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Fri, 04 Nov


Waikanae Beach

Mini Retreat: Finding your Power

We share power moves on stage we've NEVER told ANYONE, plus fun times at the beach with old & new friends!

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Mini Retreat: Finding your Power
Mini Retreat: Finding your Power


04 Nov 2022, 4:00 pm – 06 Nov 2022, 9:00 am

Waikanae Beach, Waikanae Beach, New Zealand


Ever see a performer you love with a distinct voice, presence, and power? This retreat is all about that POWER – in your scenes, in your community, on the beach – THIS is a retreat you can't miss! 

In addition to the usual amazingness of an Improv Connection retreat – nature, ocean swimming, connecting with old & new friends, games, music, chillaxing, and celebration of all you've accomplished in the year – our workshops at this retreat we've never taught before, and may never again. It's all about giving you powerful tools to play with, to make your audience go "WOW how the *&#$ did they do that?"

These one-off retreat-only workshops are brought to you by Ben Zolno (founder of Improv Connection, Doom & Bloom), Austin Harrison (founder of mmmPop Improv, Pop Rox Improv), and Jonathan Mandeno (Improv Connection teacher, Third Party). 

Come experience and celebrate a weekend of improv, community, learning, and fun, all with the beautiful Kāpiti Coast beach on our doorstep!


Le Case de la Playa, a beautiful beachfront home in Waikanae Beach. With plenty of time to relax across the weekend, the ocean being literally on the doorstep is a delight!  


Friday, 4th November

4pm – 5:45pm: Arrival

Get organized, get settled, help build the weekend community vibe

5:45pm - 7:30pm: Cook & Eat Dinner Together

7:30pm - 8:30pm:  WEEKEND WARM UPS with Jonathan Mandeno 

Jon will kick us off with some exercises to ground us in the space, getting us into practice of going for what we want, with simple games to build authenticity and open relating with each other. Great connection to launch the weekend.

8:30pm – 9:30pm: LIGHTNING TALKS – Get on your soapbox! In 5 minutes or less, what do you wanna express about your creative journey? What are you finding joy with lately? Struggling with in improv? Make an amazing discovery? Come on up and talk about it! Then we'll break up into groups to chat about it, and let it percolate throughout the weekend.

9:30pm – 11pm: Free Time & Nightly Cleanup

11pm: Crash time

Saturday, 5th November

9:15am - 9:30am: Improv Warm-Ups with Jeremy

9:30am - 12pm: CREATING CHARACTER HISTORY IN THE MOMENT with Austin Harrison 

Often our most satisfying scenes are between characters who already hold a shared history... but how do you do have a "history" when you're just making it all up on the spot? This workshop explores ways we can create and share instant history with the audience, deepening our characters and relationships to create more fruitful scenes.

12pm - 2pm: Lunch & Free Play – Beach, nap, or other randomness!

2pm - 4:30pm: CHEAT CODES with Ben Zolno

Improv Connection is all about authenticity... UNTIL NOW. While authenticity is the core fundamental of good improv, it's time you learned some tricks. These will blow audience's minds – guarantee the laugh, induce tears, demand dramatic tension, and relieve that tension to evoke a standing ovation. These are secrets Ben has NEVER taught before, and may never teach again, cuz otherwise, they wouldn't be, well... secrets!

4:30pm - 7pm: Free Play, Dinner & Quick Rehearsal

7pm - 8:30pm:  Improv Show Warm-Ups with Jeremy and a SHOW! 

Following some warm-ups with Jeremy, this is our in-house show, just for each other! Bring what you've learned throughout the day to the stage in a fun, casual backyard show.

8:30pm – 10:30pm: Players' Choice

Jam with the teachers? Night hike? Board games you brought? Let's go with the flow...

Sunday 6th November

9am - 10:30am: Closing games, Reflections



We're trying to make this as affordable as possible, so we have different price options. Need a scholarship? Or you can afford to give a little more to make those scholarships & investment in Improv Connection's happen? Please buy what feels good for you, or contact Anna.


There are a mixture of beds, couches, and sleeping spots, as well as the option to camp or sleep in your van. Sign up asap to be the first to get your preferences in. If you're staying in alternative accommodation across the weekend, please let us know. 


The Retreat is roughly 45 minutes- 1-hour drive from Wellington. We encourage carpooling to reduce the environmental impact. The options to offer or request a ride are in our retreat checklist which you will receive after registering.

Waikanae train station is a short-car ride away and there will someone able to pick up those arriving by train on Friday afternoon. More info on that is in the checklist. 


Friday night, we will have a shared group meal. Please bring a plate or dish to share, if you're able. 

You will need to bring food for your Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Sunday breakfast. Don't forget snacks! 

There will be a fully functional kitchen, and it is encouraged to team up with folks to save dinner rushes – discuss in our Student Group on Facebook. 

What to bring

Feel free to bring a notebook and pen for notes and anything fun you might like to contribute to the weekend! Last retreat students brought cornhole, hula hoops, guitars, board games, and hammocks! And snacks!

Of course, bring everything you need for 2 nights - clothes, sleeping stuff, and swimming stuff, if you're feeling brave. A towel, toiletries, and anything you might need in way of personal medication/prescriptions. 

Upon completing the checklist after registration, we will communicate what to bring in terms of bedding. 


As this will be a close-contact weekend, we encourage everyone to produce a negative RAT test before attending and monitor any possible Covid symptoms. In the event of Covid, we are able to transfer the fee of the Retreat to an upcoming Improv Connection workshop, course, or combination of the two. Please stay home if you're feeling sick to protect everyone. If you must stay home due to Covid, we can put half the fee toward a future Improv Connection event.


  • Improv Retreat Ticket

    This ticket includes 2 nights' accommodation and entrance to all workshops across the weekend

    From $259.00 to $359.00
    Sale ended
    • $259.00
      +$6.48 service fee
    • $299.00
      +$7.48 service fee
    • $359.00
      +$8.98 service fee




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