Follow The Training Center
Thank you for choosing to study with The Second City Training Center in Chicago. We hope your experience with us will be informative and fun. Here are a couple of options for registering for a class:
Register Online – You are not registered until we have confirmed that you are in the correct level and that there is room in the class you have chosen. You will receive confirmation via e-mail.
Come in person or call, our phone number is 312-664-3959. We’re open Monday through Thursday 10am to 10pm, Friday 10am to 7pm Friday, 11am to 7pm on weekends.
Payment must be made at the time of enrollment in order to secure your spot in class. Payment plans are available (see below).
New Students, there is a one-time new student fee of $15 which will automatically be added to your tuition
Training Center Programs
Being a Student
Take advantage of these unique offerings available only to students of The Second City Training Center. All you need is your student card given to you on the first day of class! To receive a discount you must show your Training Center ID card.
If your business would like to engage with our students by providing discounts or special offers, contact Andrew Thorp.
All Training Center policies and procedures are available in our Student Handbook.
Student Headshot Days – Student headshot days with photographer Sally Blood return September 10-11. Each one-hour session includes a 45-minute photo shoot, touch-up makeup and an online folio of all your edited shots. The cost is $200, a special deal for Training Center students. Reservations can be made by contacting the Training Center office at 312-664-3959.
Second City ticket deals – Training Center students can get FREE tickets for Second City Mainstage or e.t.c. shows for Sunday-Thursday performances if the show is not sold out. Monday tickets can only be picked up 10 minutes before show time; all others can be reserved in person within one hour of show time.
Students can get FREE walk-up tickets for HouseCo shows on Saturday nights in the de Maat Studio Theatre. Come see Next at 7:30pm (testing sketch material as they go through the process of writing an original revue), Twisty at 9pm (all improv), and Moxie at 10:30pm (long form in a different style each week).
Students also receive half-price admission to shows in Donny’s Skybox and the de Maat Studio Theater. Free tickets are available for all class performances, including the Conservatory Level 6 shows on Mondays at 8pm in the e.t.c. Theater.
All shows subject to availability. Visit or call the Second City Box Office at 312-337-3992.
UP Comedy Club – UP Comedy Club often has special offers for our students. Reserve tickets by calling the UP Box Office at 312-662-4562. Limit 2 per show, subject to availability. Students will be asked to present their Student IDs when picking up their tickets at the Box Office. Reservations are recommended.
Up Comedy Club
UP Comedy Club often has special offers for our students. Reserve tickets by calling the UP Box Office at 312-662-4562. Limit 2 per show, subject to availability. Students will be asked to present their Student IDs when picking up their tickets at the Box Office. Reservations are recommended.
- $35 Monthly fees and waived initiation fees
- 25% off all Spa Packages
The Book Cellar
- 20% off any book purchase
- Free coffee with pastry purchase
- Free admission Sunday through Thursday
The Music Box Theatre
- $1 off general admission tickets
- 10% off entire bill
- Good at Old Town Location Only. 1746 N Wells
Old Town Pour House
- 10% off your bill (1 table/1 visit)
- Students join for $25/year (over 50% off)
- Visit zipcar.com/sctc-students for more info
- Training Center Students can save up to 50% off normal Comcast pricing. Discounted packages only available to new Comcast customers
- Email our student specialist Dan at Danial_Petrie@cable.comcast.com or call 815-391-4324 for service and quotes
- Direction Photoworks is a full service print boutique for Talent Industry Professionals. Now offering digital headshot prints 25 for $25
Let’s channel our inner Maria Von Trapp and start at the very beginning. For improvisation training most of our students begin with the Improv Level A class. You do not need to have any previous acting or improv experience to begin the Improv program. If you have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre, then you may enroll in our Improv for Actors program; you have to be approved to take the IFA program so you will need to submit a copy of your theatre resume for review. If you have completed a full, year-long improvisation training program (equivalent to our Improv program or from another like iO or Annoyance) and you have completed at least one acting course (post-high school), then you qualify to audition for our Conservatory program. You can also begin in the first level of our Comedy Writing or Acting and Scene Study programs, depending on your interests. If you need any help deciding which classes to take, just give us a call at (312) 664-3959. We will always be happy to chat with you about your interests and goals and figure out the best place for you to begin.
Please stand on the mark in the middle of the stage and deliver the following monologue: “No, I do not have to audition to start taking classes at The Second City. Only some advanced programs like the Conservatory and the Music Improvisation program require auditions, though some specialized classes and workshops may have prerequisites.”
Words on a page. In the Acting program you will work with scripted material such as monologues and scenes from plays. The Improv program focuses on unscripted games, exercises and scenes.
Because the Training Center itself is not an accredited institution of higher learning, just an awesome professional training center, students are generally ineligible for college credit. We also cannot file the paperwork for international students to obtain student visas (sorry Mongolians, you may have to wait until we open the Ulan Bator Training Center). However, if you are currently enrolled in college, we have this amazing program called Comedy Studies which is an accredited college program that we run in Chicago in partnership with Columbia College. This is a semester-long study in comedy for which students do receive college credit.
We offer classes in our Youth and Teen Program for students ages 4-18. Students must be at least 19 to attend classes in our adult programs, but there is no upper age limit. Why, even Methuselah himself could come in and learn to improvise!
A limited number of full and partial scholarships based on need or merit are available for Summer Adult Immersions, Youth and Teen Summer Camps and Youth and Teen year-round classes. Applications are available online on each program’s pages. Volunteer positions come up very regularly and are the easiest way for adult students to receive discounted tuition. Volunteers are usually sought to assist with high volume events at the Training Center or to represent the Training Center at various events and locations around Chicago. People who volunteer regularly may be considered for regular work study positions. To apply to be a volunteer (also known as the Second City Dream Team), please submit this form.
You mean you have something better to do? Well, okay. You have up to one year to return and continue with the next level in your program. If it has been longer than a year, you will need to repeat the last level you completed. Students returning from hiatus should call the office (312-664-3959) to be placed in a class or on a waiting list.
Tuition fees should be paid at the time of registration in order to hold your spot in the class. Tuition fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and checks. If you pay in cash, please bring the exact amount as we may not have change. We do not accept beads and trinkets…anymore (that’s how we lost the New York Training Center to the Dutch). Payment plans are available at the time of registration, but surcharges will be applied.
The most direct answer is the Conservatory, our cornerstone training program designed to give you first-hand experience in the Second City method. It caters to the aspiring professional, and it qualifies you to audition for our house teams and other advanced programs. Admission is by audition only and requires some previous experience, so you may need to start with training in our Improvisation program. However, great Second City actors also have to be able to perform scripted material and create believable characters on stage (try our Acting program), and on the resident stages they write their own material (try ourComedy Writing program). And they all have to be comfortable with music and singing (we have a variety of music classes!). These programs can be great preparation for the Conservatory, but students also frequently enroll in them after graduation from the Conservatory to round out their skills and deepen the understanding of their craft. The bottom line is all of the programs here will give you practical experience that will make you a creative powerhouse.
Although many of the resident company actors are graduates of the Training Center, completion of any program does not guarantee employment with the company. It takes a great deal of training and experience to become a member of the Mainstage or e.t.c. cast. Most of the resident actors have trained and performed for a number of years before being hired by Second City. Graduates of the Conservatory and Music Improv programs are encouraged to audition for the Training Center house ensembles. Performing with the house ensembles are an individual’s best chance of being hired by The Second City. Conservatory graduates are also eligible to audition for The Second City National Touring Company.