is the ability to highlight their partner's deepest potential, not their own.”
Dan at TEDx Napa Valley
"Improvising a Better World"