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2018 clAsS OfFeRIngs

Dear Students, Everyone who walks into The Second City has a different story. We come from Old Town, or Evanston, or Omaha, or Tokyo. We are writers, or actors, or filmmakers, or none of those things. We seek a career, or a hobby, or inspiration, or a friend. But wherever we were, whoever we are, it got us here. So now what? Now you let your story unfold. This is your setting, your creative home base, where you can explore who you are and who you want to be in a supportive, inclusive environment. It’s your playground, where you can try, and fail, and laugh as you get back up and do it all again. You can take a workshop, audition for a show, meet a partner to write a sketch, or grab a bench, look at the skyline, and contemplate the fate of the universe. And the coolest thing is you won’t be doing it alone. You’ll be working with amazing teachers who want to help you reach your goals. You’ll get guidance from our terrific staff who want to help you navigate the possibilities. Your journey here will lead you to experience what it means to be a part of an ensemble whose passion and diversity will carry you to new heights, just as you’ll carry them. Make no mistake, this work just might change your life. We need creative outlets and people in our lives in this political climate, for our own sense of wellness, and to give us perspective. This place can be a haven for carefree play or a crucible to develop your voice to use comedy to speak out about the insanity of the world around us. This art form is meaningful, and your part in it essential. Thank you for being brave enough to take the first step. Let’s get started. Matt Hovde, Artistic Director The Second City Training Center, Chicago

Table of Contents Yes, And we have a class for everyone.

I Just Wanna Have Fun ……. 4 Improv…... 5 Acting…... 6 Movement & Physical Theater 7 Writing…... 8 Writing with The Onion 10 Storytelling & Stand-Up .... 11 Music…... 12 Intensives…... 13 I Want to Improve My well-being…... 15 I’m an Aspiring Entertainment Pro……. 16 The Conservatory…... 18 Music…... 20 Acting Lab…... 22 Directing & Producing…... 23 Advanced Improv...... 24 TV, Film & Digital…... 26 Harold Ramis Film School…... 29 Intensives…... 30 Comedy Studies…... 32 Get On Stage…... 33

I Want to be even better at my job ……. 34 Improv for Teachers …... 34 Improv for Clinicians …...34 Comedy & Advertising …... 35 Private Study …... 35 RewireU …... 35 I Don’t Live Near a Training Center……. 36 Online Classes ... 36 Beginner Intensives...14 Advanced Intensives ... 30 General Info…... 38 Flip Over for Kids & Teens Courses

TY.COM 312-664-3959 • SECONDCI @secondcitYCHITC


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Improv Levels A-E

• Level A: Ensemble and Play • Level B: Scene Work • Level C: Character Work • Level D: Advanced Scene Work • Level E: Improv in Performance Performance: Level C & D students have demonstration performances at the end of each term. Level E culminates in a 45-minute, one-act, fully improvised show. Students who have completed a degree program in theater should consider the Improv for Actors (IFA) program. 2.5-3 hours • 8 weeks each

Improv Express

Go faster with Improv Express! Explore the same concepts taught in our Improv Levels A - E classes, but in a shorter time period by meeting twice a week instead of once a week. • Improv Express Level 1: Ensemble and Play into Scene Work •Improv Express Level 2: Character Work and Advanced Scene Work •Improv Express Level 3: Improv in Performance

a gift improv can be, There are no mistakes (in improv)! Learn what work situations, group in whether you want to be more adaptable art form. Students new a learn or skills, ing speak improve your public s, and end in game and t, nmen begin in Level A with ensemble, enviro vised show. impro fully own their rming perfo and rsing Level E by rehea

Performance: Improv Express Level 2 includes a demonstration performance at the end of the term. Improv Express Level 3 culminates in a 45-minute, one-act, fully improvised show. 3 hours • Twice a week 8 weeks for Levels 1 and 2; 4 weeks for Level 3

Improv F(orever) Private Groups

Finished the A-E program or Improv Express? Want to keep improvising in a structured-but-casual environment with your ensemble? Contact chicagoadmissions@ to get more info about working with an improv teacher of your choosing at a time that works for your group. 2 - 3 hours • 6 - 8 weeks • Length and time of class determined by your group!

Improv Test Drive

Our weekly drop-in improv class is open to everyone, whether you have experience or not. Register online or in person before class. First come, first-served. 2 hours • Fridays at 5:30PM, Sundays at 4:30PM, and Sundays at 7PM

Improv Jam

Led by a Training Center faculty member, jams feature fun, challenging, short form games and exercises. Students of all levels are welcome to participate. FREE. 2 hours • Thursdays at 10PM


Acting 1: Beginning Acting

Acting 4: Styles

3 hours • 8 weeks

Prerequisite: Acting 3

Examine fundamental acting skills, focusing on tools from the intellectual side of the human condition. These include play analysis, beat work, monologue work, and the audition process.

Acting 2: Scene Study

Focus on partner work and emotional skills. Students will be assigned a dramatic scene and partner while learning various tools, like sense memory, emotional memory, and personalization. Self-esteem and building the performer’s confidence are vital components to this work, as well. Prerequisite: Acting 1 3 hours • 8 weeks

Acting 3: Advanced Scene Study


core rs students with the necessary The Acting Program empowe as an ning lear and th grow their own skills to take responsibility for ng that enables acti of hod met ue uniq a rs actor. This program offe d in the physical, emotional, students to discover skills foun h of the human condition. Eac ects asp l intellectual, and spiritua the from d ieve ach s skill n the level of the program builds upo be working in the business will also previous one. Auditioning and actors or rs inne beg for t grea is ram examined in class. This prog sroom for a while. who have been out of the clas g classes? Go to page 22.

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Focus on physical skills. Students will be assigned a comedic sketch and will be part of an ensemble piece with the whole class. Tempo, repetition, body placement, and nonverbal communication are just a few of the tools explored.

Prerequisite: Acting 2 3 hours • 8 weeks

Learn what you need in order to approach any work with heightened physical or language elements, and use all of the tools from the previous levels to create a well-rounded character. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Voice & Speech

A fundamental course designed to enhance performance skills by developing an open, well-placed, well-supported speaking voice. Emphasis on the fundamentals of good stage speech, including a study of the International Phonetic Alphabet, vocal expression, projection, identifying vocal regionalisms, and developing Standard American articulation. 3 hours • 8 weeks


Gain knowledge and practice through researching and preparing dialects that are commonly used in contemporary dramatic texts. Skills learned in this class help students become more versatile and well-rounded performers. Prerequisite: Voice & Speech 3 hours • 8 weeks


This movement class is designed to change the way performers look, move, and feel on stage. Students will learn to use their bodies to make strong character choices, increase ranges, and feel more confident. 2 hours • 8 weeks


Students strip away layers of selfconsciousness while familiarizing themselves with the bare bones of theatrical clowning. Learn to establish a direct and immediate relationship with an audience and become complicit with scene partners while moving through performance space with musicality. Participants will focus on exercises in clowning, physical comedy, and improv to heighten their natural sense of play. Prerequisite: Movement 3 hours • 4 weeks

is a unique program focusing Movement & Physical Theater s of the performer to create on developing the physical skill clowning to tap dance From purposeful, fluid expression. comedy delights audiences and stage combat, physical il and range to scenes deta and is a great way to add ses within this program clas ous vari The ers. and charact st of this classic art arti ed skill a help students become rov, acting, and more. form that can be applied to imp

Stage Combat

Ever wanted to learn how to slap someone, deliver a punch to the stomach, or fall without hurting yourself or anyone else in the process? Stage Combat focuses on the skills needed to protect the actor and their instrument when engaged in stage violence. A working knowledge of stage combat is essential to any performer’s training, and this class will give students those fundamental skills. Prerequisite: Acting 2 or Improv Level C 3 hours • 4 weeks

Tap Dance for Theatrical Characters

Enhance comic dialogue, songs, and musical theater stage performance with some footloose and fancy-free hoofing. This workshop focuses uniquely on blending the basic fundamentals and styles of tap to enliven participants’ theatrical capabilities. Tap shoes are encouraged, but not required. 1.5 hours • 6 weeks


Our core Comedy Writing program is a yearlong cou rse of study introducing students to the fundamentals of ske tch comedy writing and culminating in a one -act sketch comedy sho w performed by top Training Center talent and produced by the wri ting students themselves. Whether you want to get better at writing for yourse lf or for others, this program is for you! Looking for TV/film writing


classes? Go to page 26.

Writing 1: Foundations of Sketch Comedy

Brainstorm ideas, create rich environments, craft dialogue that works, and build sharp storylines based on the five-point story structure. Explore comedic formulas and the Second City approach to crafting relatable characters and bringing a “Yes, And” mindset to the writing process. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Writing 2: Sketch Structure

Analyze archival material to understand how a Second City-style revue is built. Learn to pitch scenic ideas, create strong relationships, and build quirky cast scenes.

