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The Wellness Program aims to create a nurturing and safe environment for people who are choosing to experience the personal and social benefits that the study of improv and commitment to ensemble can provide. Whether that be to promote self care, be with like-minded individuals, or to work toward a common goal, the Wellness Program exists for individuals who may want to use improv as a tool for something other than solely performance based goals. While the vast majority of Wellness Program participants are not joining The Second City with the intent to pursue a professional career in performance or comedy, all are welcome and encouraged to graduate on to other programs at The Second City.

Humor Doesn't Retire: Improv for Seniors

Humor Doesn't Retire: Improv for Seniors

  • Improv for Seniors 1-5 + Advanced Ensemble
  • 2 Hours, 8 Weeks

Our Humor Doesn’t Retire program is for people 55 and older who are interested in meeting new people and learning the art of improvisation. Have you always loved comedy? Do people tell you you’re funny? Do you just want to do something active and have fun with other people? Then this class is for you!

What will I learn?

Levels 1-5 closely follow the curriculum of our beginner Improv Level A-E classes. You will learn the basics of stage presence, character development, improv games, and scene work. Classes start with very basic exercises, training, and confidence building, but by the end of the fifth level you will have completed a fully comprehensive improv training program. Level 5 students who want to take their skills to the stage may be able form or join an Advanced Ensemble class for future terms.

Humor Doesn’t Retire Level 1

Building Blocks of Scenic Improv

Humor Doesn’t Retire Level 2

Improvising Scenes

Humor Doesn’t Retire Level 3

Introduction to character work

Humor Doesn’t Retire Level 4

Advanced scene and character work

Humor Doesn’t Retire Level 5

Improvisation in performance

Humor Doesn’t Retire Advanced Ensemble

The Advanced Ensemble continues diagnostic training following from the classes in the Humor Doesn’t Retire program while working on new material and exercises for an end-of-term class performance.

What will I do in this program?

You will do acting and improv exercises that will sharpen your listening and reaction skills. You will develop characters and improvise scenes with your classmates. You will also learn a variety of improvised games for the stage.

Who can take these classes?

Humor Doesn’t Retire is open to people 55 and older. No previous acting or improv experience is required.

How long are the classes?

Each level meets for two hours once a week for eight weeks.

What do I need to bring?

Wear comfortable clothes to move around in.

Will there be a performance?

Only the Advanced Ensemble classes have a performance at the end of each term.

Why is this program important?

This is a great opportunity for those who want to learn and improvise with people who share a similar life experience and reference level. These classes are taken at a more relaxed pace. Less emphasis is placed on movement and physicality so it is open to those who may have mobility or physical limitations.

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Improv for Anxiety

Improv for Anxiety

  • Improv for Anxiety Levels A-E
  • 2.5-3 Hours, 8 Weeks

Improv for Anxiety is an innovative program that includes an ensemble-based improv class and a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) based therapy group. The program is designed to help people with mild to moderate social anxiety and/or fear of public speaking manage their symptoms and reduce avoidance behaviors in social, work/school and family settings. The program provides an interactive opportunity to learn skills derived from improv as part of recovery.

Improv for Anxiety Level A

A Second City Training Center instructor will lead this 8-week improv class. 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 will meet once per week and the therapy group meets separately once per week.

Improv class: 2.5 hours, 8 sessions
Support group: 2 hours, 8 sessions (meets Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm)

Health Insurance: The therapy group portion of the fee may be eligible to be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement at the out-of-network level.

Improv for Anxiety Level B

Improvising Scenes

Improv for Anxiety Level C

Introduction to character work

Improv for Anxiety Level D

Advanced scene and character work

Improv for Anxiety Level E

Improv in performance

Is the Improv for Anxiety Class Right for Me?

