Michael J Gellman

Michael J Gellman now resides in Ontario Canada and is Artistic Director of The Process Theatre. He teaches at Loyalist College as well as Master Workshops for Second City International and Artistic New Directions NYC.  He is an alumnus of the Second City mainstage and was a resident director for Second City in Canada and the USA for 25 years. He was Artistic Director of the Second City Toronto where his shows were nominated for 7 Dora Mavor Moore Awards including twice for Outstanding Direction, nominated for Best Director for Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award, and won a Chalmers Award for Best Director. He is a senior faculty and founding member of the Second City Training Center where he was a Program Head and also Director of the NY training Center.

Michael was an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago teaching Acting For Directors in the Film Directing department and designed and taught Improvisation and Acting III for the Comedy Studies department. In addition to Second City and Columbia College he has taught and designed classes and workshops in directing, acting and improvisation since 1976 at such notable institutions as: Actors Centre London, The Audition Centre, Victory Gardens Training Centre, Act One Conservatory and Loyola Law School as well as master workshops for hundreds of Universities, festivals, theatre companies and improv groups around the world. He is credited with originating “Long Form” Improvisation and his book “Process: An Improvisers Journey” (Northwestern University Press) co-authored with Mary Scruggs is a summary of his workshops on improvisational training.


“I was very lucky to start my career under the tutelage of Michael Gellman...and he speaks fluent Canadian to boot.”  Joel Murray

"Michael Gellman is a straightforward, passionate, endless fount of improv wisdom and the most influential teacher of my improv career". Kathryn Greenwood

I don't use the term 'guru,' but if there were an improv guru, that guru is Michael Gellman." Kelly Leonard, Executive Director, Insights and Applied Improvisation - The Second City

Michael Gellman was one of my most challenging and favorite teachers, EVER. Do NOT miss an opportunity to study with this man!   Susan Messing

"All you need to know about improvising meaningful, character-based, socially-conscious comedy, in one brain." Adrian Truss

Michael Gellman's teaching is precise, insightful and inspiring as all get out. In other words, he's the best. Nick Johne

"More than any other teacher (including Del Close), Michael Gellman helped me to understand the fundamentals of improv. He helped to make the abstract concrete, truly."  Michael Clayton McCarthy

Michael Gellman is one of the most influential teachers of improvisation I've ever had, Michael is always in the moment with keen insight and actionable feedback that has helped me grow as an improviser, actor and teacher.  Joe Bill

Michael Gellman is one of the finest, most experienced teachers working today! Bernadette Birkett

"Michael Gellman played a huge and influential role in my improv development. His support always felt like a pat on the back from the whole history of improv." Bill Chott

 Michael Gellman is an improv legend. Jill Bernard, Director of Education HUGE Theater, Minneapolis MN USA