Writing 4: Creating Satire

Evolve writing skills by exploring theme, joke construction, and practical applications for comedy writing. Students will strengthen their comedic voices, sample comedic songwriting, plunder history for inspiration, and explore custom writing challenges from The Second City theatrical world. This course includes a staged reading of students’ material on a Training Center stage. Prerequisite: Writing 3 3 hours • 8 weeks

Writing 5*: Creating a Revue

Writing 3: Elements of a Sketch Revue

In Writing 5, students will write an original comedy revue. Individual and collaborative assignments will generate an abundance of material. Explore theme, variety, and theatrical possibilities and assemble a running order. The term ends with a casting session of performers drawn from student and alumni actors of the Training Center. This course requires a significant amount of out-of-class work.

This course includes a staged reading of students’ material on a Training Center stage.

This course includes a staged reading of students’ material on a Training Center stage.

Prerequisite: Writing 1 3 hours • 8 weeks

Students will deepen their understanding of the revue through new sources for ideas. Visual jokes, writing for specific actors, and personal experiences become the inspiration for written work.

Prerequisite: Writing 2 3 hours • 8 weeks

Prerequisite: Writing 4 3 hours • 8 weeks

Writing 6: Producing a Revue

Building on the work of Writing 5, this class shifts into production mode. Students will produce a Second City-style revue, from pre-production through closing night. Use improv and collaboration to refine material and punch up jokes. Students will take on professional production roles as they stage scenes, add music, and prepare for opening night in Donny’s Skybox Theater or the de Maat Studio Theater. 3 hours • 8 weeks Performance: Student revues are staged in one of the Training Center theaters for a 4-5 week run. *Students who wish to continue on to Writing 5 must submit a scenic writing sample for admission. Students who are enrolling in Writing 5 can also register for their Writing 6 class and receive the multi-class discount. Students returning from hiatus wishing to enroll in Writing 5 should contact the office at 312-664-3959 no less than four weeks before the start of a new term.


Designed for experienced writers and performers, Accelerated Writing covers material taught in Writing 1, 2 & 3 in one term. Prerequisite: Completion of Conservatory or Instructor Approval 3 hours • 8 weeks

S TART T HAT BOOK YOU’V E BEEN MEANING T O WRIT E! Writing the Humorous Memoir

Tell the stories of your life in a concise and entertaining way. Through lots of in-class writing, learn where to start your story and gauge the tone of your writing and level of disclosure before sharing your personal story with the rest of the world. 3 hours • 8 weeks


Basic Writing with The Onion

An introduction to The Onion’s unique top-down approach to comedy writing, learn how to implement the approach to craft successful comedic premises and concepts with detailed instruction and in-depth workshops from current Onion staff. Prerequisite: Competency with English composition and grammar


The laugh potential rises exponentially in this exploration of comedy writing in groups. Learn to navigate the egos and politics of a writers’ room to create the most successful comedy possible using The Onion’s counterintuitive, egoless creation process, resulting in an end product that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

3 hours • 8 weeks

Prerequisite: Intermediate Writing with The Onion

Intermediate Writing with The Onion

3 hours • 8 weeks

Students will learn how to write a successful comedic story, hone prose to a fine edge, and apply The Onion’s style of comedy creation to cultivate their own voice and style. In hands-on workshops, work with the instructor and other students to develop foundational comedy writing skills. ion to present this partnered with The On The Second City has ion’s uniquely On The ng lini rse out fundamental writing cou g comedy ideas pin generating and develo signature method of Learn how e.” urc So ws Ne a’s Finest while also and stories ala “Americ ers -lin one mises, essays, and it to create winning pre trust to produce e comedic voice--and finding your own uniqu through go ts mor writing. Studen reliably successful hu ironment. env hop rks wo a in s p proces The Onion’s multi-ste

Advanced Writing with The Onion

Prerequisite: Basic Writing with The Onion 3 hours • 8 weeks

The Onion Master Class

This class mimics the organization’s real writers’ room, giving participants an experience very similar to working at The Onion. By applying all techniques learned in the first three levels, students will produce publish-worthy humor stories, articles, or features. This course features intense hands-on work with the instructor, as well as group projects. Prerequisite: Advanced Writing with The Onion 3 hours • 8 weeks

Storytelling 1: Discovering Your Story

Turn your unique, exciting, or intense personal experiences into strong, evocative, and conversational ‘Moth’-like stories. Learn about theme, teasing out elements of your story to support that theme, and discovering an organic structure for your piece. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Storytelling 2: Crafting Your Story

Learn the craft of shaping the events of your own life into a compelling story. Mine your personal experiences for storytelling gold, and learn how to shape the arc of your story while performing in front of your classmates for feedback on structure, content, and context. Prerequisite: Storytelling 1 or equivalent experience 3 hours • 8 weeks

in Second City’s Stand-Up and Discover your unique comedic voice an improvisational approach uses Storytelling courses. Stand-Up ic material. Craft your set, com solo of ery deliv and tion to the crea to navigate your first how ver disco and learn joke construction, structure and craft to bring help ses cour g tellin Story mic. open g ways. Many Stand-Up and autobiographical stories in compellin al showcase of student work. Storytelling courses end with a casu

Storytelling 3: Performing Your Story Work with a Second City instructor to learn how to tell a powerful and compelling story with solid structure, sensory detail, honest emotion, genuine and dynamic presence, humor, generosity, and character work. Prerequisite: Storytelling 2 or equivalent experience 3 hours • 8 weeks

So You Want to Try Stand-Up

Go from “I wish I could” to “Wow, I did!” in a supportive workshop environment. Participants will write, improvise, and discuss material in preparation for their first stand-up open mic performance. 3 hours • 1 day

Stand-Up 1: The Basics

Develop as a solo performer by writing and workshopping comedic material. Students will learn how popular stand-up comics evolved, expand their comfort zones, and experiment to discover their own unique styles. Class culminates in a final performance on one of The Second City Training Center’s stages. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Stand-Up 2:

Students will build on the skills developed in Stand-Up 1 by honing their comedic voices through a variety of exercises and personal feedback. Class culminates in a final performance on one of The Second City Training Center’s stages.. Prerequisite: Stand-Up 1 3 hours • 8 weeks


Vocal Basics 1

Focus on vocal technique, both sung and spoken. The curriculum includes group study, as well as substantial individual attention to improve range, flexibility, and power. 3 hours • 4 weeks

Basic Guitar for Improvisers

Learn how to strum a handful of chords, how to use a capo, and more. Whether students want to write songs for a show, or just jam out, a few major and minor chords will help you achieve your goals! Students need to bring own guitar.

Vocal Basics 2

Focus on solo and character work, preparation for a sung audition, and an increased awareness of how to protect the voice in both musical and non-musical improv. Prerequisite: Vocal Basics 1 3 hours • 4 weeks

Music Improv Fundamentals

Learn essential skills needed to create improvised songs and musical scenes. Strengthen vocal technique, improve musicianship, learn to rhyme, and apply existing improv skills to song. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Comedic Songwriting

Discover the foundation of creating musical numbers for a Second Citystyle revue. Designed for musicians and nonmusicians alike, this is a great way to build a portfolio and gain valuable experience. 3 hours • 8 weeks

1.5 hours • 4 weeks

You Could “Uke”

Spend four weeks exploring the rudiments of playing the ukulele. Learn tuning, chord vocabulary, and applied music theory. We’ll supply students with an arsenal of strums and easy licks. Come prepared to sing, play, and have a fun time. Students need to bring own ukulele. 1.5 hours • 4 weeks

The Musical Improv Jam

A Second City Musical Director will lead participants through fun and challenging short form music improv games. Students of all levels are welcome to participate. FREE • 1.5 hours Saturdays at 4PM.

The Second City Music Program is dedicated to helping students explore comedy’s unique relationship to music through voice, instruments, improvisation, and songwriting.

Looking for our yearlong Music Improv program or other professional-level classes? Go to page 20.


Our week-long Intensives meet Monday - Friday, and most are designed so that students can take more than one in a given week. Four consecutive levels of Intensives in improv and writing are offered in the summer, along with Intensives in specialty topics. Students with previous training wishing to bypass levels should contact intensives@ for advanced placement. Students with extensive experience should consider the Intensives listed on page 30. Intensive students receive a voucher for a Second City or UP Comedy Club show, pending availability. Our summer Intensives coincide with the Summer Comedy Camps, so parents and kids can take class at the same time. Students who complete Intensives should contact the Training Center regarding eligibility for placement in regular 8-week classes.

h courses in the Our Intensive Programs are cras ond City uses to find, Sec The s hod met and ies philosoph ition to locals, these add In . erial explore, and create mat all over the country and programs attract students from t new friends, and take mee s, skill new abroad. Come learn edy scene! advantage of Chicago’s rich com sives? Go to page 30.

