Twenty-five years ago, Chris Wells, a 27-year-old American raised in Missouri, faced Jun Imai, a young Japanese method actor from Tokyo who was on his way to becoming a leading authority on improv in Japan. “We met at an improv show in Tokyo,” Imai says. “We had two teams against each other: a gaijin (foreign) team and a Japanese team.”

Since that day, the couple has developed both a business partnership as well as a romantic one. They launched an improv studio called Studio Gokko with several classes a week, a professional comedy show called Improvazilla performed in English, and they are months away from opening a black box theater for Japanese-language shows. And, in addition to their bilingual lessons, they just held their second Spanish-language improv workshop.

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