Last night was the opening night of the Laughter for a Change Improv School. I love the first night of new improv classes. You have a group of people who don’t know each other and in eight weeks will be a team — friends, some friendships that will last a long time.

Once, in a twelve-week improv class I taught at UCLA (one three hour meeting

per week), there were two students who met as strangers the first night and twelve weeks later — engaged to be married. In last night’s class, at 7 o’clock there were fourteen strangers, slightly tentative, politely introducing themselves to each other, and three hours later, laughing, joking, discussing surprising connections of mutual friends, similar histories and shared beliefs.

Class finished at 10 pm, and at a quarter to 11, I wandered out with the half dozen former strangers who were still hanging out in the theater. No one wanted to leave – that’s always a good sign.