Looking for more advanced Inten

IMPROV Improv 1: Fundamentals

A detailed look at the principles and processes of improv for beginners, including ensemble work, play, and beginning scene work.

Improv 2: Character & Scene Work

Learn many techniques for developing strong characters, including status, point of view, and subtext. Also explore the elements of good scene work, such as beats, environment, and emotional life.

Improv 3: Advanced Scene Work

Building upon the foundation of Level 2, students will deal with a more mature type of improv that can be harvested for sketch. Focus on topics such as advanced character creation, scene/premise structure, acting, reference level, and using music to find scenes and characters.

Improv 4: Improv Into Sketch

Dive into how Second City uses improv to develop sketch material. Explore concepts like satire, using improv sets, re-improvising scenes, and the key elements of a Second City running order.


WRITING Writing 1: Fundamentals & Components of Sketch Comedy

An introduction to sketch comedy techniques including characterization, comic premise, and story structure.

Writing 2: Working with Premises for Sketch Comedy

A further exploration of using comic premises to develop original sketch comedy for students who have completed Writing Intensive 1.

Writing 3: Elements of a Comedy Revue - Variety and Bits

Students will expand their comedy writer’s toolkits. From full-cast scenes to monologues, discover the types of sketches that round out a Second City revue.

Writing 4: Advanced Topics in Sketch

Students will refine their comedic voice and strengthen their skill in revision while learning premises that break the rules – clothesline scenes, songs, and more.


Stand-Up Intensive

Students will develop a solo comedic performance by writing and workshopping their own material. By understanding how earlier stand-up comics evolved, students experiment outside their comfort zone until they discover their unique style.

Storytelling Intensive: True Story for the Stage

Storytelling is a powerful tool used to teach, inspire, entertain, and galvanize. Students will learn story structure, honest & dynamic presence, how to avoid common pitfalls, and the benefits of descriptive language and clarity of purpose. Craft a true personal story that is moving, effective, and entertaining.


Our three-day Intensives are offered throughout the year and require no prerequisites. These courses are suitable for beginners, but are beneficial to improvisers of varying levels. Students can choose a schedule of all improv, all writing, or a combination of classes. Intensive students receive a voucher for a Second City or UP Comedy Club performance, pending availability.

Improv Intensive

10AM-4PM • An immersive look at the principles and processes of improv for both beginning and experienced performers.

Writing Intensive

10AM-4PM • An introduction to sketch comedy techniques including characterization, comedic premise, and story structure.

Improv & Writing Intensive

10AM-4PM • Learn principles and processes of improv in the morning, leading into an introduction to sketch comedy in the afternoon. Check out for dates. Please note: If students are traveling from out of town, we recommend not finalizing travel and lodging arrangements until registration is confirmed. A limited number of scholarships are available to assist with Summer Intensive tuition. Distribution of these funds is finalized in the spring before Summer Intensives begin. Please check the website for details.

Improv for Anxiety

This program provides an interactive opportunity to learn skills derived from improv as part of recovery. In addition, The Second City Training Center has partnered with several licensed clinicians who have experience in both improv and mental health treatment to facilitate an 8-week therapy group. The therapy group helps to integrate the improv and CBT skills into real life. The improv class meets once per week, and the therapy group meets separately once per week. Performance: Level C & D students have demonstration performances at the end of each term. Level E culminates in a 45-minute, one-act, fully improvised show. Treatment group sessions in Level A, optional for Levels B-E 2.5 - 3 hours • 8 weeks Therapy Group (Level A): 2 hours • 8 weeks

rmance-based goals. Improv is a tool used for much more than perfo spend time with people Whether you’re looking to promote self-care, ds a common goal, The towar work or with, on comm in s thing you share environment for people safe and ring nurtu Second City aims to create a and social benefits that who are choosing to experience the personal ble can provide. ensem to t itmen the study of improv and comm We welcome everyone.

• Level A: Building Blocks of Scenic Improv • Level B: Improvising Scenes • Level C: Introduction to Character Work • Level D: Advanced Scenic Improv • Level E: Improv in Performance

Stand Up to Anxiety

Face feelings of discomfort and reduce avoidance behaviors in social, work/school, and family settings. Take on performance anxiety and develop as a solo comedic performer by writing and workshopping material. The class has the option of a final performance on one of The Second City Training Center stages. Prerequisite: Improv for Anxiety Level A 3 hours • 8 weeks

Improv for Autism

This is an improv class for teens and adults with autism. Classes focus on ensemble and team-building to help with the exploration of different relationships and social cues. Improv games used in this class teach skills such as accessing emotions and storytelling. This is done in a safe and fun setting, where the students can explore and challenge themselves. Improv is a great tool to work through many types of barriers which stand in the way of creativity and socialization. Ages 15+ 90 minutes • 8 weeks



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training program, a deep and intense The Conservatory is The Second City's professional to develop sketch comedy. isation study of our cornerstone process of using improv ideas, develop them with an good create and find can who artists s This program create . itment comm and e ensemble, and perform them with courag


An audition is required for entrance to the Conservatory Program. All students must have completed at least one full year of a multi-level improv training program and at least one acting class at the post-high school level. The improv training prerequisite, if met at the Chicago Training Center, is completion of one of the following: • Improv Levels A-E • Improv Express Level 3 • Improv for Actors 2 • Improv for Actors Express The acting training prerequisite can be met at the Chicago Training Center by completing Acting 1. For approval to audition, please contact the Chicago Training Center at 312-6643959 or chicagoadmissions@secondcity. com. For The Second City Training Center Audition Guide, visit Students are allowed to audition for two consecutive terms but,if not approved, must then wait at least one term before re-auditioning.


Cassie Ahiers Ali Barthwell Ryan Bernier Jack Bronis Jen Ellison Jeff Griggs Nicole Hastings John Hildreth Norm Holly Matt Hovde Andrew Knox Anthony LeBlanc Anne Libera

Alan Linic Rachael Mason Micah Philbrook Adam Schreck Jay Steigmann Andel Sudik Seth Thomas Anneliese Toft Craig Uhlir

Level 1: Truth*

This is an exploration of who you are as an artist, what you know about the world, and how you connect to a greater ensemble. A comedian learns to isolate, manipulate, exaggerate, and illuminate the way things are in the world, and in that truth, finds the essential ingredient for satire.

Level 2: Satire/Point of View

This level will demystify the concepts of satire and point of view, allowing you to get into the edgier, smarter, darker, and purposeful side of your comedy. This level is about looking for truth outside of ourselves. During the last week of this level, you will audition to continue with the Conservatory Program.

Level 3: Commitment*

Students will learn to embrace failure as a healthy part of the creative process. They will commit to their choices, push their boundaries and break out of habits and limits without fear. Shows/Workshops: Level 3 culminates in an approximately 18-minute show that is open to the public. You will have a workshop on a particular topic, during which you’ll work with your classmates and the rest of the students in your level.

Level 4: Craft

Become an expert in structure, form, and craft. As you prepare to develop your revue, you’ll explore the underlying structure of good sketch writing and accustom yourself to sharing ownership of your material with your ensemble. Shows/Workshops: In this level, you’ll have two shows, as well as one workshop with the rest of the Level 4 students.

Levels 5 & 6: Process

These levels mirror the system our professional writer-performers use to develop a revue. Level 5 will emphasize material generation, using pieces from earlier levels, as well as creating new material. In Level 6, you’ll rehearse, put together, and perform your revue, testing your ideas in front of an audience and refining it into a polished final product. Shows/Workshops: In Level 5, you will perform two shows, plus a special workshop. In Level 6, you will have multiple sets, previews, and shows. Conservatory classes are 3 hours per week. Each level lasts 8 weeks. *Audition required


This yearlong supplemental training program aims to develop our best Conservatory graduates into strong performers who are talented and skilled enough to be hired professionally by The Second City. Serving as a premier showcase for these carefully selected Conservatory graduates, house teams are cast through auditions roughly two or three times per year and are mentored by our faculty, alumni, and resident directors. Ensembles perform weekly as they progress through several phases of training. Twisty, the all-improvised house team show, is the entry point to the system, which begins with an ensemble developing a strong identity. The group’s coaching continues through exploration of advanced techniques and styles, culminating in the mounting of a fully-scripted original sketch revue, partially developed through improv. Auditions open to graduates of the Conservatory.


The Music Improv program is a yearlong course of study that starts with the fundamentals of music improv and progresses to comedic songwriting which students will use to create their one-act musical sketch comedy revue. With music and comedy being such a good pair, this program is great for all comedic performers.


