We have classes for all ages and levels of experience. Browse our course catalog, or register now!
Are you looking to visit Chicago to fully experience the vitality of its sketch and improv community? Are you a local who wants to spend some time exploring writing and improvisation? Our immersion programs attract students from all over the country and abroad. Come learn new skills, meet new friends, and take advantage of Chicago’s rich comedy scene.
Four levels of Improvisation and Writing classes are offered. Complete all four levels, or just visit for a week or two. In the summer months, the Training Center offers a variety of Specialty Immersions for advanced students. Immersion classes are Monday through Friday each week, and Improv/Writing Level 1 tuition includes a ticket to a resident Second City show. Our Summer Immersions coincide with the Youth and Teen Summer Camps—ideal for parents and kids who want to take class at the same time.
Improv and Comedy Writing classes will be held in morning or afternoon sessions. Specialty Immersions are either half-day or all-day classes.
Morning sessions: Monday-Friday, 10am-1pm
Afternoon sessions: Monday-Friday, 2pm-5pm
|1 Week Tuition
Comedy Writing, $285
Improv & Comedy Writing Combo, $525
|2 Week Tuition
Comedy Writing, $525
Improv & Comedy Writing Combo, $1000
|3 Week Tuition
Comedy Writing, $810
Improv & Comedy Writing Combo, $1500
|4 Week Tuition
Comedy Writing, $1000
Improv & Comedy Writing Combo, $1900
2014/15 IMMERSION DATES
Summer Session 1, June 1-5 (Immersion Levels 1)
Summer Session 2, June 8-12 (Immersion Levels 1-2)
Summer Session 3, June 15-19 (Immersion Levels 1, 3)
Summer Session 4, June 22-26 (Immersion Levels 1, 2, 4)
Summer Session 5, June 29-July 3 (Immersion Levels 1)
Summer Session 6, July 6-10 (Immersion Levels 1)
Summer Session 7, July 13-17 (Immersion Levels 1-2)
Summer Session 8, July 20-24 (Immersion Levels 1-3)
Summer Session 9, July 27-31 (Immersion Levels 2, 4)
Summer Session 10, August 3-7 (Immersion Levels 1)
Summer Session 11, August 10-14 (Immersion Levels 1-2)
Summer Session 12, August 17-21 (Immersion Levels 1, 3)
Summer Session 13, August 24-28 (Immersion Levels 1, 2, 4)
Registration for all Immersion sessions ends at noon Central time on the Friday before the session begins.
SCHOLARSHIPS Scholarships are available for Summer Immersion sessions. The application is available here. Applications are due by Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 5pm Central time.
WHERE TO STAY IN CHICAGO? The Second City Training Center does not provide housing for students. Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodations. See our "Where to Stay" list for recommended hotels, hostels, and dormitories in the Chicago area, some with special rates for Second City students!
Prerequisites: Open to all students. Improv 1 Immersion must be completed before taking Improv 2 Immersion, etc.
Improvisation 1: Fundamentals—A detailed look at the principles and processes of improvisation, including ensemble work, play, and beginning scenework.
Improvisation 2: Character and Scenework—Learn many techniques for developing strong characters, including status, point of view, and subtext. Also explore the elements of good scenework, such as beats, environment, and emotional life. Introduces basics of Longform. Builds on concepts from Improv Immersion 1.
Improvisation 3: Advanced Scenework—Building upon the foundation of level 2, students will deal with a more mature type of improvisation that can be harvested for sketch. Focus on topics such as Second City scene structure, advanced character creation, acting, reference level, and using music to find scenes and characters.
Improvisation 4: Improvisation into Sketch—Dive into how Second City uses improvisation to develop sketch material. Explore concepts like satire, using improv sets, re-improvising scenes, and the key elements of a Second City running order.
Prerequisites: Open to all students. Writing 1 Immersion must be completed before taking Writing 2 Immersion, etc.
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 Immersion 1.
Writing 3: Elements of a Comedy Revue—Expand your comedy writer's toolkit. From full-cast scenes to monologues, discover the types of sketches that round-out a Second City revue.
Writing 4: Advanced Topics in Sketch—Refine your comic voice and strengthen your skill in revision while learning premises that break the rules - clothesline scenes, songs and more.
Specialty Immersions are courses in a particular topic often with special guest instructors. The Specialty Immersions run concurrently with our regular Improv and Writing Immersions. These are available as half-day or full-day sessions depending on the course. A full schedule of Specialty Immersions is available during our Summer sessions and will be added here as they become available.
Specialty Immersions Tuition: Each course is priced individually. Check the course details for pricing. Registration for all Immersion sessions ends at noon Central time on the Friday before the session begins.
Prerequisites: Each Specialty Immersion will have its own prerequisites or acceptance can be given by permission of the program head. Previous training will be considered toward the prerequisites. Contact Immersion Coordinator Julia DiFerdinando at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Training Center at 312-664-3959 to obtain permission.
- Stand-up—Develop yourself as a solo comedic performer by writing and workshopping your own material. By understanding how earlier stand-up comics evolved, students experiment outside their comfort zone and experiment until discovering their own unique style. Students will perform in a class showcase on a Second City stage on the final day. Taught by Ever Mainard, available December 15-19 from 10am-5pm; $550. Prerequisite: Improv or Writing Immersion Level 2.