1. Does being nervous or uncomfortable around other people keep you from doing things you want to do?
2. Does your fear of public speaking or talking to teachers get in the way at work and/or school?
3. Is being embarrassed or looking stupid one of your worst fears?
4. Do you limit how involved you become with people because you are afraid of letting them get to know you? Do you worry that if people really knew you, they wouldn’t like you?
5. Do you find yourself turning down invitations to social events because you know you would feel uncomfortable if you went?
6. Does being the center of attention make you feel very uncomfortable and self-conscious?
7. Do you worry about looking nervous in front of other people?
8. Do you have trouble stating your opinion or asking for something you deserve because you worry about what others will think of you?

Although Improv for Anxiety was developed for people with social anxiety disorder, individuals with other anxiety disorders have completed the program and are welcome to contact us to see if this class is a good fit.

Students are encouraged to continue their classes at Second City and the therapy group following the 8-week term. You can continue improv training in Improv for Anxiety Levels B-E. Group therapy sessions are available for students who have completed Level A.

Improv for Anxiety for Teens is also available.

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Improv for Veterans

Improv for Veterans

  • Alpha, Bravo, Charlie
  • 3 Hours, 8 Weeks

Improv for Veterans is a multi-level curriculum that culminates in a show created and performed by the class at the end of the third level. This class is specifically catered to anyone who has served in the armed forces. This class aims to teach improv and storytelling fundamentals, while also connecting with other veterans, building communication skills, sharing experiences with veterans from other branches, and playing around. Improv for Veterans is co-taught by a Second City instructor and military veteran with improv and storytelling experience.

Improv for Veterans Level Alpha – Beginner Improv and Storytelling

In the alpha level of this class, students will learn skills needed to create strong improvised scenes. These skills include building ensemble, giving and taking focus, object work, and the concept of “yes, and.” In addition, students will learn fundamental strategies for taking honest, personal experiences and turning them into compelling, entertaining stories.

Improv for Veterans Level Bravo – Character Development and Applied Storytelling

In the beta level of this class, students will delve deeper into scene work, with specific focus on character development. They will explore creating characters through internal motivations, like point of view, status, wants and intentions, and external ones, like experimenting with physicality. Students also continue to explore scene work, with special emphasis on how to create scenes inspired by personal stories. Students will continue to learn how to develop stories, and also how to bring truth and presence to the stage with comfort and confidence.

Improv for Veterans Level Charlie – Performance

In this final level, students will take the skills developed in alpha and beta, and apply them by creating a show incorporating improv and storytelling.

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Improv for Anxiety

Stand Up to Anxiety

This class is designed for people who are looking for ways to face feelings of discomfort and reduce avoidance behaviors in social, work/school, and family settings. Face performance anxiety and develop yourself as a solo comedic performer by writing and workshopping your own material. By understanding how earlier stand-up comics…

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Improv for ASD

Improv for ASD

Improv for ASD offers a class in improv for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Classes will focus on ensemble and team building to help with the exploration of different relationships and social cues. Improvisational games used in this class will teach the students skills such as accessing emotions and storytelling….

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Improv for Dementia

Improv for Dementia

Improv for Dementia is a class for people living with early-stage Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and their care partners. The class will aim to build the strengths that will enhance communication between persons with the diagnosis and their loved ones. Improv and life with dementia share many of the…

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Improv for Health Professionals

Improv for Clinicians

Improv for Clinicians is led by a licensed therapist trained in improv. This class engages mental health clinicians in exercises that highlight improv skills that perfectly translate into creating a supportive, creative, open minded approach to therapy. This workshop focuses on patience, non-judgment, active listening, self awareness, collaboration with clients,…

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Private Lessons

Private Lessons

One-On-One Coaching

The Second City Training Center offers individual, customized coaching in a variety of areas including, but not limited to:

Monologue prep
On-camera audition prep
Dialects Accent Coaching

Youth & Teen Coaching
Audition Prep
Monologue Prep

Advanced sketch critique
Screenplay & Sitcom coaching
Sketch Production (Coaching a group through their first production)
Sketch generation & critique…

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