To audition for the program, students must fulfill one of the following requirements: • Graduate of the Improv or Improv for Actors Full Program • Taken Music Improv Fundamentals • Graduate of or currently enrolled in The Conservatory Program • Given special Program Head approval.

Looking for introductory music classes? Go to page 12.

Music Improv Level 1*

Improve musicianship and apply existing improv skills to this heightened genre through short form musical games and techniques.

Music Improv Level 2

Continue to strengthen musicianship and improv skills while being guided through longer and more challenging forms.

Music Improv Level 3*

Explore and refine technique through hands-on exercises and improvised musicals. Master the individual elements of the musical, and assemble them to tell a story.

Music Improv Level 4

Refine musical improv techniques and experiment with long form structures and genre study. Focus on instilling a command of musical theater styles essential to the creation of strong parody and satire.

Music Improv Level 5

Develop necessary skills to create scripted musical material through improv. Explore and perform various music-based sketches in a Second City-style revue.

Music Improv Level 6

Work as an ensemble to create and develop an original musical sketch comedy revue with a run in a Training Center theater. Performance: Levels 1-4 will culminate in a final performance. Level 5 will have multiple shows throughout the term designed to test out new material. Level 6 culminates in a run at Donny’s Skybox. Music improv classes are 3 hours per week. Each level lasts 8 weeks. *Audition required

Writing the Comedic Musical: A Crash Course

Jump into the deep end with this crash course in writing the musical comedy. Learn about theatrical song technique, as well as explore the bigger picture of character and story structure. Prerequisite: Writing 4, Comedic Songwriting, Music Improv 1, Conservatory graduate, or Program Head approval 3 hours • 4 weeks

Private Instruction

Students will be placed with an experienced Second City Musical Director for 30-60 minute, one-onone lessons to focus on individual growth. Areas of exploration include vocal strength, breath support, flexibility, voice for character work, general musicianship, audition preparation, and building musical improv skill sets. Students may also choose to design custom courses of study in comedic songwriting or music direction.

Infinite Sundaes

Infinite Sundaes is a showcase of the Training Center’s top musical comedians, featuring short form, long form, and eventually culminating in a completely original satirical musical. With the help of our all-star faculty and Musical Directors, the ensemble uses improvisation to devise and write the book, music and lyrics for a world premiere musical every year! Auditions open to graduates of the Music Improv Program or The Conservatory Program.

Contact Rachael Mason for more information: Lesson rates vary by instructor.


Acting Lab 1: Scene Study& Style*

An exploration of the skills and tools involved in creating detailed performances, students will use contemporary and classical scenes to focus on making more specific choices by exploring advanced sense memory, emotional memory, and heightened physical tools, as well as strengthening foundation skills.

Acting Lab 2: Professional Lab

An investigation into how to get the role and sustain a career in the profession. Students will learn how to use their acting skills to master multiple audition and performance scenarios, as well as develop professional behavior skills and learn what will be expected of them as professionals.

Acting Lab 3: Showcase Lab

This level focuses on developing a performance of scenes and monologues to showcase each student’s skills as an actor. Two performances will be open to the public and industry professionals. *Audition required.


The Acting Lab is an advanced acting conservatory which empowers students with skills to pursue acting as a profession. In a class that meets twice a week, students explore the detail work of advanced scene study and styles, investigate different facets of the profession, and have the opportunity to have their work observed in a graduation showcase. To audition, students need to have completed the four levels of the Acting Program or have a performance degree in theater. Students who didn’t attend the Acting Program should send their theater resume to Acting Lab classes meet twice a week: Tuesdays 7-10PM and Saturdays 1-4PM. Each level lasts 8 weeks. Looking for beginning acting classes? Go to page 6.

Intro to Directing Sketch Comedy

Students will learn the process of creating scenes through improv, assembling running orders, and managing ensembles. Prerequisite: Completion of any full Second City Training Center program or Program Head approval 3 hours • 4 weeks

Producing 101

Have an idea for a show, but don’t know where to put it up? What about fundraising? Or how to get people to see it beyond family and friends? Any show can be produced with little to no budget and bring in a real audience. This class will unlock some of the mysteries behind what it takes to go from idea to stage. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Go Tech Yourself:Technology & Design for Sketch/Improv

v show or sketch revue Study the essential tools to get your own impro strategies, and lighting eting mark , iques techn ing direct Learn ! on stage . ction design for your next produ

This class will tackle the basics of working with a production team, stage lighting, and effects to bring production value to the next level. Students will take on the role of both director and designer to put these concepts into practice and design scenes from The Second City archives. 3 hours • 8 weeks



Trained actors will be taught the fundamentals of Second Citystyle improv. Completion of IFA 2 or IFA Express fulfills the improv prerequisite for The Conservatory audition. Prerequisite for Improv for Actors: Must have a theater degree or the equivalent amount of professional training and/or experience. Submit an acting resume for consideration to

Improv for Actors 1

Cover the fundamental elements of scenic improv, from creating environment and physicality to game creation and heightening. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Improv for Actors 2

Strengthen improv skills and create unique characters. Discover how these characters and their points of view affect a scene to create richer dialogue and better moments. zed material in front of a The Advanced Improv Program places more specific and speciali Offerings include actor. working more advanced student. These are great classes for the points of satirical and away fall Rules form. long and work, scene improvisational acting, beyond. and City Second The at view come to the forefront, preparing students for work

Looking for beginning improv classses? Go to page 5.


3 hours • 8 weeks

Improv for Actors 3 Professional Application:

While not a requirement to audition for the Conservatory Program, IFA 3 is for actors looking to take their improv to a professional level on stage and screen. There is a strong emphasis on preparing for the professional audition in this class, working on critical listening, in-scene stamina and long form improvisation skills. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Improv for Actors Express

This class meets twice per week to fulfill levels 1 and 2 of IFA in one term. 3 hours • Twice a week • 8 weeks

Scenic Improv 1

Become a better improviser by concentrating on the mechanics of strong scene work, playing emotionally with a partner, using the environment, and progressing the action of a scene. Prerequisite: Completion of Level E, Improv for Actors 2, IFA Full Program or one year of improv training with Program Head approval 3 hours • 8 weeks

Scenic Improv 2


Solo Performance

Prerequisite: Completion of Scenic Improv 1 or Conservatory 2

Prerequisite: Improv Level E, Improv for Actors 2, or equivalent experience

3 hours • 8 weeks

3 hours • 7 weeks

2 hours • 6 weeks

Dig deeper into playing with a scene partner, creating sustainable and interesting characters, and improvising more nuanced scenes through subtext--while adding humor into the mix.

Each student will be individually evaluated to identify unique improv issues and work towards fixing them. Learning from mistakes allows improvisers to completely free up their improv potential.

That’s Not Funny: Dramatic Improv 1 Notes, Notes, Notes Focus on moments instead of laughs--they’ll happen too, but only when scene work is taken seriously.

3 hours • 4 weeks

Advanced students receive direct feedback on scene work at the highest level. Curriculum will be specifically tailored to the needs of the ensemble and individual students.

That’s Not Funny: Dramatic Improv 2

3 hours • 8 weeks

Prerequisite: Improv Level C or equivalent experience

Take what you learned in Dramatic Improv 1 and continue to heighten and explore the drama. Focus on dramatic tension and its release, plus some stage combat. Prerequisite: That’s Not Funny: Dramatic Improv 1 3 hours • 4 weeks

Prerequisite: Improv Level E, Improv for Actors 2, or equivalent experience

Create compelling characters by improvising with specific goals and crafting structurally sound, multilayered scenes and monologues for those characters. Students will focus on joke structure, timing, rewriting, and overall performance.

Technique for Unique Characters

Rooted in in the Viola Spolin idea that “the techniques of theater are the techniques of communicating,” this class will deconstruct characters by examining the 24 major nonverbal communication codes displayed by every character-consciously or unconsciously. Prerequisite: Improv Level C or equivalent 3 hours • 4 weeks

Advanced Short Form

Dive deep into short form and learn how to make games successful for any type of audience. Students will learn to effectively heighten scenes, break games without breaking shows, and build up their playbook. Prerequisite: Improv Level E, Improv for Actors 2 or equivalent experience 3 hours • 4 weeks


This program empowers content creators and performers with the knowledge necessary to be successful in the TV and film industries. Classes in this program focus on screenwriting, film production, voiceover, on-camera acting and auditioning, film directing, producing, and distribution. To reflect the true collaborative nature of film, this program is open to people at completely different levels of writing, improv, or acting experience.


Looking for our Sketch Comedy Writing program? Go to page 8.


Understand how to adapt stagecraft for the screen by gaining on-camera acting experience in scripted and improvised scene work with a teacher who acts as the director. Learn how to act on camera, the basics of on-set etiquette, the actor’s role in film production, and how to approach the process of filmmaking. At the end of the class, students will receive an edited scene for their reels. Prerequisite: Improv Level C, Acting 2, or Program Head approval 3 hours • 8 weeks

Acting on Camera 2

This course is designed to provide more on-camera experience on location. Students will work exclusively with original material and an experienced director and director of photography, joining the crew when not acting in the scene.

On-Camera Auditioning 1

This overview will teach actors how to prepare for and complete a successful on-camera commercial audition. Work on auditions ranging from testimonials to MOS, and get tips on how to nail different types of commercial scripts. Students will film practice auditions and review them in class. Prerequisite: Improv Level B 3 hours • 4 weeks

On-Camera Auditioning 2

Building on what students successfully did in On-Camera Auditioning 1, this class works with more advanced audition material and situations. Get more on-camera time, and delve into the casting and talent agent business. The class culminates with the teacher directing and filming students in scenes they can use in their reels. Prerequisite: On-Camera Auditioning 1 or Program Head approval 3 hours • 4 weeks

Beginning Voiceover for Improvisers Learn why improv is a skill that is actively sought after in voiceover artists and discover what actors need to get started in the world of voiceover. Learn about mic technique, demos, the difference between narrator and character reads, rates, tips, tricks, and resources for building a career in the Chicago voiceover scene. Prerequisite: Improv Level B 3 hours • 6 weeks

Advanced Voiceover for Improvisers

Students will learn how to manage multi-person reads, read to time, manage difficult copy, explore narration copy like a pro, find copy specifically chosen for their voice types and, the pièce de résistance, get an audition for an agent or voicecasting professional... all in 5 weeks!


Learn the nuts and bolts of comedy film production in a collaborative setting. The class will cover the basics of lighting, sound, and how to use the camera as students write and shoot short films together. 3 hours • 8 weeks

Comedy Film Production 2

Develop more filmmaking skills and gain a better understanding of planning for shoots, with a focus on lighting, sound, script revisions, and camerawork. Students will go through the entire process of filming an original short, from preto post-production. Prerequisite: Comedy Film Production 1 3 hours • 8 weeks

Prerequisite: Beginning Voiceover for Improvisers 3 hours • 5 weeks

Prerequisite: Acting On Camera 1 or Program Head approval 3 hours • 8 weeks


Creating the Comedy Web Series

Create a comedic web series, from the writers’ room to on-set filming. Students will collaborate to pitch ideas, create the story outline, and write scripts before heading into pre-production and casting. Students will then become directors and producers of the episodes, working with a professional camera and sound crew on location each week. Leave this class with a web series that is 100% student-created.

T V, FILM & DIGITAL WRITING CLASSES Intro to Writing for T V & Film

Gain a strong foundation in writing for TV and film as you learn proper formatting, the language and process of writing, and tools to transform your idea into a script. Students will analyze films and TV show scripts, learn how to pitch, and create outlines and treatments for their own ideas.

Prerequisite: Intro to Writing for TV and Film or Comedy Film Production 1

3 hours • 8 weeks

3 hours • 16 weeks

Comedy Writing for T V & Film

Directing for Film

Students will learn to access their creative vision to realize written and improvised materials. This class focuses on directing terms, how to turn written material into performance, how to understand camera work, editing, mise en scene, and the role of the director in all stages of a production. This class is good for beginners or people looking for a more formalized approach to directing film. Prerequisite: Comedy Film Production 1, Intro to Writing for TV & Film or Program Head approval 3 hours • 4 weeks


Refine the skills gained in the Intro class while further developing your scripts by writing, rewriting, and participating in table reads. Students will leave the class with a fully workshopped jumpstart on their original script. Prerequisite: Intro to Writing for TV & Film 3 hours • 8 weeks


Learn the proper structure, pace, tone, and character arcs for your script idea. Through table reads, workshops, class discussions, and assignments, students will leave the class with a completed first act of a screenplay. Prerequisite: Introduction to Writing for TV & Film or Program Head approval 3 hours • 8 weeks

Writing the Sitcom Pilot

A pilot is the first episode of an original TV series – and a great addition to a writing packet. Learn how to create an idea for a sitcom, pitch an idea, develop the story and characters, and write a script for the first episode. Prerequisite: Introduction to Writing for TV & Film or Program Head approval 3 hours • 8 weeks

Writing the Sitcom Spec Script

According to Hollywood agents and managers, it’s crucial to have spec material ready if you want to break into the writing business. Write a solid script for an existing television comedy series--otherwise known as a spec script--and leave this class with a polished writing sample that’s ready to impress showrunners and industry pros. Prerequisite: Introduction to Writing for TV & Film or Program Head approval 3 hours • 8 weeks

The Sitcom Writers’ Room

Students will experience the life cycle of a sitcom episode by collaborating on a spec script for an established sitcom. Pitch episode ideas, write a one-sheet pitch, break the story’s plot, write scenes, rewrite other scenes, punch up dialogue, and participate in a table read performed by comic actors. Prerequisite: Intro to Writing for TV & Film or Program Head approval 3 hours • 8 weeks

Filmmaker PROGRAM

THE YEARLONG The Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City is the first and only filmmaking program of its kind. Over the course of the year, students are exposed to comedy theory, the ins and outs of comedy film production, screenwriting, improv, and master seminars with A-list industry pros. Who is the ideal student? Anyone who loves comedy and has a tireless need to create. Whether you’re just graduating from college or are looking to make a career leap, people of all experience levels and backgrounds are welcome here. For additional information on the application process or materials, the curriculum, our payment plan, or to schedule a tour, contact us today. Email: Phone: (312) 883-1241 Online: APPLICATION DUE DATES May 15, 2018 (Start Fall 2018: Sept. 4, 2018 - Aug. 16, 2019) September 15, 2018 (Start Winter 2019: Jan. 21, 2019 - Dec. 13, 2019)

City uses to find, explore, Intensive Programs are crash courses in the philosophies and methods The Second the country and abroad. over all from students attract and create material. In addition to locals, these programs scene! comedy rich Chicago’s of advantage take and friends, new meet skills, new Come learn can take more than one in Intensives meet during the day Monday - Friday, and most are designed so students a given week. For approval to place into advanced intensives, please contact intensives pending availability. ce, Intensive students receive a voucher for a Second City or UP Comedy Club performan Looking for beginner Intensives? Go to page 14.


Long Form Improv Intensive

Students will work on advanced scenic skills, character development and relationship, and editing, while simultaneously learning how to execute and design numerous different forms for long form performance. This Intensive is taught by Second City alum and Annoyance Theater founding member, Susan Messing, and The Second City Training Center’s Head of Improvisation, Rachael Mason. Prerequisite: Improv Intensive Level 2, Improv Level B, Improv for Actors 1 or equivalent experience

Music Improv Intensive

Explore the fundamentals of improvised song using vocal exercises, rhyming, characterbased scene work, and short form musical games. Take advantage of the style and theatricality of musical theater to strengthen existing improv skills and learn to approach the improvised song with confidence.

Comedic Songwriting

Students will immerse themselves in song structure, rhyming, and music while discovering how to locate and heighten character point of view for comedic effect. Designed for musicians and nonmusicians alike, students will leave the Intensive understanding the mechanics of songwriting for musical sketch comedy.

Writing with The Onion Intensive

The Second City has partnered with The Onion to present this fundamental intensive outlining The Onion’s uniquely signature method of generating and developing comedy ideas and stories, ala “America’s Finest News Source.” Learn how to create winning premises, essays, and one-liners while also finding your own unique comedic voice--and trust it to produce reliably successful humor writing. Prerequisite: Competency with English composition and grammar

Acting On Camera Intensive

Designed for actors and improvisers interested in making the leap from stage to screen, this Intensive will cover on-camera acting techniques while going over tips for making your own film or web series. Prerequisite: Previous performance or acting training recommended

Comedy Film Production Intensive A hands-on crash course where you’ll learn how to turn your ideas into finished, filmed pieces. Students will gain experience in writing, improvising, directing, cinematography, sound, music, editing, and special effects.

Writing for Sketch T V Intensive

Learn to write sketches for TV shows like Saturday Night Live. Explore satire, character-based sketches, commercial and television parodies, monologue/Weekend Update jokes, create scripts for digital shorts to promote your writing samples online, and more. Students should bring their own laptop, tablet or phone for internet access.


Check out for even more Intensives with special guest instructors. Prerequisite: Varies depending on the class. Visit for specialty Intensive offerings, dates, and prices.

Writing for Late Night T V & Talk Shows Intensive

Write desk bits, remote segments, guest pieces, sketches, and a variety of segments for shows like Fallon, Conan, Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Colbert, Ellen, and more. Pitch monologue jokes, brainstorm, explore and heighten material in this collaborative writers’ room environment. Students should bring their own laptop, tablet, or phone for internet access.


Unlike any other course of study in content, scope, or resources, Comedy Studies provides a unique opportunity to study full-time at The Second City for an entire semester. This program is developed and taught by the experts in comedy at The Second City Training Center in Chicago, with college credit provided by Columbia College Chicago. Comedy Studies is open to anyone with a minimum of an undergraduate junior level status of 60 credit hours or more. The program also accepts applications from recent college graduates. Classes are offered during fall, spring, and summer semesters.


e information. Visit for mor

Coached Ensembles

Audition for your first improv team and work with a Second City faculty member to get those early reps.

The Faculty Jam

Get up and play with some of your favorite faculty members every Tuesday night!

Sketch Cast

Writers, want to try your hand at performing? Put your sketches on their feet for the first time every Wednesday.

Open for a House Team

Book your ensemble to open for one of the Training Center house teams, and you’ll get to play for 15 minutes in prime time.

One Night Only

Get a full 50-minute show to yourself for a one-night performance, at no cost to you!

Pitch Us A Show time! ov and comedy is getting that stage A huge part of learning the art of impr ence. audi an of front in space to get material The Training Center theaters are your ties: rtuni oppo ce rman perfo ent e stud You can get involved in many of thes

Fill out a pitch form and submit your group for a weekly show in one of the Training Center theaters! Information on all of these opportunities and more can be found on our website. ( chicago/performance-opportunities/)



Improv for Literacy

Resource Guide All participants will receive a copy of The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom, which outlines the exercises covered, coaching techniques, suggested variations and adaptations, postexercise discussion questions, and additional resources.


The Second City has taught workshops at hundreds of schools and companies throughout the world. The Second City is an approved professional development provider with the Illinois State Board of Education. CPDU credit is available for our workshops.

For all workshops, an additional travel charge is necessary for sites located more than 20 miles from North Avenue and Wells Street, Chicago. Contact Jenna Steege at for more info or to set up a private workshop.

better. The Second City makes work the willingness ld, the art of improv requires Just like in the business wor and the , path to venture down a new to collaborate, the flexibility s, which is why tion lica app d mite unli s have confidence to fail. Our method simple idea: one nd t programs center arou our professional developmen also create can e e great performers on stag The very same skills that mak stars around the office.

Improv for Creative Pedagogy: 3-hour workshop

This interactive workshop offers educators an introduction to the principles of improvisation as well as offering a variety of methods for integrating improvisational exercises in the classroom across curricula.

This interactive workshop offers educators an introduction to the principles of improvisation and demonstrates how to use improvisational exercises to build such literacy skills as inference, sequencing, visualization, and vocabulary.

Led by a licensed therapist trained in improv, participants will learn improv exercises focused on patience, non-judgment, active listening, self awareness, collaboration with clients, and adapting in the moment. Participants will be provided 3 CEUs provided by Cathedral Counseling Center. 3 hours • 1 day


Learn to create short ad campaigns that fit into the tone and strategy of existing brands. Use advertising elements such as scripting, storyboarding, and mood boards, you’ll learn to pitch ad campaigns for companies and non-profits. 3 hours • 8 weeks


Students will be placed with an experienced Second City writing instructor for 30-60 minute one-onone lesson to focus on individual growth and feedback. Areas of exploration include material generation, sketch comedy creation, structure, character, and feedback on longer-form and solo material. Contact Rachael Mason for more info: Lesson rates vary by instructor

RewireU empowers individuals, teams, and creatives through the understanding and application of The Second City’s renowned improvisation techniques. The program is designed to teach participants how to rewire their minds to be more like that of an improviser: nimble, adaptable, and accepting of ideas. Participants of the RewireU program gain hands-on experience learning proven strategies that impact several critical collaborative areas, including: • • • • • • • •

Generate new ideas–and better ideas Engaging in the sharing of ideas and opinions Developing the skills to give and receive feedback that sticks Embracing change and overcoming conflict Finding your unique voice Building trust, encouraging risk, and learning to be comfortable with discomfort Becoming open and inclusive to other thoughts, backgrounds, and skill sets Instilling creativity as a habit

Our Approach RewireU brings Second City’s award-winning improvisation, comedy, and audiencedriven techniques to like for every type of industry and unique career challenge. How do we achieve this? With two words that can change everything: Yes, and. Contact Jenna Steege at or 312-662-4552 for more info.


Online Sketch Writing 1

Students will receive individual instruction through online correspondence, exploring the fundamentals of character development and scene structure.

Online Sketch Writing 2

Building on Online Sketch Writing 1, students will continue to learn the universal comedy techniques used in mainstream media as well as focus on satire, character development and rewriting. Prerequisite: Online Sketch Writing 1.

Online Sketch Writing 3

Explore sketch comedy structures that “break the rules,” including blackouts and clothesline scenes. Collaborate with other writers as you learn the structure of a Second City-style revue. Prerequisite: Online Sketch Writing 2.

Online Sketch Writing 4

at The Second City. Our online You don’t need to move to Chicago to study of the pants. (We don’t judge.) none ng weari hile classes are all of the fun...w Looking for writing classes in Chicago? Go

to page 8.

The culmination of the Online Writing Program focuses on rewriting sketches to strengthen point of view. This term will include special workshops in songwriting and working with Second City Training Center student actors via live streaming. Prerequisite: Online Sketch Writing 3.

Online Writing Strong Women

Create memorable female characters that drive your piece. Writers will create sketches, monologues, stories and character pieces through writing exercises, analysis of text and a variety of writing assignments.

Online Character Cocktail Party

In this character-focused sketch writing course, you'll explore one specific character in many different situations. Each level will leave you with one strong character in several completed sketches and a stronger understanding of how to build effective and sustainable 3-dimensional characters. Prerequisite: Online Sketch Writing 2 or equivalent

Online Writing a Themed Show

Celebrate your obsessions and your point of view by learning how to create a themed show online! Students will be given weekly feedback and guidance, shown how to create a dynamic running order, and guided through the production proposal process. Prerequisite: Online Sketch Writing 2 or equivalent

Shape Your Sketch: Conception to Perfection

The most important part of the writing process is the re-writing process. Using early drafts of your sketch, learn to hone on the premise, find the best context for it, and edit out everything unnecessary so your sketch is tight, efficient, and ready to perform. You’ll turn your early drafts in to show-ready, successful, final drafts. Prerequisite: Online Sketch Writing 2

Online Playwriting

Students will gain skills to generate from abundance, create threedimensional characters and explore their stories in this class while developing several short pieces. You’ll leave with a 10-minute play ready for festival submission throughout the country.

True Story for the Stage Online

This class addresses storytelling structure, powerful language, honest presence, clarity of purpose and avoidance of common pitfalls. Learn to craft and perform a true personal story that is moving, effective, and entertaining.

Online Writing Satire for the Internet

Learn how to form a strong comedic point of view on topical news and pop culture events. Participants will brainstorm, draft and rewrite short pieces in the style of McSweeney’s, Shouts and Murmurs and The Second City Network.

Basic Writing with The Onion Online Second City has partnered with The Onion to present this fundamental online course outlining The Onion’s unique system of generating comedy ideas and stories. Learn how to create winning premises, essays, and one-liners while finding your comedic voice.

Online Intro to Comedic Songwriting Turn a strong point of view into a great comedic song. Work with classic song structures to strengthen lyrics and discover how melody and musical style can influence comedic songwriting. Students will get specific, personal feedback to improve their songs, whether they are writing lyrics or lyrics and music.

Online Intro to Writing for T V & Film

Online Creating and Pitching Your T V Series

Online History of Comedy on Film

Online Writing for Late Night T V and Talk Shows

Explore visual writing, story structure and character to create longer works for TV and film. The class will read existing scripts, view film and tv selections, and workshop ideas on a weekly basis. Students will leave with a fleshedout description of their project, structural suggestions for moving forward and character descriptions.

This class focuses on the role and lineage of comedy in cinema as a reflection of society and culture from its origins. Weekly assignments, discussion groups, and live chat sessions will allow students to discuss lectures, presentations, and films they screen online every week.

You’ve been talking about your sitcom idea forever. Make it happen! Learn what the market is looking for, how to present your idea, and make them laugh in the room. You’ll end this course with an original pitch packet – from log lines to character breakdowns to future episodes.

Write desk bits, monologues and a variety of segments for shows like those helmed by Colbert, Conan, Ellen, Kimmel, and more. Create original material to strengthen your writing samples.

Online Writing Your Web Series

This course will give you the tools to help your web series succeed. Through lectures and assignments, you’ll learn character development, format, structure, and the business side of the current landscape for web writing. Outline your idea, write episodes and workshop them, hear them read, and get live constructive feedback from classmates.


Pricing Breakdown

Detailed prices can be found on our website or by calling one of our customer service representatives at 312-664-3959. All prices subject to change. Lower rates reflect early registration discounts and off-peak class time prices. Don’t delay! Adult 8-Week Classes Adult 8-Week,Twice-Weekly Classes Adult 4-Week Classes (3 hours) Adult 4-Week Classes (90 min) Kids 14-Week Classes (2 - 2.5 hours) Kids 7-Week Classes (50 min) Kids 7-Week Classes (2 hours) Adult Intensives (1 week full day) Adult Intensives (1 week 1/2 day) Adult Intensives (3 day) Kids and Teen Camps (2 weeks, ages 8 to 18) Youth Camps (1 week) Mini Camp (ages 6-7) Youth Camps (Specialty)


$310 - $375 $620 - $720 $165 - $210 $105 - $150 $325 - $480 $125 - $155 $225 - $275 $550 - $575 $285 - $325 $285- $325 $1000 $500 $550 Varies

TUItion PoliCIES

• New students pay a one-time membership fee of $20. • Tuition is non-refundable and non-transferrable. In extreme cases, students may apply to the Training Center office to transfer tuition to another time or future term. A transfer fee of $50 will be charged in such situations. • Students who enroll in more than one 8-week class in any given term will receive a 15% discount on the second class. (Some restrictions apply.)

Payment Plan Info

Payment plans are available. Please visit or call the Training Center office for more information.

Location Information Benefits for The Training Center is located on Students of the the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of the Training Center Piper’s Alley building, 230 W. North Avenue, at North Ave. and Wells St. in the Old Town neighborhood.


The most convenient option is the paid garage attached to Piper’s Alley. There are other paid lots in the neighborhood on North Avenue across the street and north on Wells. There is very limited street parking due to permit restrictions in the local residential streets. If you’ve never been to the neighborhood before, leave plenty of time to park on your first day.

Public Transit

The Sedgwick stop on the Brown Line stops less than two blocks west of the Training Center. The Red Line stops at North/Clybourn, about six blocks west. Several bus routes also serve the area around the Training Center. The east/west bus routes that stop nearby are the 72 North and 73 Armitage. The north/south routes are 22 Clark, 36 Broadway, 37 Sedgwick, and 156 LaSalle (M-F, limited hours.)

The benefits of being a student at The Second City Training Center don’t stop at in-class instruction! Here are a few of the things we also offer: • FREE admission to House Team shows with Training Center Student ID • FREE student tickets to Conservatory, and Improv class performances • Discounted student tickets to all other shows in the Training Center theaters • Various free events throughout the year, including panel discussions, special workshops, and improv jams • A student ID offering discounts to 1959 Kitchen & Bar, local businesses, and Second City Training Center shows

Training Center Contact Information phone: 312-664-3959



Training Center Staff


ARTISTIC TEAM & PROGRAM HEADS Becca Barish Jeff Bouthiette Matt Hovde Anthony LeBlanc Anne Libera Rachael Mason Jack C. Newell Michael Pieper Jeff Poole Jay Steigmann Andrew Thorp

Wellness Music Artistic Director Associate Artistic Director Comedy Studies  Improvisation Harold Ramis Film School Acting Kids & Education Writing Online Programming

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF Julie Alevizos Stephanie Case Rosie Chevalier Jeremy Dabbs Winter Davis Kate Eddy Chanel Hemphill Sheena Laird Anthony Lombard Lyn Pusztai Tim Schmidt Kerry Sheehan Jenna Steege Jesse Swanson Rawson Vint Abby Wagner

HRFS Academic Manager Producer Adult Program & Intensive Coordinator Online Content Manager Program Assistant Executive Assistant Marketing Manager Adult Program & Intensive Coordinator Kids Program Assistant Outreach & Communications Coordinator TV, Film & Digital Assistant President Learning & Development Sales Associate Producer Student Services Manager Vice President

312-664-3959 • SECONDCITY.COM 230 W. North Ave.

Important Dates Adult 8-Week Classes Term 1 Jan 7

Term 2 Mar 4 Apr 1

Term 3

Apr 29 May 28

Term 4

Jun 24 Jul 4

Term 5

Aug 26 Sept 3

Term 6

Oct 21 Nov 22 - 23

January 7 - March 3 New Student Orientation March 4 - April 29 New Student Orientation No classes on Easter April 30 - June 25 New Student Orientation No classes on Memorial Day June 26 - August 22 New Student Orientation No classes on Independence Day August 27 - October 22 New Student Orientation No classes on Labor Day October 23 - December 17 New Student Orientation No classes on Thanksgiving Make-up classes on Dec 20 - 21

Kids & Teens Winter Term Spring Term 1 Spring Term 2 Summer Term Summer Mini-Term Fall Term 1 Fall Term 2

January 6 - February 23 February 24 - April 15 (No classes March 31 - April 1) April 16 - June 4 (No classes on Memorial Day May 28) June 5 - July 22 (No classes on Independence Day July 4) July 23 - August 26 September 4 - October 22 October 23 - December 17

2018 Summer Camp Dates:

Camp 1: June 4-8 (1-week) Camp 2: June 11-22 Camp 3: June 25-July 6 (4th of July) Camp 3: 1-week Option: June 25 - 29 Camp 4: July 9-20 Camp 5: July 23-Aug 3 Camp 6: Aug 6-17 w/ Mini Camp Camp 7: Aug 20-24 (1-week) w/ Mini Camp Camp 8: Aug 27-31 (1-week) w/ Mini Camp Advanced Camp: July 9-27 *1-week sessions, no final performance We also offer Winter and Spring Break Camps. Check our website or call for more details.

Winter Break Camp 2017 December 26-29 (4 days) January 2-5 (4 days)

Spring Break Camp 2018 March 26-30 April 2-6

For more information, visit our website, call the Training Center, or contact us at


Ages 6-18


Writing Camps by spending part of their tive energy in our Improv and Comedy Kids and teens can explore their crea over the world who want to gain new all from ents mer programs attract stud summer at The Second City! Our sum by age. ped ago in the summer. Campers are grou skills, meet new friends, and enjoy Chic of through Friday each week. At the end s long, with classes meeting Monday Students are es. stag City nd Summer camps are one or two week Seco the of one on for their family and friends 2-week camps, students present a show an end-of-camp pizza party. professional Second City company and a by ce rman perfo ial spec a to also treated to and Hollywood. Visit each city’s Second City Training Centers in Toron Summer camps are also offered at The ite for details. Training Center section on the webs For adult Intensives, go to page 13. Parents can go to comedy camp too!

Daily Schedule

ages 8-11* (9AM-4PM) & ages 6-7* Mini Camp

Campers will exercise their sense of play through improv games and exercises that are the foundation of The Second City’s unique style of comedy. Our teachers work with these emergent improvisers to help enhance their ability to communicate with others and develop confidence in their own creativity while working as part of an ensemble. The day is broken up into four parts to maximize activities, offer plenty of variety, and to give campers lots of breaks.

Improv 9AM –11:30AM

Explore the same fundamentals of improv taught and performed at The Second City! Develop skills like creative thinking, self-confidence, listening, brainstorming, team building, empathy, and communication--while having loads of fun and laughs.

Workshop 12:00-1:15PM

A fun guided-play experience for campers to work on projects with classmates and design and create props and costumes, some of which will be used in their final productions. Every day is an exciting new activity!

Writing and Storytelling 1:15-2:30PM Daily Schedule Learn basic scene structure, the art of storytelling, and character development through the study of classic Second City scenes and other written materials.

Clowning and Physical Comedy 2:30-4:PM

Clowning is 50% physicality, 50% silliness, and 100% fun. Sure, that doesn’t make sense, but when it comes to clowning and comedy, it doesn’t need to! Kids have the freedom of movement and selfexpression in this class, while also learning about slapstick comedy and how to theatrically control their gestures.

Post-Camp Games and Movies 4-5PM After a day of improv and sketch comedy, it’s time to relax and enjoy each other’s company! Students are allowed to watch a movie or join in a Connect Four tournament.

ages 12-18* (9AM-4PM)

Improv 9AM –11:30AM

Explore the same fundamentals of improv taught and performed at The Second City! Develop skills like creative thinking, listening, self-confidence, brainstorming, team building, empathy, and communication, while having loads of fun and laughs.

Sketch 12PM – 2:30PM

Learn the basics of sketch comedy scenes – the building blocks of any Second City show. Study Second City classics, use improv to develop new scenes, and create original sketches.

Stand-Up/Storytelling 2:45PM-4PM

Come develop your personal style as a stand-up comedian or storyteller as we focus on developing material, stage presence, and delivery. Students may present their material in an optional open mic on the final Friday of camp.

The Second City Advanced Comedy Camp (Ages 15-18)

The Second City Advanced Comedy Camp is a fully comprehensive program that dives deep into the skills required to present a Second City-Style revue. Curriculum includes training in advanced scene work and long form improv, as well as additional lessons in clowning, stand-up, and music improv. Advanced Camp students will also receive a special jacket as a souvenir of their summer with The Second City.

Prerequisites: Students must submit a resume and headshot, as well as a short essay to be considered for this program to Students need to have completed at least two 14-week terms of improv training at The Second City or at least two sessions in our summer camp program. Check the website for application deadlines. Performances: Students will present their stand-up material on the second Friday of the program and a one-act sketch revue on the final day. 3 weeks • 9am - 4pm Additional speciality camps will be released throughout the year on our website! Specialty camps in the past have included S.H.E. (Sisterhood, Humor, Empowerment), Improv for ASD, and Rock City, a collaboration with the School of Rock.

*Classes are further grouped by age within this section.


Clown & Physical Comedy (ages 9-12)

Clowning is 50% physicality, 50% silliness, and 100% fun. Sure, that doesn’t make sense, but when it comes to clowning and comedy, it doesn’t need to! Kids will have freedom of movement and selfexpression in this class, while also learning about slapstick comedy and how to control their gestures. It’s all about maintaining control while retaining musicality in a performance. This class is great for aspiring actors and clowns, or kids who need an outlet for all their extra energy! 50 minutes • 7 weeks

Teen & Youth Ensembles (ages 11-18)

This intensive performanceoriented class explores working within an ensemble, scenic improv, and performance games. Class culminates with four performances of sketches developed through improv in a Training Center theater. Prerequisites: Youth Ensemble - Audition Required; students must have completed at least three sessions of ImprovX or Teen Improv. Teen Ensemble - Audition Required; students must have completed Advanced Improv and Intro Sketch Writing. 2.5 hours • 14 weeks


Rising Stars (Ages 6-12)

Create an original musical using improv! Students will learn about music and improv skills while working with a director and composer to create a brand new show. The class culminates in a performance on the final day of class in a Second City Training Center theater. Prerequisite: Imaginaction or Improv X 1.5 hours - 14 weeks

Teen House Ensemble (ages 14-18)

The Teen House Ensemble isn’t a class—it’s actually writing, developing, and performing a show with an ensemble. It is for teens who have improv and performing experience, really enjoy it, and want to dive head-first into the experience. Developing a Second City-style revue is a uniquely rewarding and demanding experience. It takes a lot of hard work, creativity, and dedication. Developing these traits will help any teen later in life as they set out to achieve their individual goals.

Acting (ages 7-8, 9-10, 11-13)

Learn the basic skills of acting. Monologues, scenes and exercises are used to examine techniques as actor uses to establish a character. In this course, students discover skills found in the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of the human condition. Exercises include movement, sense memory, personalization, objective, beat work and beginning text analysis. Learn about auditioning as well as working in the business. 50 minutes • 7 weeks (ages 7-8) 1.5 minutes • 7 weeks (ages 9-10) 2 hours • 7 weeks (ages 11-13)

Intro to Acting (ages 14-18)

Learn the basic skills of acting through monologues and scenes from The Second City archives. For any student 9th grade and above. 2 hours • 7 weeks

Advanced Acting (ages 14-18)

Learn advanced acting skills through studying scenes from The Second City’s archives.

Audition Required: Students must have completed 1 year in the Teen Ensemble.

Prerequisite: Intro to Acting.

2.5 hours 52 weeks

2 hours • 7 weeks

On-Camera Acting Techniques

(ages 7-18)

Learn on-camera commercial, TV and film acting techniques from working on-camera actors. In addition to weekly on-camera acting training, the class will cover the basics of resumes, agents, casting directors, and callbacks. Prerequisite: Improv or Acting. 1 hour • 7 weeks (7-9) 2 hours • 7 weeks (10-18)

Stand-up (ages 11-18)

Develop personal style as a stand-up comedian as we focus on developing material, stage presence, and delivery. Class culminates with a brief classroom demonstration. 2 hours • 7 weeks

Intro to Improv (ages 14-18)

Learn the fundamentals of improv through exercises that focus on saying “Yes, And,” listening, and ensemble. For any student 9th grade and above. 2 hours • 7 weeks

Advanced Improv (ages 14-18)

Learn the fundamentals of a strong improvised scene using improv techniques learned in Intro to Improv. Prerequisite: Intro Improv. 2 hours • 7 weeks

Dramatic Improv (ages 15-18)

Had enough of playing for laughs? Looking to stretch your dramatic scene work? This advanced class will help students take their improvising to the next level and open the door for those serious dramatic scenes many improvisers crave to do. This class is intended for experienced students looking to continue their growth as improvisers. Prerequisite: Advanced Improv. 2 hours • 7 weeks

Relationship Through Character

Prerequisites: Improv X or Intro to Improv. 2 hours • 7 weeks

2 hours • 7 weeks

Advanced Long Form (ages 14-18)

Intro to Sketch Writing (ages 14-18)

Improv is exploring relationship through character. This advanced class takes improvising to the next level and opens the door for those character and relationship scenes many improvisers crave to do. This class is intended for experienced students looking to continue growing as improvisers.

Ready for the next step in long form? This class focuses on scenic work and developing strong scenes through committed characters, being emotionally invested and connecting with your scene partner. Prerequisite: Intro to Long Form. 2 hours • 7 weeks

Intro to Long Form (ages 14-18)

Advanced Digital (ages 14-18)

Students will learn advanced skills and begin exploring longer projects in different mediums using innovative distribution techniques. They will learn how to shoot and edit full comedy scenes and man-onthe-street segments. This includes controlling comedic pacing with edits. They will learn how to get their content to look closer to broadcast quality.

(ages 11-14)

Intro to Digital (ages 14-18)

Dive into the world of long form improv and explore over a dozen of the most commonly utilized and successful long form structures to create 30-minute shows based on one suggestion.

Learn the fundamentals of digital comedy production including filming, basic editing, and distributions methods. For any student 9th grade and above.

Prerequisite: Advanced Improv.

2 hours • 7 weeks

Teen Sketch Online (ages 15-18)

Teen Sketch is a quick, fun entry into the world of sketch comedy writing. This is an exercise-based class WITH NO GRADES (woohoo!) that’s all about generating ideas and exploring point of view while learning some terminology along the way. Homework includes watching TV, YouTube clips, and posting on the discussion board. Gain enough Experience Points (XP), and you are ready to level up! 4 weeks

Learn the basics of sketch comedy scenes, the building blocks of any Second City show. For any student 9th grade and above. 2 hours • 7 weeks

Advanced Sketch Writing (ages 14-18)

Learn to create different types of advanced written material including parody and satire. 2 hours • 7 weeks

2 hours • 7 weeks


Table of Contents Kids & Teen Program Kids & Teen Camps Pricing and General Info Staff Info

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Flip catalog over for Adult programs 312-664-3959 • SECONDCITY.COM @secondcitYCHITC

ImaginAction (ages 4-8)

This fun-filled class is designed to involve your child in the basic improv games used at The Second City. This class will help free up children’s creativity and gets them accustomed to working and sharing in a group environment. 50 minutes • 7 weeks

Improv X (ages 9-12)

Experience improv games and exercises that are the foundation of The Second City’s brand of comedy. This class will enhance kids’ ability to communicate with others, develop confidence in their own creativity, as well as teach students to respect the ideas of others. 50 minutes • 7 weeks

Curtain Up! (ages 9-12)

Students will create original, imaginative stories through fun games and exercises, and then bring those tales to life on the stage!

an aspiring actor, or a little Whether a child is a class clown, Second City! Our various The at s clas a g takin shy, they’ll love ages 4 to 18 helps build s teen programming for children and ion skills, and are nonicat mun com and ning confidence, liste us can be applied to with ed learn s stop fun! Fundamental skill students for years to come. all aspects of life and will stick with summer align with school and g, sprin Seasonal camps in winter, activity. breaks, giving kids a great daytime

50 minutes • 7 weeks


2018 clAsS OfFeRIngs

Second City Training Center Chicago 2018 Class Offerings  

Find your funny! Browse The Second City Training Center's 2018 class catalog for adults and kids.

Second City Training Center Chicago 2018 Class Offerings  

Find your funny! Browse The Second City Training Center's 2018 class catalog for adults and kids.